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VMs: H P Kraus...


The Kraus Reference Library - the Finest Book Reference Library Ever
Collected by a Book
Dealer - Will Be Sold at Sotheby's New York in October 2003

The Inventory of H. P. Kraus Will Be Sold at Sotheby's in New York in
December 2003

July 31, 2003, New York, NY - Sotheby's Vice Chairman David Redden announced
today that
Sotheby's has acquired the Inventory and Reference Library of H. P. Kraus,
the venerable
New York dealers in books and manuscripts, which it will sell in a series of
auctions in
New York this fall season. H. P. Kraus was established in 1932 by Hans P.
Kraus who was
known to bibliophiles and book collectors the world over as the foremost
dealer in rare
books and manuscripts of his time. After Mr. Kraus's death in 1988 the
business, for the
last 58 years located in the former Lehman townhouse, 16 East 46th Street,
was run by his
widow Hanni, until her death in January of this year.

Discussing the acquisition, David Redden said: "After so many years of
selling the finest
books in the world, it is sad the time has come for H.P. Kraus to close its
doors due to
the death of the founders. The Kraus family and executors considered an
auction of the
inventory and reference library. When they determined an en-bloc sale would
better answer
their needs, they asked us if we would agree to proceed on this basis. We
are very pleased
that the world of book buyers will have the opportunity to purchase books
and manuscripts
from this legendary bookseller during our sales this fall." The auction
offering is estimated
to bring $9-12 million.

The books and manuscripts from H.P. Kraus will be offered in three parts.
The legendary
reference material, which is without doubt the largest and most complete
reference library
of books on the subject of bibliography ever put together by a book dealer,
will be sold in
New York on October 27th, 28th, 29th and 30th, 2003. The sale will include
dictionaries and bibliographic records of almost every facet of human
endeavor, including
travel and exploration, science and medicine, natural history, literature,
art, and music;
as well as indispensable reference guides to all areas of book history, from
manuscripts to incunabula to modern private presses. A wonderful range of
private library
catalogues and important auction catalogues from the last four centuries
will also be included.

The second part is the inventory of H.P. Kraus which will be sold on
December 4th and 5th,
2003 and includes a unique copy of an English incunable, Proprytees &
medicynes of hors,
printed by William Caxton's associate Wynkyn de Worde; a fine copy of the
third edition of
the Catholicon, printed by Johann Mentelin and Adolf Rusch; a 1465
manuscript Book of Hours
from Bruges, illuminated with 20 full-page miniatures; and a 1561 copy of
Martin Luther's
translation of the Bible, printed on vellum and illustrated by numerous
woodcuts by Lucas
Cranach the Younger.

A third portion consists of the inventory of Kraus Subsidiary, Helmut
Schumann of Zurich,
Switzerland, which has been in existence since 1828. The highlights of the
inventory reflect
Hans Kraus's abiding interest in early printing, illuminated manuscripts,
and book illustration.
Further details about that sale will be forthcoming.

For More Information, Please Contact Sotheby's Press Office on 212 606 7176

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