Sotheby's (London)

Incunabula from the court library at Donaueschingen (catalogue for an auction conducted by Sotheby's, London, 1 July 1994)

London, Sotheby's, 1994
(27 cm), 323 (9) pp., illustrations (some in colour). 521 lots. List of estimates loosely inserted. Publisher’s printed wrappers. - Catalogue of books from the Fürstlich-Fürstenbergische Hofbibliothek in Donaueschingen, Baden-Württemberg, accumulated since the late 15th century. In order to bring these books to London, Sotheby’s negotiated the sale of 85 others to the Badische Landesbibliothek Karlsruhe and Württembergische Landesbibliothek Stuttgart. The top price was £221,500 paid by Kraus for the unique Vienna blood-letting calendar, an almanac from 1462, which had bee discovered in the 19th century as binding waste in a manuscript in the Donauschingen Library (lot 60; now Princeton University, Scheide Library, SC4.3.13). “Fears were voiced that so many incunables, some defective, might be more than the market could stand. But no - with very few exceptions they all did well… There was no shortage of underbidders even for the lower-priced lots. Altogether, it was a successful day” (from a saleroom report in The Book Collector, Autumn 1994, p.415). ¶ Annotated copy, partly priced.