The dispersal of the important literary collection of R. & B.L, a collection built over a period of sixty years, comes to an end with this final sale from June 11 to 17. This last group of books and autographs from the 19th and 20th centuries, all paying homage to French literature, will once again be organised by Sotheby's in association with the French auction house of Binoche and Giquello, with the assistance of specialist Dominique Courvoisier.
Among the most remarkable lots are the extremely rare first editions of La Nouvelle Justine and Juliette de Sade, illustrated with their extraordinary erotic engravings. For the 19th century there is L'Education sentimentale with Flaubert's inscription to the critic Janin, a copy of Hugo’s Orientales belonging to Sainte-Beuve and a pen and ink drawing of a voyage in a hot-air balloon by Victor Hugo himself. Very diverse, the catalogue also includes letters from painters (Gauguin, Monet or Pissarro) and musicians (Debussy, Liszt or Berlioz), as well as original drawings by Marie Laurencin and Aristide Maillol.
Works and Letters by Important Artists and Musicians
There are several lots dedicated to artists and musicians. Among the musicians are Hector Berlioz, Franz Liszt, Richard Strauss, Richard Wagner, and Claude Debussy, who is distinguished by a set of 21 signed autograph letters sent to André Messager, reflecting the deep esteem and friendship between the two men. Both conductor and composer, André Messager (1853-1929) conducted Pelléas and Mélisande in 1902, which Debussy dedicated to him as a sign of gratitude and this correspondence begins only a few days after the opera’s premiere.
Among the artists represented are Fernand Léger, Claude Monet, Odilon Redon as well as Paul Gauguin with a letter sent to Camille Pissarro, dated 1883. In the letter Gauguin expresses reservations about Pissarro's art and also evokes his personal difficulties at a time when he had just given up his work as a stockbroker.
And lastly, we must not forget the original drawings, notably by Alfred de Musset , Marie Laurencin, and Aristide Maillol (lots 239 to 241).