Four autograph poetical manuscripts and one letter signed ("Niembsch" and "Nikolaus Lenau"), c.1837-1842
1) Autograph working manuscript of the 'Tubal' section of his epic poem Savonarola, with divergences from the first edition, 57 strophes, five strophes inserted later by Lenau in the margins, autograph title ("Tubal."), with additional corrections ("...Die Stadt ruht schweigend hingebreitet / In Mitternacht und Mondesglanz / Des Domes Thürmer einsam schreitet /Auf seinem hohen Thurmeskranz..."), 6 pages, 4to (26.4 x 21.7cm), Whatman paper (“1836"), the first and third leaves with pencil gathering numbers (?) in the upper outer corners ("11" and "12"), no place or date [1836-1837], splitting along folds, browning, a few small stains, [Cf. Nikolaus Lenau, Savonarola. Ein Gedicht, (Stuttgart and Tübingen, 1837), pp.106ff.] 2) Autograph manuscript of the poem "Das Dilemma", the complete poem, beginning "Er streckt dir sein Dilemma stracks entgegen", comprising four strophes in all, 2 pages, 4to (25 x 19.5cm), no place or date [c.1842 or later], foliation number ("7"), a few small stains, light browning, [Sämtliche Werke und Briefe (1970), I, 211-212
3) Autograph manuscript of the poem "An Natalie", the complete poem in seven strophes, with autograph title ("An Natalie, / die Wittwe meines Freundes Fr. Kleyle"), beginning "Nach einem heftigen Gewitter", with one cancellation, 2 pages, 4to (22 x 17.3cm), name added at end in another hand ("Nicolaus Lenau"), no place or date [c.1837?], traces of mount to verso, old repair to horizontal fold, [Sämtliche Werke, I. 304-305].
4) Autograph letter signed ("Niembsch"), to his friend Max von Löwenthal ("Lieber Freund"), concerning the proofs of a collection of his friend's poems, which he is enclosing [not included here], requesting that he return the proofs to him as he has not yet gone through them, asking for a second copy and sending his compliments to the countess his wife ("...Hier erhältst du einen Probeabdruck deiner Gedichtsammlung. Mir gefällt er ganz gut..."), 1 page, [Not in Castle, "Lenau und die Familie Löwenthal" (Leipzig, 1906)]
5) Autograph album-leaf, signed ("...Bist du ein Strichvogel, so pickt deine Nuß auf deinem Zweiglein in Frieden, mache dich aber nicht lustig über den Vogel höheren Gattung”), 1 page, overall size 13.8 x 22cm, cut down from a larger leaf, mounted on card, split along central fold repaired, upper right-hand corner detached from mount and slightly torn, [Sämtliche Werke, I, 350-351.]
RARE: These manuscripts by Lenau (1802-1850), are the most important by Austria's leading Romantic poet to appear at auction in recent times.
Nikolaus Lenau, pseudonym of Nikolaus Franz Niembsch, Edler von Strehlenau, is perhaps best known today for his shorter lyrics, many of which were set to music, such as the Schilflieder cycle of 1832. His epic poem Savonarola, which deals with his unremitting and ultimately fruitless quest for order and constancy in life, was written between his Faust, of 1836, and his Don Juan, published as a fragment after his death. The present manuscript, which comprises the whole of the 'Tubal' section of Savonarola, is notable as a working draft, and as such contains some differences - see strophes 2 and 26 - from the Cotta first edition of 1837.
Condition is described in the main body of the cataloguing, where appropriate.
We are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE.