On 5 June, Sotheby’s is privileged to offer a substantial collection of early printed books from the library of William, 6th Lord Monson, which contains a good number of early Greek books, the editiones principesof Homer (Florence, 1488), Isocrates (Milan, 1493) and the Etymologicum Magnum Graecum (Venice, 1499). There is an especially fine array of Aldines including the 1495/96 Theocritus, the 1502 Herodotus, and the 1514 Suidas. Of great beauty is the 1470 edition of Livy, with contemporary decoration that was added in the monastery of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice; and the 1498 Politian contains annotations by Erasmus’s friend Ludwig Baer.
There is an unusually rich selection of music manuscripts and fine printed books about music to be offered on 6 June, including autograph manuscripts by Schumann, Grieg, Mahler, Moscheles, Fanny Mendelssohn, Richard Strauss, Korngold, Samuel Barber and Schnittke. In Verdi and Wagner's bicentenary year, we have an important series of unpublished letters by Verdi and an unknown sketch-leaf for Lohengrin. There is a well-known portrait of Mozart and a watercolour by Mendelssohn. To conclude, there is a collection of C16-C18 music theory books, the property of a distinguished scholar, including works by Aron, Zarlino, Galilei, Morley, Rameau and others, a collection unparalleled at auction in recent years.
Among the manuscripts offered on 5 June are autograph items by Goya (an autograph receipt for “Vuelo de brujas” and others), Einstein (working notes for a paper on differential geometry), Schopenhauer (unpublished letter), Raoul Wallenberg (passes for safe-passage from Budapest), Pablo Neruda (a series of letters), Nelly Sachs (poems and letters), Napoleon and others. There is also a remarkable archive of upwards of 2,000 hand-prints, signed by Einstein, Planck, Brecht, Mann, Grosz, Kollewitz, Berg, Strauss, Caruso, Mascagni, Schnabel, Klemperer, Marlene Dietrich, Fritz Lang and many others, all collected by Marianne Raschig in the 1920s and all signed by the celebrities themselves.