- Title: USA: ARCHIMEDES TEXT SELLS FOR 2.2 MILLION AT CHRISTIES.
- Date: 30th October 1998
- Summary: NEW YORK CITY, UNITED STATES (RECENT) (RTV - ACCESS ALL) 1. GV/SV: EXTERIOR CHRISTIE'S AUCTION HOUSE (2 SHOTS) 0.09 (OCTOBER 29, 1998) 2. SV/PAN: AUCTION BEGINS WITH A PAN OF AUDIENCE AS AUCTIONEER EXPLAINS THAT A COURT HAS RULED THAT THE CHRISTIES SALE MAY TAKE PLACE 0.27 (RECENT) 3. GV/CU: WIDE ARCHIMEDES MANUSCRIPT/ CLOSE-UP ARCHIMEDES MANUSCRIPT (2 SHOTS) 0.39 (OCTOBER 29, 1998) 4. MV: BIDDING FROM ONE MILLION TO 1.6 MILLION. 0.54 5. MV: CUTAWAYS CHIRISTIE'S PERSONNEL RECEIVING BIDS VIA TELEPHONE. (2 SHOTS) 1.00 6. MV: BIDDING FROM 1.7 MILLION TO TWO MILLION. 1.28 7. MV/PAN: AUCTIONEER TAKES FINAL CALL ON TWO MILLION DOLLAR BID, PAN TO CHRISTIE'S BOARD CONFIRMING FINAL SALE AT TWO MILLION DOLLARS (EXCLUDING CHRISTIE'S COMMISSION). 1.47 8. CU: HEAD OF CHRISTIE'S INTERNATIONAL BOOK DEPARTMENT FELIX DE MAREZ OYENS SAYING, "THE MANUSCRIPT WAS BOUGHT BY A LONDON BOOKSELLER CALLED SIMON AND FINCH ON BEHALF OF AN AMERICAN PRIVATE COLLECTOR. (ANY DETAILS ON THE AMERICAN COLLECTOR?) NONE THAT I CAN GIVE YOU. (THE PRICE: 2 MILLION. IS THAT BEYOND YOUR EXPECTATION?) NO, IT'S ABOUT WHAT I EXPECTED AT THIS POINT. ALTHOUGH IT IS FAIR TO SAY THAT THE MANUSCRIPT COULD BE DESCRIBED AS PRICELESS BECAUSE IT IS OF MATCHLESS IMPORTANCE. IF IT HAD GONE FOR MORE MONEY THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN JUSTIFIED PROBABLY, BUT THE MANUSCRIPT WASN'T IN VERY GOOD CONDITION AND I THINK UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES THE PRICE WAS PERFECTLY FAIR." (ENGLISH) 2.32 (RECENT) 9. CU: ARCHIMEDES MANUSCRIPT (2 SHOTS) 2.49 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 14th November 1998 12:00
- Location: NEW YORK CITY, UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Reuters ID: LVA52NG35KF6ZRTKNQMI4SP6NQTC
- Story Text: An ancient text by the Greek mathematical genius
Archimedes sold for $2.2 million on Thursday at Christie's.
The manuscript was sold only after a New York judge dismissed
the Greek Orthodox Church's claim of ownership.
The rare 10th-century Byzantine Greek manuscript is
believed to be the oldest and most authentic copy of
Archimedes' major works to survive, and contains
transcriptions of his writing on geometry and physics.
The winning bid came from London bookseller Simon Finch,
who purchased the work on behalf of an American private
collector.Christie's said the collector had requested
anonymity but had told the auction house that he intended to
make it available to scholars.
Felix DeMarez Oyens, head of Christie's international books
and manuscripts department said the price was what he
expected, but added that he would not have been suprised by a
higher selling price.
"If it (the manuscript) had gone for more money that
would have been justified probably, but the manuscript wasn't
in very good condition and I think under the circumstances the
price was perfectly fair," Felix DeMarez Oyens told Reuters
The bidding started at $480,000 on the work, which had a
pre-sale estimate of between $800,000 and $1.2 million, and
rose rapidly to $2 million.The final sale price was
calculated at $2,202,500 after Christie's added its
The sale went ahead after a court battle on Wednesday
night in which the Greek Orthodox Church, claiming ownership
of the manuscript, failed to stop the auction.A federal judge
ruled that Christie's had the right to sell the work on behalf
of a French family that has had it for 75 years.
The Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem sued Christie's and
alleged that the 174 pages of text were stolen.The auction
house argued that the current owners were descendants of a
Frenchman who legally bought the volume in the 1920s.
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