Sunday, April 28, 2019

Hayek at auction at Sothebys

It closed last month, but you can still take a look at the outcome of Sotheby's sale called
Friedrich von Hayek: His Nobel Prize and Family Collection
Sale L19409

"Sotheby’s is honoured to offer the Nobel Prize and Family Collection of Friedrich August von Hayek (1899-1992). Hayek was a towering intellectual figure of the twentieth century and his writings have had a profound impact in shaping the modern world. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1974 for “pioneering work in the theory of money and economic fluctuations”. This month sees the 75th anniversary of his seminal work, The Road to Serfdom."

Despite the title of the sale, Hayek's Nobel medal doesn't seem to have been on offer, although his U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom , awarded by President George H.W. Bush in 1991, went for 112,500 GBP.

The most expensive item was his annotated copy of Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations, for which the hammer came down at 150,000 GBP.

The auction notes state:
"Hayek’s underlining includes phrases from the first paragraph of Chapter II which reads “This division of labour, from which so many advantages are derived, is not originally the effect of any human wisdom, which foresees and intends that general opulence to which it gives occasion. It is the necessary, through very slow and gradual consequence of a certain propensity in human nature which has in view no such extensive utility; the propensity to truck, barter, and exchange one thing for another.” (p.12) and later “it is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.” (p.13)."

I've blogged about previous Nobel auctions:

Thursday, October 27, 2016 Re-auction of Kenneth Wilson's, 1982 Nobel medal for Physics

Thursday, February 26, 2015 Kuznets' Nobel Prize medal auction

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