S panning the period from the 16th to the 21st century, this sale brings together an outstanding variety of books and manuscripts, mixing literature, magnificent bindings, modern and contemporary illustrated books and photographs.
In 1771, Marie Joséphine Louise de Savoie married the Count of Provence, future Louis XVIII and younger brother of Louis XVI.
She had a library in both Versailles and in her country residence in Montreuil, and shared with her husband a taste for literature and the arts. Her library consisted of more than 1600 volumes that were dispersed during the Revolution.
Carefully bound in red morocco with her coat of arms, her books show the eclecticism of her taste: belles-lettres, history, geography, science, theology, music, etc.
By 1780, the Countess of Provence had acquired a vast estate in Versailles, the Grand Montreuil, where she liked to retire far from the tumult of the court. She had the park there designed in the English style, punctuated by numerous architectural features, including the music pavilion, built in 1784 by the architect Chalgrin.
Since the 1970s, the owners of the pavilion have been working to revive this elegant building, the only remaining vestige of the Grand Montreuil. Over the years they have acquired numerous books from the princess's library, keeping these works beautifully conserved and attempting to reconstruct the environment as it was in her time.
From the collection of an eminent bibliophile, these works have been illustrated by the greatest modern artists (Picasso, Matisse, Derain, Jouve, Denis), and covered with exceptional bindings by Pierre Legrain, Paul Bonet, and Pierre-Lucien Martin. The binding of The Jungle Book is adorned by a very beautiful lacquer by Dunand and a very rare silver plate sculpted by Jouve. Only eight books in all, but each one absolutely exceptional!
Among the twenty or so contemporary volumes there is a beautiful group from the publishing house of Éditions du Solstice illustrated by Louise Bourgeois, Daniel Buren, Barceló, Penone, Araki, Moriyama, Lüpertz and Houellebecq, as well as other exciting works to discover by Zao Wou-Ki, Broodthaers, Boltanski and Marclay.
Among the antiquarian books are a rare incunabulum from the library of the Duc of La Vallière, a first Brussels edition and a first Italian edition of Don Quixote, a first edition of Montaigne's first publication (La Théologie naturelle de Raymond Sebon, Paris, 1569). In addition, the sale includes beautiful bindings from the 17th and 18th centuries: a magnificent fanfare style binding from the Rocolet workshop, the 1786 almanac in a luxurious cover bearing the Lavoisier coat of arms, as well as a collection of lithographs of Brittany views elegantly bound for the Duchess of Berry.
From Stendhal to Proust, the catalogue includes several beautiful first editions with inscriptions.