Antiquarian Auctions

Auction #117 begins on 22 Aug 2024

Sotheby, Parke, Bernet & Co.

Original Auction Catalogue for the Magnificent Library of the Stiftung fur Botanik "Botanical Foundation"

Published: Sotheby, Parke, Bernet & Co., London, 1976

Edition: First Edition

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"The Magnificent Botanical Library of the Stiftung für Botanik, Vaduz Lichtenstein, Collected by the Late Arpad Plesch."

Arpad Plesch (1889-1974) was a Hungarian international financier and collector of rare books for his foundation, the Stifung für Botanik. His collection was particularly rich in the works of Pierre-Joseph Redouté, the most famous of all botanical illustrators.

After his death his entire collection of antiquarian botanical literature was sold in London by Sotheby & Co.

The collection was divided into three parts, which were auctioned at different dates:

Part I: Lots 1 to 308, 16th & 17th June, 1975.

Part II: Lots 309 to 618, 17th & 18th November, 1975.

Part III: Lots 619 to 863,  15th & 16th March, 1976.

All three volumes still have their loosely inserted leaves that contain the sales results of each auction, which include the lot number, the buyer's name, and the hammer price. 

All three volumes are profusely illustrated.

The highest price bid at the auction appears to have been for lot 698, which was an original ten volume set of Lindley, Smith, & Sibthorp's Flora Graeca. The entry in the catalogue reads as follows: "After Smith's death Vol. 8-10 were completed by John Lindley. The work was so expensive that it had only 30 subscribers, of whom 25 stayed the course to Vol. 10. The work is at the same time one of the rarest and one of the most desirable of all the great floras." The hammer price was £22,000 - this was in 1976!

The Grand Total of the Six Days Sale's was £568,379.

This catalogue is an invaluable bibliographical reference for the collector of rare botanical literature. It contains well-researched descriptions and interesting notes on various "issue points".

  • Binding Condition: Very Good
  • Overall Condition: Very Good
  • Sold By: Rare Paper
  • Contact Person: Armandt Marais
  • Country: South Africa
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Telephone: 0741235861
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