Summa de Arithmetica sold for $ 1,215,000

On June 12, the Christie’s New York sale Fine Books and Manuscripts Including Americana featuring the Summa de Arithmetica of Luca Pacioli achieved a total of $4,693,750. Luca Pacioli’s Summa de Arithmetica (1447-1517) realized $1,215,000 after two minutes of competitive bidding between the telephones and the room.

Summa de arithmetica, geometria, proporzioni e proporzionalità. Luca Pacioli 1494.

Notable results included Edgar Allan Poe’s gold pocket watch bearing his engraved name within, which realized $250,000; signed galley proofs of Francis Crick and James Watson’s articles on DNA: “Molecular Structure of Nucleic Acids,” which achieved $350,000, exceeding the high estimate of $250,000; a first French edition of Karl Bodmer’s Voyage dans l’intérieur de l’Amérique du Nord, which for $187,500; and Marcus Elieser Bloch’s Ichthyologie, our Histoire naturelle, generale et particuliere des poisson, which realized $100,000.

Additionally, strong results were achieved for Benjamin Franklin’s “the first American” letters to Henry Homes, Lord Kames, which realized $106,000; Albert Einstein’s correspondences including two letters between Albert Einstein and Paul Epstein, which realized $93,750 and $81,250; and a Thomas Jefferson signed letter to John Page, which realized $85,000.

To browse the full results, please visit the Fine Printed Books & Manuscripts Including Americana Results Page. There detailed descriptions of the single lots can also be viewed.

Here is a digitized version of Luca Pacioli’s Summa de Arithmetica.

Christies also wrote an accompanying article on Luca Pacioli and his famous book.