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Morin Astrologia Gallica, Dariot Ad Astrorum Iudicia auction

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Philip Graves

Joined: 07 Jan 2005
Posts: 436
Location: Europe

Posted: Tue May 29, 2012 10:03 am    Post subject: Morin Astrologia Gallica, Dariot Ad Astrorum Iudicia auction Reply with quote

Two Renaissance classics in Latin are coming up for auction at different branches of Bloomsbury Book Auctions in early June. The past few years of economic troubles have seen the number of early printed astrology books offered at major auction houses dwindle to a tiny fraction of what it was in the boom years of 2006-8, and now that some are being offered again, the expected prices are far below those that would typically have been expected five years ago, which means it could be a very good time for someone with money available to buy without fear of making a loss.

First up on June 6th at Bloomsbury Italia is the (very rare at auction, much rarer than the later partial English-language translations, and unknown in booksellers' catalogues these past seven years or longer) original 1557 Latin edition of Dariot's main work on astrology, "Ad Astrorum Iudicia Facilis Introductio". This should really be worth around $5000-$10000 in view of its market rarity, date and importance, but the auction house's estimate in the current economic times is a lowly 800-1000 Euros.

Now I must admit that if a copy of this had come up for sale a few years ago when I had savings, I would have gone for it. Those days are no more. I would be vicariously delighted if another Skyscript member were to purchase.

Then barely a week later, on June 14th, a potential bargain-basement copy of Morin's "Astrologia Gallica" (1661) is up for auction at Bloomsbury England. This one lacks a few pages of the index but is otherwise apparently altogether complete. Given that complete copies generally sell for $2000-$3500 depending on condition and provenance and who is selling them, the auction house's estimate of 350-450 for this essentially complete (but for the aforementioned index, a minor issue) one is really very low (never mind the condition of the binding, which is insignificant compared with the internal completeness and condition of the paper, which sounds ok on the whole). Dealers will be in the market at that price and a fair bit more, and looking to double their money at least.

There are usually 20% buyer's premiums to pay at major auction house sales, and anyone interested in bidding needs to factor this in to any offer.
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