Prague, Aug 9 (CTK) – An atlas of towns from the end of the 16th and beginning of the 17th centuries was sold for over 1.6 million crowns including a surcharge as the most expensive antique item sold at auctions in the first six months of this year in the Czech Republic, the server Artplus said today.
This is the third most expensive book to have appeared on the Czech market.
Two books by Josef Vachal, Dying and Romantic Sumava, and Devil’s Garden were sold at a higher price.
The six-volume atlas of towns was published by Georg Braun in Cologne between 1572 and 1617.
It contains over 200 tinted engravings, produced by artists and cartographers.
The put-up price for the set of four volumes of this edition in the original leather binding was 744,000 crowns.
Thanks to a high interest of book collectors, the price more than doubled.
An Oriental carpet from Syria, made in the late 19th century, was sold for 342,000 crowns including a surcharge.
Dying and Romantic Sumava sold for 3.1 million crowns in April 2008. This is one of the most remarkable artifacts of the 20th century.
Between 1928 and 1931, Vachal (188-1969), a very original artist and writer, printed 11 copies of the book measuring 48 times 64 centimetres with almost 70 coloured woodcuts.
Two years ago, a new owner gained Vachal’s Devil’s Garden for 1.9 million crowns. Vachal printed 17 copies of the book and after the work was finished, he destroyed its wooden matrices.
The 307-page, large work of art contains 137 black-and-white and 69 coloured woodcuts.
Last June, the new record was set by a Turkish sabre sold for 4.2 million crowns crowns. The Ottoman sabre is likely to originate from the Battle of Vienna in 1683.
Two years ago, a richly ornamented rhino horn was sold by 3.35 million crowns.
($1 = 22.301 crowns)