With an overall result of 1,5 million*, the two-day auction of Rare Books on 27/28 May at Ketterer Kunst
in Hamburg made for excellent results. In the race for the top lot, Hartmann Schedels world chronic, Germany was on the cutting edge and relegated France to second place.
As expected, the list of desires was led by the high quality Liber chronicarum by Hartmann Schedel (lot 15). Bidders from Germany and France entered the competition and let the remarkable well-preserved copy of the first edition climb from a starting price of 80.000 to a result of 114.000*. The biding skirmish for the chronic of the world with the first authentic views of German towns was won by a private collector who made sure that the work with more than 1800 woodcuts in the text in old coloring from the workshop in which Albrecht Dürer was taught, will remain in Germany.
Right afterwards the first Italian edition of the Historia naturalis (lot 16) by C. Plinius Secundus was sold to the Rhineland. A collector with a good sense for whats special honored the oldest encyclopedia of natural science, at the same time a masterpiece of topography, with a result of 34.000*.
The first edition of the Reise in das Innere Nord-America in den Jahren 1832-1834 (lot 192) by Maximilian Prinz zu Wied- Neuwied almost would have been sold to a German book lover as well, as it seemed that German bidders would carry out the battle among each other, however, they had to give in to the persistency of an English book trader, who offered for more than a threefold of the starting price, letting the splendid travel work soar to a result of 66.000*.
The rush was strong on Conrad Gesners Thierbuch (Los 42) made in Zurich in 1557-63, which not surprisingly went to a Swiss for a result of 25.000*. He relegated competitors, most of which from the German language region, to places second and beyond.
The unique documentation, in terms of both artistic as well as artisan mastery, of the creation of one of the greatest book binders of his days, Ignatz Wiemeler, which comprises 28 hand-made bindings as well as two portfolios, was much-sought after in Germany and the U.S. In the end it was carried away by a public institution, which lifted the starting price of 9.500 for this remarkable collection to a result of 25.000*, making sure that in the future even more people will be able to enjoy the sight of it.