A decorative leaf from the 1548, first Ethiopian text edition of the New Testament – €28,000 (£25,200) at Ketterer Kunst.

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Sold at €64,000 (£57,600) to a US dealer in a July 6 sale held by Ketterer Kunst (25% buyer’s premium), this copy in a much later binding bore the ownership inscription of a Char(les) Shrimpton, who the auction house suggested might be the author of an 1867 book with an American/Canadian background called Black Phantom: or, Woman’s Endurance.

Only one copy of Malthus’ book has made more at auction. In a worn but period binding, a first that had belonged to the economist and historian Edward Cannan, the editor of a 1904 edition of Malthus’ influential work, took $110,000 (then £70,850) at Bonhams New York in 2015.

Ethiopian religious work

Illustrated above is a leaf from a rare example of the first edition of the New Testament published in the Ethiopian language. Printed in Rome in 1548, this copy sold to a Canadian collector for a much higher than expected €28,000 (£25,200).

The other lot shown from that Hamburg sale shown here could hardly be more different.

Sold at €52,000 (£46,800) to an English dealer was a good copy of Das Werk, one of 230 numbered copies of a deluxe Viennese portfolio of 1914 containing 50 collotype plates reproducing the work of the Austrian artist Gustav Klimt (1862-1918).

The 10 plates, which are colour printed and heightened in gold and silver all bear the artist’s signet device at the foot of the plate and five of them, including that reproduced here, have a signature stamp at lower right.

Austrian Auction


One of the coloured collotype plates from the collection of prints by Gustav Klimt – €52,000 (£46,800) at Dorotheum.

In a June 30 book sale held in Vienna by Dorotheum (28/25/22/15% buyer’s premium), a copy of Das Werk that had been printed and published in 1918, the year of Klimt’s death, was sold for a notably higher than expected €36,000 (£32,400). Containing a total of 54 plates, the principal attraction was the group of 10 heliogravure plates coloured under the supervision of the artist.