NABOKV-L post 0021699, Mon, 13 Jun 2011 10:09:23 -0400

Subject
Vladimir Nabokov: Books and Objects ...
Date
Body
Nabokov Bibliography
All About Vladimir Nabokov in Print

http://www.vnbiblio.com/?m=201106
Notice from Christie’s about the Auction
Wednesday, June 8th, 2011
Sven Becker, a specialist in Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts at Christie’s has sent me this email:

IMPORTANT NOTICE REGARDING CHRISTIE’S AUCTION OF FINE PRINTED BOOKS, 13 JUNE 2011:

Lots 291-401 were sold prior to the auction and have been withdrawn.

Christie’s are pleased to announce that this fine collection (Vladimir Nabokov: Books and Objects from the Collection of Dmitri Nabokov) was sold prior to the auction by private treaty to an important collector who appreciated the great cultural significance of this group of books and objects, and the unique opportunity of acquiring en bloc the last substantial part of the Nabokov family archive. The price paid was in excess of £500,000, which reflects what a rare opportunity it is to obtain a collection of such scope and quality by one of the great masters of Russian and American literature.

This may or may not clarify the original report from mysouth.su. There, the original report stated that the price was “500,000 pounds higher than the overall estimate for all lots”. That means to me £500K more than some sum of the estimates (the high ones?). That could be as much as £734,000 (with the house’s 25% premium thrown in). Or maybe after all it’s “only” £500,001.

Tags: auction, Christie's
Posted in auctions, buying/selling books | 2 Comments »

Auction Off, Speculation On: A Rumor
Wednesday, June 8th, 2011
A rumor I recently picked up: Brad Pitt is a Nabokov collector.

Is there the least bit of truth to it? I have no idea. I wonder if that Russian oligarch I was imagining is really a Hollywood movie star.

Nah.

Tags: auction, Christie's
Posted in auctions, buying/selling books | No Comments »

Auction Off, Speculation On (2)
Tuesday, June 7th, 2011
What’s going on?

My speculation is that a Russian oligarch, for reasons of pride, patriotism, and prestige, approached Christie’s or DM and began negotiating. If I understand the one news report, the buyout is £500,000 over the high estimates of the 111 lots. Is the 25% commission in the original book costs with the £500K added on? Or does Christie’s get its 25% out of the £500K. I can imagine other ways of calculating who gets what.

The high estimates of the 111 lots adds up to £187,200. Christie’s premium, in a standard auction situation, would then be £46,800, for a total of £234,000 ($384,663 at the 6 June exchange rate). So this mysterious oligarch is paying either £687,200 (more likely) or £734,000. So the least being paid is probably $1,127,548. That’s £6191 per item. The average pre-auction high estimate is £1686 per item.

Conclusions: Signed, inscribed, lepted, or whatever VN items just became more dear. By a lot. Dealers won’t be offering any of those books because they will end up in a museum/library or the private stash of a probably very private person. The deal implies high four-/low five-figure valuations on special VN items.

One thing I don’t understand. It is now 11pm on Tuesday. This deal was revealed early this morning, around 5:30am. Why no Google hits, other than the one? (Bing/Yahoo didn’t pick it up at all.)

Another point: I wonder why this Russian oligarch, or whomever he/she is, didn’t buy the Laura manuscript at auction at the end of last year. Maybe because it was in English. It was ultimately won by an Italian dealer.

Tags: auction, Christie's
Posted in auctions, buying/selling books | No Comments »

Auction Off, Speculation On
Tuesday, June 7th, 2011
The Nabokoviana auction at Christie’s on June 13 is off. All items have been withdrawn.

“A private collector” has preempted the sale by scooping up all 111 lots for “500,000 pounds higher than the overall estimate for all lots”, whatever that might exactly mean, according to “World News – Russian opinion”, an English language website located in the Russian Federation.

My speculation is that a Russian oligarch, for reasons of pride, patriotism, and prestige, approached Christie’s or DM and began negotiating. If I understand the one news report, the buyout is £500,000 over the high estimates of the 111 lots. Is the 25% commission in the original book costs with the £500K added on? Or does Christie’s get its 25% out of the £500K. I can imagine other ways of calculating who gets what.

The high estimates of the 111 lots adds up to £187,200. Christie’s premium, in a standard auction situation, would then be £46,800, for a total of £234,000 ($384,663 at the 6 June exchange rate). So this mysterious oligarch is paying either £687,200 (more likely) or £734,000. So the least being paid is probably $1,127,548. That’s £6191 per item. The average pre-auction high estimate is £1686 per item.

Conclusions: Signed, inscribed, lepted, or whatever VN items just became more dear. By a lot. Dealers won’t be offering any of those books because they will end up in a museum/library or the private stash of a probably very private person. The deal implies high four-/low five-figure valuations on special VN items.

One thing I don’t understand. It is now 11pm on Tuesday. This deal was revealed early this morning, around 5:30am. Why no Google hits, other than the one? (Bing/Yahoo didn’t pick it up at all.)

Another point: I wonder why this Russian oligarch, or whomever he/she is, didn’t buy the Laura manuscript at the end of last year. Maybe because it was in English.






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