Our Paris Books auction realised a total of €1.4 million and confirmed the demand for 19th and 20th-century authors, with works by Charles Baudelaire, Marcel Proust and Albert Camus achieving the strongest results.
The top lot of the sale, which sold for €187,500, was a copy ofThéophile Gautier by Charles Baudelaire, which he presented to Edouard Manet as a token of their friendship.
The first part of our upcoming book sales will comprise such rarities as the first Aldine edition of Ovid’s complete works (1502-1503); the first collective edition of La Fontaine’s Fables (1668); the first edition of Voltaire’s Candide (1759); three signed letters by François Ier (1551); and an exceptional correspondence between Claude d’Urfé, tutor to King Henry II’s children, and the constable Anne de Montmorency. Among 19th-century manuscripts on offer are Talleyrand’s letter to Louis XVIII, denying involvement in the Duke of Enghien’s death under Napoleon’s reign, and the Duke of Aumale’s beautiful defence of the Orléanist royal branch against a public attack by Prince Napoleon.
Amongst some of the most attractive books featured in the sale areThéophile Gautier by Baudelaire, which is inscribed to the great Impressionist painter Edouard Manet; Victor Hugo’s inscription to Delacroix or David d’Angers; and Flaubert’s inscriptions to Eugène Fromentin and Nadar. One of the first copies of Celine’s famous Voyage au bout de la nuit and a very important group of books from Camus to René Char are also to be noted.
Offers from Camus again come in the form of an important private correspondence of letters he wrote to his lifelong friend Liliane Choucroun. A group of letters from Proust to his mother, Reynaldo Hahn, Lucien Daudet, Gaston Gallimard, and Bernard Grasset are included, as are a moving letter from Mathieu Dreyfus to his brother Alfred about the Affaire. Among other letters presented in the sale are those from Manet to Baudelaire, Flaubert to Feydeau, Nadja to Breton, and a manuscript by Char, Eluard and others. The last section of the sale is dedicated to modern illustrated books, including those by Picasso, Miró, and Calder with attractive bindings by Jean de Gonet, Paul Bonet, and many others.