Just a quick note for any followers of this blog who have 15.000 €: the antiquarian bookshop Margarita de Dios is selling a complete copy of the edition Venice: Pietro de Nicolini da Sabio, 1535, bound in parchment. More information and photos at the official website. By the way, they also offer one copy of the Venice, 1553 edition in Spanish for 18.000 €(see here).
Although this is one of the editions with the most surviving copies, it is surprising that this is the second copy that enters the market this year, as another copy of this edition was auctioned by El Remate in February (more information here). And the same applies to the 1553 one. Are they the same? I think so, because of certain stains that can be seen in the photos which look similar. In that case, considering that both copies started in 5.000 €, I am curious about the final prices. They must have been really high for Margarita de Dios to triple that amount, don’t they? In any case, I am not who is going to buy them.
First of all, thanks to everyone who wrote to me to inform me about the auction, which will take place on the 26th of January 2023 at the Spanish auction house El Remate, based in Madrid.
According to the catalogue, the 16th- and 17th-century Celestinas that will be auctioned belonged to a bibliophile that has been collecting Celestinas for over 60 years. His collection includes copies from the following editions:
Tragicomedia de Calisto y Melibea… Sevilla [but Venice], [Juan Bautista Pedrezano], 1523 (Sev1523). Starting price: 25.000€
Celestina. Tragicomedia di Calisto et Melibea… Venice, Gregorio de Gregorii, 1525 (V25a). Starting price: 18.000€
Celestina. Tragicomedia di Calisto et Melibea… [Venice], Pietro de Nicolini da Sabio, 1535 (V35). Starting price: 5.000€
Celestina. Tragicomedia di Calisto et Melibea… Venice, Bernardino di Bendoni, 1543 (V43). Starting price: 3.500€
La Célestine… Paris, Nicolas Bonfons, [¿1578?] (Par78c). Starting price: 3.000€
Tragicomedia de Calisto y Melibea… Venice, Gabriel Giolito de Ferrari and his brothers, 1553 (Ven1553). Starting price: 5.000€
Tragicomedia de Calisto y Melibea… Tarragona, Felipe Roberto, 1595 (Tarr1595). Starting price: 9.500€
Celestina. Tragicomedia de Calisto y Melibea… [Anvers or Leiden], Oficina Plantiniana, 1595 (Plant1595). Starting price: 4.500€
Tragicomedia de Calisto y Melibea… Sevilla, Fernando de Lara, 1596 (Sev1596). Starting price: 4.500€
Celestina. Tragicomedia de Calisto y Melibea… [Anvers or Leiden], Oficina Plantiniana, 1599 (Plant1599). Starting price: 3.000€
Tragicomedia de Calisto y Melibea… Madrid, Andrés Sánchez, 1601 (Mad1601). Starting price: 2.500€
Tragicomedia de Calisto y Melibea… Madrid, viuda de Alonso Martín, 1631  (Mad1631-1632). Starting price: 2.000€
La Célestine ou histoire tragicomique… Rouen, Charles Osmont, 1634  (Rua1633-1634). Starting price: 1.500€
Maybe there are affluent collectors among the followers of this blog that can afford such prices! I absolutely cannot. But there are a few things I am curious about, in particular, if the auctioned copy of the Venice, Gregorio de Gregorii, 1525 edition is composite (with both roman and arabic numerals or not). I suppose that, if it were, it would be stated in the catalogue, but this is the trickiest edition of the Italian translation of Celestina with which I had to work. What I know for sure is that it does not belong to V25c (printed by Francesco Caron for Gregorio de Gregorii and, thus, with the printer’s mark and the types of the former but the colophon of the latter?).
Another thing I am curious about is how prices are determined. For example, why does the copy of Plant1595 cost 4.500€, when there are no less than 43 known copies in public libraries, and the 17th-century editions, which are much more rare, cost respectively 2.000€ and 2.500€? Why are the illustrated editions of the Italian translation much cheaper than Gregori’s, if they are all rather common (more than 30 copies in public libraries for V25 and V35, and over 15 for V43)? I do not understand how the market works.
In any case, I am always surprised by how many collectors own Celestinas. For such an important and researched work, one thinks that all surviving copies are kept by public institutions, but no. How many 16th- and 17th century copies are lacking in my censuses? Will they be complete some day?