Sven Becker, a specialist in Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts at Christie’s has sent me this email:
IMPORTANT NOTICE REGARDING CHRISTIE’S AUCTION OF FINE PRINTED BOOKS, 13 JUNE 2011:
Lots 291-401 were sold prior to the auction and have been withdrawn.
Christie’s are pleased to announce that this fine collection (Vladimir Nabokov: Books and Objects from the Collection of Dmitri Nabokov) was sold prior to the auction by private treaty to an important collector who appreciated the great cultural significance of this group of books and objects, and the unique opportunity of acquiring en bloc the last substantial part of the Nabokov family archive. The price paid was in excess of £500,000, which reflects what a rare opportunity it is to obtain a collection of such scope and quality by one of the great masters of Russian and American literature.
This may or may not clarify the original report from mysouth.su. There, the original report stated that the price was “500,000 pounds higher than the overall estimate for all lots”. That means to me £500K more than some sum of the estimates (the high ones?). That could be as much as £734,000 (with the house’s 25% premium thrown in). Or maybe after all it’s “only” £500,001.