Sotheby's (New York); Sotheby's Monaco SAM

The Library of H. Bradley Martin: John James Audubon, Magnificent Books and Manuscripts [other title:] The Martin library, part I: Audubon § Magnificent Color plate Ornithology [other title:] The Martin library, part II: Magnificent Ornithology § The Original Watercolors for Selby’s illustrations of British Ornithology [other title:] The Martin library, part III: Selby § Highly important French literature [other title:] The Martin library, part IV: French literature § Highly important Illustrated and Scientific Ornithology [other title:] The Martin library, part V: Ornithology § Highly important American and Children’s Literature [other title:] The Martin library, part VI: American Literature § Highly important Printed and Manuscript Americana [other title:] The Martin library, part VII: Americana § Highly important English Literature [other title:] The Martin library, part VIII: English Literature § Highly important Printed Books and Illuminated Manuscripts [other title:] The Martin library, part IX: Books and Illuminated Manuscripts (catalogues for auction sales conducted by Sotheby's in various venues, 1989-1990)

New York / Monte Carlo, Sotheby’s / Sotheby’s Monaco, 1989-1990
Nine volumes (28 cm), I (6 June 1989): [96] pp., illustrations (most in colour). Lots numbered 1-38. II (7 June 1989): [340] pp., illustrations (most in colour). Lots numbered 39-242. III (8 June 1989): [236] pp., illustrations (some in colour). Lots numbered 243-519. IV (16-17 October 1989): [444] pp., illustrations (some in colour). Lots numbered 520-1322. V (12-13 December 1989): [384] pp., illustrations (some in colour). Lots numbered 1323-1977. VI (30-31 January 1990): [424] pp., illustrations (some in colour). Lots numbered 1978-2505. VII (31 January 1990): [136] pp., illustrations (some in colour). Lots numbered 2506-2553. VIII (30 April-1 May 1990): [528] pp., illustrations (some in colour). Lots numbered 2554-3345. IX (14 June 1990): [264] pp., illustrations (some in colour). Lots numbered 3347-3672. List of estimates and List of prices realised loosely inserted in each volume. Uniform publisher’s green cloth bindings, colour illustration laid to each upper cover. - A collection rivalling that of Estelle Doheny, spread over nine sessions between 6 June 1989 and 14 June 1990, which realised a gross total of $35,719,750. The catalogues were priced $80, or $475 for the complete set of nine. “The standard of the cataloguing did not quite match the level of its presentation, which was splendid. But, given the time constraints, some faults were inevitable, and the long row of nine catalogues is, on the whole, an appropriate tribute to the collection and the collector” (saleroom report in The Book Collector, Autumn 1990, pp.533-535; cf. Robert H. Taylor, “Henry Bradley Martin (Contemporary collectors, 35)” in The Book Collector, Summer 1963, pp.184-193). ¶ Unmarked copies (vols. I-VIII); annotated copy, partly priced (vol. IX).
Subjects
Americana - Collections, USA - Martin (Henry Bradley), 1906-1988
Auction sale catalogues - Books - 1989
Auction sale catalogues - Books - 1989-1990
Auction sale catalogues - Books - 1990
Book illustration - Artists, American - Audubon (John-James), 1785-1851
Children's books - Collections, USA - Martin (Henry Bradley), 1906-1988
Illumination of books and manuscripts - Collections, USA - Martin (Henry Bradley), 1906-1988
Literature, English - Auction sale catalogues
Literature, English - Collections, USA - Martin (Henry Bradley), 1906-1988
Literature, French - Auction sale catalogues
Literature, French - Collections, USA - Martin (Henry Bradley), 1906-1988
Prints - Artists, American - Audubon (John-James), 1785-1851
Science books - Ornithology - Audubon (John-James), 1785-1851
Science books - Ornithology - Collections, USA - Martin (Henry Bradley), 1906-1988
Authors/Creators
Sotheby's (New York)
Sotheby's Monaco SAM
Artists/Illustrators
Audubon, John-James, 1785-1851
Selby, Prideaux John, 1788-1867
Owners
Martin, Henry Bradley, 1906-1988
Auction date
19890606
19890607
19890608
19891016
19891212
19900130
19900131
19900430
19900614
  • This collection contains

  • Sotheby's (New York)

    The Library of H. Bradley Martin : John James Audubon, Magnificent Books and Manuscripts [other title:] The Martin library, part I : Audubon (catalogue for Sale 5870 conducted by Sotheby's, New York, 6 June 1989)

    New York, Sotheby's, 1989
    (28 cm), [96] pp., illustrations (most in colour). Lots numbered 1-38. List of estimates loosely inserted. List of prices realised loosely inserted. Publisher’s cloth binding, colour illustration laid to upper cover. - The Audubon made $3,960,000 (erasing the previous high established at Christie’s in 1987) to an anonymous telephone bidder; Audubon’s manuscript journal April-December 1826 of his voyage to Britain to see its publication (never yet published in full) made $220,000, a record for an Audubon manuscript, but less than expected. G. W. Cottrell, Jr., “Contemporary Collectors XXXV: Henry Bradley Martin, the Ornithological Collection” in The Book Collector, Autumn 1963, pp.316-332). ¶ Unmarked copy.
  • Sotheby's (New York)

    The Library of H. Bradley Martin : Magnificent Color plate Ornithology [other title:] The Martin library, part II (catalogue for Sale 5871 conducted by Sotheby's, New York, 7 June 1989)

    New York, Sotheby's, 1989
    (28 cm), [340] pp., illustrations (most in colour). Lots numbered 39-242. List of estimates loosely inserted. List of prices realised loosely inserted. Publisher’s cloth binding, colour illustration laid to upper cover. - The “sale of ornithological picture books did outstandingly and consistently well, with the original drawings for Albin A Natural History of Birds making $240,000, Catesby $380,000, Gould Trochilidae $190,000 and the two copies of Lear’s Parrots $190,000 and $210,000 (the wrong way round, in fact, since the first was William Jardine’s copy with two extra plates; the higher price for the second was evidence of the competition between two disappointed bidders on the first copy” (saleroom report in The Book Collector, Autumn 1990, pp.533-535). ¶ Unmarked copy.
  • Sotheby's (New York)

    The Library of H. Bradley Martin : The Original Watercolors for Selby’s illustrations of British Ornithology [other title:] The Martin library, part III: Selby (catalogue for Sale 5872 conducted by Sotheby's, New York, 8 June 1989)

    New York, Sotheby's, 1989
    (28 cm), [236] pp., illustrations (most in colour). Lots numbered 243-519. List of estimates loosely inserted. List of prices realised loosely inserted. Publisher’s cloth binding, colour illustration laid to upper cover. - The watercolours for British Ornithology (1819-1834) had been preserved together since they left the artist’s possession, and “a considerable campaign to avert [their dispersal] took place, with which it was impossible not to sympathize; unfortunately, it failed to elicit a buyer who would put up the money to keep the drawings together. Sotheby’s, on behalf of the estate, did their best to find such a buyer, and it was only after protracted effort by both sides that the drawings were sold off separately” (report in The Book Collector, Autumn 1990, p.533). Sixty-eight failed to find buyers; the highest prices were $57,750 paid for “Great Eared Owl” and $55,000 for “Purple Heron”. ¶ Unmarked copy.
  • Sotheby's Monaco SAM

    The Library of H. Bradley Martin : Highly important French literature [other title:] The Library of H. Bradley Martin, part IV (catalogue for an auction conducted by Sotheby's, Sporting d'Hiver, Monte Carlo, 16-17 October 1989)

    Monte Carlo, Sotheby's Monaco SAM, 1989
    (28 cm), [444] pp., illustrations (many in colour). Lots numbered 520-1322. List of estimates loosely inserted. List of prices realised loosely inserted. Publisher’s cloth binding, colour illustration laid to upper cover. - Martin’s taste was for presentation and association copies, preferably in original or contemporary bindings. Six of the seven top lots were carried off by Pierre Berès, including an autograph letter of Baudelaire to his publisher, urging him to promote Les Fleurs du mal; a copy of that book inscribed by the author; and a presentation copy to Anatole France of Proust’s Du côté de chez Swann (1914). ¶ Unmarked copy.
  • Sotheby's (New York)

    The Library of H. Bradley Martin : Highly important Illustrated and Scientific Ornithology [other title:] The Martin library, part V: Ornithology (catalogue for Sale 5953 conducted by Sotheby's, New York, 12-13 December 1989)

    New York, Sotheby's, 1989
    (28 cm), [384] pp., illustrations (many in colour). Lots numbered 1323-1977. List of estimates loosely inserted. List of prices realised loosely inserted. Publisher’s cloth binding, colour illustration laid to upper cover. - These books “did, if anything, better than the colour plate books. The copy of Linnaeus Systema naturae 1735 made $150,000, and Pennant Arctic Zoology 1784-8, with 180 of the drawings, $100,000; even more remarkable, however, was $29,000 (estimate $4-6000) for 410 volumes ‘on the aviculture of Africa and the Near East’, just those lesser books in which the Martin collection was uniquely rich” (saleroom report in The Book Collector, Autumn 1990, p.534). ¶ Unmarked copy.
  • Sotheby's (New York)

    The Library of H. Bradley Martin : Highly important American and Children’s Literature [other title:] The Martin library, part VI: American Literature (catalogue for Sale 5971 conducted by Sotheby's, New York, 30-31 January 1990)

    New York, Sotheby's, 1990
    (28 cm), [424] pp., illustrations (many in colour). Lots numbered 1978-2505. List of estimates loosely inserted. List of prices realised loosely inserted. Publisher’s cloth binding, colour illustration laid to upper cover. - Poe’s Tamerlane made $150,000 and Peter Rabbit went for $45,000. ¶ Unmarked copy.
  • Sotheby's (New York)

    The Library of H. Bradley Martin : Highly important Printed and Manuscript Americana [other title:] The Martin library, part VII: Americana (catalogue for Sale 5972 conducted by Sotheby's, New York, 31 January 1990)

    New York, Sotheby's, 1990
    (28 cm), [136] pp., illustrations (many in colour). Lots numbered 2506-2553. List of estimates loosely inserted. List of prices realised loosely inserted. Publisher’s cloth binding, colour illustration laid to upper cover. - Highlights were George Washington’s copy of The Federalist, estimated $250,000 to $400,000, which made $1,300,000, and the copy of the Declaration of Independence, estimated $400,000 to $600,000, which made $1,540,000 (Ralph Geoffrey Newman, vs. Tom Ligenfelter). “Both [results] were well above estimate, but not so much as the presentation copy from Lincoln of his Political Debates (1860) with Stephen Douglas, which made $170,000 (est. $12-18,000)” (saleroom report in The Book Collector, Autumn 1990, p.534). ¶ Unmarked copy.
  • Sotheby's (New York)

    The Library of H. Bradley Martin : Highly important English Literature [other title:] The Martin library, part VIII: English Literature (catalogue for Sale 5998 conducted by Sotheby's, New York, 30 April-1 May 1990)

    New York, Sotheby's, 1990
    (28 cm), [528] pp., illustrations (many in colour). Lots numbered 2554-3345. List of estimates loosely inserted. List of prices realised loosely inserted. Publisher’s cloth binding, colour illustration laid to upper cover. - The first edition of More’s Utopia (1516) bound in purple-stained vellum made $190,000; Shakespeare’s Rape of Lucrece (1594) realised $561,000. ¶ Unmarked copy.
  • Sotheby's (New York)

    The Library of H. Bradley Martin : Highly important Printed Books and Illuminated Manuscripts [other title:] The Martin library, part IX: Books and Illuminated Manuscripts (catalogue for Sale 6036 conducted by Sotheby's, New York, 14 June 1990)

    New York, Sotheby's, 1990
    (28 cm), [264] pp., illustrations (many in colour). Lots numbered 3347-3672. List of estimates loosely inserted. List of prices realised loosely inserted. Publisher’s cloth binding, colour illustration laid to upper cover. - “The whole pyrotechnic display came to an end in June with a mixed sale. It began with a dozen incunabula of which the Ulm Ptolemy on vellum with a star-studded provenance made $1,750,000, and two early sixteenth-century French manuscripts of which one made $450,000. A spectacular binding on James I Works 1616 went for $95,000, and the 1532 Villon for $105,500. The Microcosm of London and Daniell’s Oriental Scenery made $160,000 and $130,000” (saleroom report in The Book Collector, Autumn 1990, p.535). ¶ Annotated copy, partly priced.
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