Books & Manuscripts

Celebrated Library of Jean A. Bonna to go on Display in London

By Sotheby's

P ierre Bergé and Associés, in association with Sotheby’s, is selling a selection of 300 books and manuscripts from the celebrated library of Jean A. Bonna on 26 April at the Hôtel Drouot in Paris.  

Ahead of the sale there will be an opportunity to view selected lots at Sotheby’s New Bond Street from 28–30 March.

GALILEO, DISCORSI E DIMOSTRAZIONI MATEMATICHE. LEYDE, ELZEVIER, 1638. ORIGINAL EDITION: ONLY KNOWN COPY OF THE FIRST STATE. EXCEPTIONAL BINDING TO THE BAND PERFORMED BY LE GASCON FOR THE DEDICATEE OF THE WORK, FRANÇOIS DE NOAILLES (1584-1645). ESTIMATE €700,000–900,000.

Featuring works from the 15th to 20th centuries, the sale reflects the fine and varied taste of the collector, and includes many illustrated books.

The collection starts with the French Boccaccio printed by Antoine Vérard (1493) and features first editions of famous authors such as Balzac, Baudelaire, Beckett, Borges with Fervor de Buenos Aires and Luna de enfrente, both inscribed to his friend Maurice Abramovicz, Hugo, Mallarmé, Maupassant, Proust, Saint John Perse or Stendhal.

FABLES ILLUSTRATED BY BENJAMIN RABIER. PARIS, TALLANDIER, WITHOUT DATE [CA. 1910]. SUPERB BINDING DOUBLED IN VELLUM DECORATED WITH PAINTED AND MOSAIC DECORS BY ANDRÉ MARE ILLUSTRATING FOUR FABLES. ESTIMATE €10,000-15,000.

Scientific books include the magnificent dedication copy of Galileo’s Discorsi et Dimostrazioni matematiche (Leyden, 1638) bound by Le Gascon in a breathtaking contemporary red morocco “a la fanfare” binding for the Comte de Noailles, the dedicatee of this famous work.

GUSTAVE FLAUBERT, DRAFT FOR THE PREFACE OF THE MEMOIR FOR THE DEFENSE OF MADAME BOVARY, 15-30 JANUARY 1857. EXCEPTIONAL SIGNED AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT OF THIS MANIFESTO IN FAVOUR OF THE FREEDOM OF THE WRITER. ESTIMATE €40,000-60,000.

A Selection of Important Books and Manuscripts from the Library of Jean A. Bonna is in Paris on 26 April 2017.

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