The collection of Ginsburg-iana went for $2.3 million in the auction run by Bonhams, the auction house said.
The sale included more than 1,000 books with inscriptions from fellow justices, some of Ginsburg’s old annotated law textbooks and gifts from Gloria Steinem and Annie Leibovitz. Honorary degrees from Brown and Smith were also available, as were collections on Judaica, opera and women’s rights.
The book of the 1957-58 year has Ginsburg’s name embossed on the spine and notes written throughout.
According to Bonhams, Ginsburg heavily annotated an essay titled “Problems of Parallel State and Federal Remedies” and one titled “Price-Restrictive Patent Licenses Under the Sherman Act,” by Helmut F. Furth. In the latter, Ginsburg “underscores and annotates Furth’s history of the price-fixing patent and the court’s regulation of the same.”
Relatively cheap college degrees
But someone found a bargain path to get a diploma, and they didn’t even have to go to class, study or take final exams.
Toni Morrison is still a best-seller.
A life’s work for $80,000
Ginsburg’s personal copy of her 2016 book, “My Own Words,” a collection of her writings and speeches, sold for $81,500. The copy was bound for the the Legal Classics Library in 2017 and includes the justice’s personal bookplate.
The Swedish connection
This wasn’t the only part of the RBG Swedish collection in the auction.
Sotomayor is the top liberal
This is not a scientific survey by any means, but the most popular of the current and former justices, based on how their book sold in this one auction, is … Sonia Sotomayor.
The liberal stalwart’s “My Beloved World” inscribed to RBG sold for $40,000.
O’Connor the top conservative; Gorsuch and Thomas don’t draw
Another trailblazer, the retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, excited buyers. Her gift of the biography “Lazy B” went for $31,500.
Another Stevens book, “The Making of a Justice: Reflections on My First 94 Years,” drew $15,000, perhaps because it didn’t need edits after publishing (that we know about, anyway).
Buyers apparently weren’t keen on other conservative justices, however.
Law school textbooks are expensive when they’re new. And you’d think you could nab a discount by buying used. Especially if someone underlined passages and wrote notes in the margins.
But if they were used by RBG, who apparently kept them for 50 years after graduating law school, they’re no bargain.
A-listers fail to deliver
The set includes a copy of Fey’s “Bossypants,” gifted to Ginsburg from a former law clerk (a rarity among the collection that’s being sold), two copies of “Along the Way,” by Martin Sheen and son Emilio Estevez, and Diane von Furstenberg’s “The Woman I Wanted to Be.”
Well, turns out they have something else in common: Buyers weren’t that interested. Lot 143 sold for $7,600.
DVD’s aren’t worth what they used to be.
Some other highlights:
The fine print
The sale was a small part of Ginsburg’s collection, much of which has been already donated to various charities and institutions. The proceeds of this auction will go to Ginsburg’s heirs, the auction house said.
Bonhams says it will not publicize the names of any buyers but noted that some may identify themselves in the future.