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28 Apr

«Полцарства за коня!» : «Книга о лошади» 1911 года издания ушла с молотка на торгах Российского аукционного дома за рекордные 600 000 рублей

The Auction House of the Russian Federation and Saint Petersburg House of Books summarized the results of Spring Old Book Auction, which took place on 23rd of April in the atrium of the House of Singer.
During the last weekend the real battles for possession of old volumes took place in the House of Singer on Nevsky Prospekt. The auction was held with a full house, as well as there were a great number of absentee and telephone call applications. The auction lasted practically for three hours.
In all for sale were offered 270 lots; about half of them were sold for a total amount of more than 7.5 million rubles. The average starting price access ratio for the lots sold was 1.96.
A book with the highest starting price (450,000 rubles) – a historic essay of Nicolas Kutepov “Grand-Princely, Royal and Imperial Hunting in Russia” was sold with a good excess for the amount of 570 thousand rubles.

But the most expensive lot of the auction has finally become The Book about Horse by Prince Sergey Urusov. Two-volume publication of the “manual of each owner of a horse” with the starting price of 160,000 rubles, after a hot and emotional contest of several buyers in the hall and by phone, during which 41bid increments were made, was sold for a peak amount of 600,000 rubles. This is the most expensive book sold for the period of holding of all old book auctions of the Auction House of the Russian Federation in Saint Petersburg.

The book on maritime affairs – The Russian Imperial Fleet, published in 1914, was sold with a record excess of the starting price. The important data about warships of the Russian Empire along with the list of the major shipyards of Russia are collected in this rear book. Conservatively estimated in the auction catalogue as 15,000–20,000 rubles, the book, as a result of stubborn contest of two collectors, was sold for 282,000 rubles, that is almost 19 times more expensive.

“We do not keep such statistics, but within our recollection it was the longest and the most stubborn bidding at old book auctions – 86 bid increments!”, – comments Svetlana Chestnykh, Leading Expert of the Auction House of the Russian Federation.
The buyers were highly interested in the belles-lettres, and particularly in the books of “Academia” Publishing House – in this sector 100% of lots were sold, and starting prices were on average increased by 5.2 times. So the value of the 8-volume publication of “The Arabian Nights” grew from 15 thousand to 120 thousand rubles, the price of “The Little Humpbacked Horse” increased from 10 thousand to 108 thousand rubles, and works of Leonardo da Vinci and the novel by Alexandre Dumas – “The Three Musketeers”, initially estimated as 5,000 rubles, were each sold for the amount of 72,000 rubles.

The “Academia” Publishing House is a book house of Saint Petersburg Philosophical Society of the University, which existed in the RSFSR during the period of 1921–1937, then in the USSR – is known for highly qualitative publications and illustrations of classics. Many well-known translators and artists cooperated with the Publishing House. The “Academia” books always have a high level of decorative design and translations of the world classics and now they are the collectibles.

All the publications of the Children’s Books section were also sold. Books for children, in which design the outstanding artists often took part, are rarely preserved in good condition, so good copies are in great demand among the collectors. You know, many people do not realize what kind of treasures they have in their pantries. So, the book “About Cars and Tires”, designed by Dmitry Bulanov in a bright constructivist style, which starting price was 7,000 rubles, was sold for the amount of 21,600 rubles, that is three times more expensive.
“This is the sixth joint auction of the Auction House of the Russian Federation and Saint Petersburg House of Books. Every time a number of buyers and the interest in the event grow. The next auction is scheduled for autumn of 2016”, – says Svetlana Chestnykh.

For detailed information about the bidding results please see

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