Brussels auction house scores massive total on rare books sale

Brussels auction house scores massive total on rare books sale

A Brussels auction house has caused a sensation in the auctions world with a completed sale of books and other documents. In a sale that took place on 29 and 30 March, Arenberg Auctions, situated in the Sablon area, took in 1.65 million euros, the second-highest total achieved worldwide for such a sale during the same period.

The sale included books, prints, drawings, atlases and globes (photo), and won Arenberg a place in the rankings of The Rare Book Hub website, which carries news about collections and sales of rare books and prints.

Among the items sold were two globes by the 17th century Italian cosmograph Vincenzo Maria Coronelli, which raised more than 210,000 euros, and an 11-volume 16th century atlas by Joan Blaue, which fetched 200,000 euros.

Coronelli made his name with the Marly globes, two magnificent four-metre globes made for Louis XIV, which so impressed the French king that he gave Coronelli the reproduction rights, which set him up in business. The two globes in the sale – one terrestrial and one celestial – were made ten years later, and dedicated to the Dutch and English king Willem III.

The world's first published atlas, the 1570 Theatrum Orbis Terrarum by the Brabant cartographer Abraham Ortelius, was sold for 110,000 euros. The sale catalogue describes the work as “The first large modern atlas and a landmark in the history of cartography outlining the standards of all later atlases with text and maps in a uniform format and presentation.”

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times

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