Livres et Manuscrits
Online Auction: 30 November–8 December 2021 • 2:00 PM CET • Paris

Livres et Manuscrits 30 November–8 December 2021 • 2:00 PM CET • Paris

Auction Highlights

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Germinal in the Theatre, Zola's Crusade against Censorship
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The Writer's Work: Literary Manuscripts and Corrected Proofs

Among the literary manuscripts, in addition to the theatrical adaptation of Germinal (see focus above), there is Cocteau's Mystère Laïc with sketches and drawings, several of which are erotic in nature, in which the writer ardently defends De Chirico, who was strongly attacked by the Surrealists. Also to be found are the corrected proofs alongside final proofs of the first edition of Bourlinguer by Blaise Cendrars with a handwritten note to his publisher, Guy Tosi.

From Around the World: Travelogues through the Centuries

The sale includes several travel books, including twelve reports from Jesuit priests in Canada between 1639 and 1672, an inexhaustible and essential source for the history of Nouvelle-France in the 17th century. At the end of the 17th century, another Jesuit, Joachim Bouvet, left us a marvellous testimony of his stay in China with L'Estat présent de la Chine (1697) decorated with magnificent engraved plates heightened with watercolour and gold, showing princes, princesses, Tartar duchesses and countesses, bonzes, war officers, etc. in sumptuous dress. The copy of this rare book comes from the library of the famous sculptor Edme Bouchardon. Also included in the sale are the famous voyages of Saint-Non to Naples and Sicily, and that of Melling to Constantinople and the shores of the Bosphorus. And finally, the remarkable book by Prisse d'Avennes, the abundantly illustrated L'Art arabe d'après les monuments du Kaire, the most important work of the 19th century entirely devoted to Arab art.

Artists' Books in Beautiful Bindings

When books that are so perfectly illustrated by Toulouse-Lautrec, Derain, Picasso, Jouve, Giacometti, or Staël are covered with beautiful bindings by Pierre Legrain, Pierre-Lucien Martin, Jean de Gonet or Georges Leroux, and when these copies are often the first edition or accompanied by a drawing or an additional suite, then all the criteria of the highest standards of bibliophily have been met.

Love and Friendship, Anger and Admiration – Writers’ Personal Correspondence 

Through inscriptions, letters and correspondence, Hugo, Flaubert, Monet and Bataille proclaim in turn their love, friendship, admiration or anger.

Flaubert, in a long and admirable letter to Louise Colet, written when he was working on Madame Bovary, sends his muse literary advice while castigating Lamartine. An exceptional copy of the first edition of Hugo's Quatre-vingt-treize bears a double inscription to Juliette Drouet, his mistress, and to the then twelve year old Pauline Ménard, future wife of Georges Hugo, the poet's grandson. Three autograph letters from Bataille reveal the mysterious and passionate relationship between the writer and the sculptor Isabelle Waldberg, and two works show his friendship with René Char. The first edition of Romances sans paroles was a gift from the poet to Georges Landry, a great friend of Barbey and Léon Bloy, who annotated the copy.

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