De la précieuse bibliothèque Jorge Ortiz Linares
Live Auction: 14 December 2022 • 4:00 PM CET • Paris

De la précieuse bibliothèque Jorge Ortiz Linares 14 December 2022 • 4:00 PM CET • Paris

J orge Ortiz Linares (1894 – 1965) was the Bolivian ambassador to Paris, a fitting owner for Don Quixote, a book so deeply rooted in the story of “the New World.” He was the son in law of Simón I. Patiño, also known as “The Tin King” or "The Andean Rockefeller", and one of the world’s wealthiest men of the early 20th century. The apartment he shared with his wife Graciela Patiño on 34 Avenue Foch during his long ambassadorship became one of the centres of artistic and high-society life.

Alexandre Serebriakoff, Hôtel Particulier, 34 Avenue Foch, Grand Escalier et Palier. Collection privee.
c Adagp, Paris, [1974].c Photo Julien Gremaud

He passionately collected rare books and manuscripts from early ages, focusing on two areas: his native Hispanic-American world and French literature, in time building one of the great libraries of the age. French literature of the Grand Siècle is marked here with magnificent editions of Guillaume de Lorris, Rabelais, Montaigne, Corneille, Descartes, Pascal, Racine, Molière, La Fontaine and La Rochefoucauld.

The shadow of two of the great booksellers of the 20th century hang behind this elegant, airy collection: Maggs of London for the Hispanic books, and the unforgettable Pierre Berès, for whom Jorge Ortiz Linares was one of the most loyal and secret of customers.

The most recent chapter in the history of his copy of Don Quixote begins in London almost a century ago, in Maggs, bookseller to the Kings. In the early 1930s a young man – already a passionate collector, but unknown to the booksellers at the time – walked through the door of the shop for the very first time requesting to buy great editions of Don Quixote. He left empty handed and was put on the waiting list.

Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel de
El Ingenioso hidalgo Don Quixote. Madrid, 1608 et 1615. 2 vol. in-8. Superbe ex. en rel. uniforme du XVIIIe

Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel de
El Ingenioso hidalgo Don Quixote. Madrid, 1608 et 1615. 2 vol. in-8. Superbe ex. en rel. uniforme du XVIIIe

A few years later, the phone rang at the Parisian mansion on 34 Avenue Foch. It was the same voice from Maggs: “We have a copy for you, Sir”. Ortiz crossed the Channel by plane and returned to Maggs to buy these books on December 21, 1936. That same day, he also purchased the very rare original edition of the Novelas of 1613, bound for Jérôme II Bignon (1627-1697), Grand Master of the King’s Library. One of the great books collection of the 20th century was born.

“These books may only look like “old” books, a little shrivelled. But the editions are so rare that collectors, amateurs, experts and booksellers know that these copies will only pass through their hands once in their lifetime. These texts are part of what Goethe called in 1827 the Weltliteratur, that is to say works that everyone knows, that everyone experiences, that everyone has heard of.”

Jean-Baptiste de Proyart

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Auction Highlights

The Ortiz Linares Family:

Spanish Literature

This is unquestionably the most remarkable array of works by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra which has been brought to the market for many years. The great Spanish writer is represented by the second edition published in Lisbon in 1605 by Jorge Rodriguez, who was the first to present the iconic image of Don Quixote and Sancho Pança; as well as the exceedingly remarkable Beilby Thompson-Maggs-Ortiz Linares copy of the two volumes published in 1608 and 1615. Not to mention the extremely rare first edition of Novelas ejemplares from 1613, bound by Jérôme Bignon (1627-1697). The international impact of Cervantes’ novel is illustrated by the exceptional copy of the French translation of books I and II. The 1662 copy from Brussels reminds us that Don Quixote remained popular throughout the 17th century. In addition to these two unique books, the first edition of Goya’s La Tauromaquia – which the painter Valentín Carderera gave as a gift to Théophile Gautier – is another Spanish treasure.

French Literature

French literature is represented here by a few precious copies of works from its greatest authors. Alain Chartier, a great 15th-century poet who still inspires contemporary songwriters such as Sting, unfurls his poetry through an incunabular edition in a splendid green suede binding from that period with a surprising decoration. Le Rommant de la rose by Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de Meun is presented in a folio format bound in the 17th century. François Rabelais, whose The Life of Gargantua and Pantagruel heralded Don Quixote, appears in a very precious edition from the 1540s which was bound in that period and which contains the first print of the Quart Livre. Montaigne’s Essais, Molière’s first collective edition in a period binding, plays by Corneille in contemporaneous vellum, extremely precious letters from Racine, a magnificent letter signed by Descartes and two copies of his Discours de la Méthode, as well as works by Pascal and Montesquieu, are reminders of Jorge Ortiz Linares’ passion for the Great Century

South America

A few works also illustrate Jorge Ortiz Linares’ South American origins. Examples are the not-to-be-missed period vellum copy of Florida del Ynca by Inca Garcilaso de la Vega (1539-1616), whose mother was an Incan princess, as well as Primera parte de los Commentarios reales by the same author and the French version in a beautiful lined binding. Francisco Lopez de Gomara’s Hispania Victrix appears in a binding executed for a Grand Master of the Order of Malta. An extremely precious manuscript by Melchor de Navarra y Rocafull, viceroy of Peru, describes that great Spanish province in the late 17th century.

Beautiful Bindings

A few other superb bindings remind us of Jorge Ortiz Linares’ great bibliophilia, such as the copy of Dante’s Convivio that was bound for Marie de’ Medici (lot 28), a book by Machiavel that belonged to the Comtesse de Verrue (lot 49), and the Buffon-Martinet in its shining red Morocco leather binding (lot 6).

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