Books and Manuscripts

The Ponte Auction House has always kept its attention to the collection of Manuscripts and Rare Books, so much so that in 2017 it inaugurated a dedicated department which, in the space of a few years, has intercepted an increasingly cultured and curious niche of enthusiasts.

Also for this sector, the auction house has chosen to maintain a broad vision of the market, with composite contributions in which one can find Manuscripts, Incunabula, First Editions, Autographs, Atlases and Maps, but also twentieth-century Livres d’Artistes, Antique Classic Books and Historical Curiosities. The strategy of preferring quality and rarity of the items offered at auction was successful, to attract the interest of important private collectors and the international public.



The sales season debut of 2024 at Il Ponte Casa d’Aste ended with the auction of antiques Books and Livres d’artistes generating over € 425,000 in revenue, 88% lots sold, with a remarkable 185% increase on the reserve prices. The catalogue, with a strong international appeal, reached over 45,000 views.


One of the sections gaining increasing acclaim among collectors is dedicated to artist books. Examples include an illustrated work by Czech artist and abstract art pioneer Frank Kupka from 1926 (lot 99 - €27,720) and Salvador Dalì's "Biblia Sacra vulgatae editionis", Milan edition: Rizzoli, 1967 (lot 98 - €8,190).
The chapter on travel and costumes from around the world continues to captivate, as evidenced by the excellent results for Attilio Zuccagni-Orlandini's 1844 geographical atlas of Italian states (lot 91 - €13,860) and Giulio Ferrario's volume on costumes and traditions of ancient and modern peoples, compiled in 1815 (lot 16 - €8,190). Travel souvenirs also include the brilliant perspective views of Venice in the splendid copy dedicated to the city by Johann Georg Graevius, 1722 (lot 21 - €6,930), and the views of ancient and modern Rome by Giuseppe Agostino Vasi, 1786 (lot 97 - €6,300).
The undisputed highlight of recent months and a spectacular conclusion to the first auction session is the prestigious Santini Codex, an authentic gem of the Urbino Renaissance. This work marked new milestones for the Auction House, serving as a significant opportunity for collaboration with renowned international scholars and prominent institutions, garnering considerable media interest accordingly.
It has been an honor for the Auction House to handle this rare and precious document, a symbol of artistic excellence deserving prompt exhibition in a national museum. It stands as a source of pride for the imaginative, creative, and scientific spirit of Italian culture.


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