Sotheby’s Paris auction of a rare selection of books from the hunting and hawking library of the Counts du Verne realised a total of €2 million. One of the key lots in the sale, Des deduiz de la chasse des bestes sauvaiges et des oyseaux de proye, sold for double its estimate, achieving €519,000. The work is a 1370 treatise by Gaston Phébus, known as both a remarkable soldier and hunter, and is described by Thiébaud as "the oldest major treatise on hunting with hounds written in French". It was the only hunting treatise available to French readers, together with Le Roy Modus, until the arrival of Du Fouilloux. Known through fewer than a dozen copies, it is also the first book on hunting to come from the press of a Paris printer.
Sotheby’s is pleased to announce the sale of a selection of books from the hunting and hawking library of the Counts du Verne. The collection was assembled over more than a century and a half by three generations of collectors: Joseph du Verne, then his son Pierre du Verne, who passed on his passion to his daughter Nicole du Verne-Bernis.
The collection gathers almost all of the most important French hunting books printed between 1500 and the present day, as well as some remarkable manuscripts.
This first sale is composed of around 270 mainly French-language books dedicated to hunting, both with hounds and falconry. Many of the copies are from prestigious hunting collections, including Pichon, Schwerdt, Auguste Veinant, Baron de Lassus and Grandjean d’Alteville. This is one of the most attractive hunting collections ever offered for sale since the sale of the Marcel Jeanson collection at Sotheby’s in Monaco in 1987.