The world of auctions is mysterious for people who are unfamiliar with it. At first sight, the goal of auctions is to sell different objects. However, many departments are involved in the preparation of auctions and the planification of it is highly time consuming. A person who wants to discover this world has to learn a lot of special terms and to study the whole process. Actually, in the majority of cases the buyers have assistants who know the dynamics of auctions and guide their client through the complex process of buying in the auction.
I’m interested in the implementation of the project which related to auction house. Under this project I decided to choose the topic “The selling process of French books printed in the XVIII and sold at auctions throughout time”. The project will contain a variety of statistical analysis and a submission in an unusual form. This topic is highly relevant as many valuable books transit through auction houses and their destiny is highly linked to this misunderstood marketplace.
Actually, one of the essential aspects of this project is an exploration of the oldest and biggest auction houses as Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips. In the past these auction houses were one of the first among such organisations. It’s currently the biggest auction houses in the world. It is global presence influences book sales, audiences and prices.
An important factor of the whole analysis is the location where the books were printed. France was chosen because of its rich historical aspect. In the 18th century, there was a flourishing of science, literature and art which all influenced the growth of book production. This period is also characterized by the development in the areas of fonts and illustrations. France was the country with the biggest advancements in the book manufacturing at that period.
The main goal of the project is the development of a catalogue of books printed in France in the XVIII century. More specifically, books sold at auctions will be analysed to create statistics. Ultimately, the analysis will feed infographics and a mapping of books by category.
For achieving my goals, here’s the milestones I plan to complete on my way to create the catalogue:
— to detect what books were sold at auctions in 2010-2020 years and create a list with this;
— to create statistics on criteria such as genre of books, prices, printing houses, locations of printing;
— to analyse documents linked to auctions;
— to explore catalogues of rare books which were sold at auctions or presented by museums or libraries;
— to undertake a comparative analysis of identified catalogues:
— to create a catalogue of books printed in France in the XVIII century and sold at auctions.
The project will be useful for specialists in different fields. Firstly, the project will demonstrate trends in the selling process of books. It is important to know the dynamics of sales. Secondly, the project will include research of the printing world in the 18th century in France. It is interesting for specialists in the field of rare books. Finally, the final product of the project will include all important information from the research in summary form. Nowadays, I guess it is important to show the main results of the research in visual format. It is easily acceptable, also it gives opportunity to estimate results precisely.
It is assumed that the project can be useful for the reconstruction of what was sold in different years (2010-2020), what was the price range, what was the popularity of various books. Also, it will help to represent the paths of different books across time and different geographies.