Rare Book Monthly

Articles - October - 2016 Issue

Oct. 5: A Landmark Hunting Sale at Sotheby's Paris

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Highlight lots from Sotheby's Hunting Library of the Counts du Verne

Collectors with a passion for hunting have probably been salivating ever since Sotheby’s Paris announced their sale of Bibliothèque cynégétique du Verne : Vénerie, fauconnerie, chasses, or, the Hunting Library of the Counts du Verne taking place on October 5th. The material was assembled over more than 150 years by three generations of collectors: Joseph du Verne, his son Pierre du Verne, and Pierre’s daughter, Nicole du Verne-Bernis. In the realm of collectible books on hunting and hawking, this is a rare event, with Sotheby’s calling it “one of the most attractive hunting collections ever offered for sale since the sale of the Marcel Jeanson collection at Sotheby’s in Monaco in 1987.” The sale contains 271 lots of mostly books in French and spans the 15th to the 20th centuries. The evolution of hunting is well-documented, and many copies bear the markings of preceding prestigious hunting collections including Jérôme Pichon, Auguste Veinant, Baron de Lassus and Grandjean d’Alteville.

Of all the important books included in the sale, Gaston Phébus’ Des Deduiz de la Chasse des Beste Sauvaiges et des Oyseaux de Proye probably carries the most weight. Printed in Paris around 1507-1510, though composed in 1370, this treatise by Phébus was considered one of two on hunting available to French readers for nearly two centuries. This hunting book also happens to be the first book ever printed in Paris. Lot 212 is the first edition, estimated for €150,000 – 250,000, and lot 213 is the third edition, estimated for €50,000 – 70,000. A dozen copies are known of each edition.

I mentioned that Phébus’ work was one of two hunting treatises available in France for almost two centuries, and that was the case until Jacques du Fouilloux printed his La Venerie de Iaques du Fouilloux Escuyer, Seigner Dudit Lieu, Pays de Gastine, en Poitou in 1561. This is a book of equally enormous importance in the history of hunting and is considered a masterpiece of French literature on hunting with hounds. It contains 57 woodcut illustrations and is the first technical illustration on the subject of hunting. This first edition is also exceedingly rare. Rarity and a combination of both significance and illustration carries a price: lot 71 is estimated €100,000 – 150,000.

Not every item in the sale has an estimate with six digits however, and many are prints or engravings:

  • Lot 34 is a beautiful, privately printed book (70 copies produced) by the Duke of Brissac which features 17 color lithographs by Paul Jouve. It is entitled simply Chasse and bears the autographs of both the Duke and the artist. It is estimated €30,000 – 50,000.
  • Lot 151 is called Quatre Scènes de Chasse à Courre, which are four copper etchings by Pierre Landry depicting various hunting scenes. It is estimated €3,000 – 5,000.
  • Lot 228, La Chasse à Courre, Guide de l’Invité, contains 8 inset plates in color by Karl Reille. This copy is a second edition, but was printed specifically for Count Peter du Verne and contains 13 original ink drawings as well as a watercolor by Reille.

Sotheby’s sale of Bibliothèque cynégétique du Verne : Vénerie, fauconnerie, chasses will take place over two sessions on Wednesday, October 5, beginning at 10:30 am central European time and continuing the same day at 2:30 pm. The auction will be held at Sotheby’s Paris location at 76, Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 75008. The catalog can be viewed online here. Previews will be available on these days:

  • October 1: 10 am – 6 pm
  • October 2: 12 – 6 pm
  • October 3: 10 am – 6 pm
  • October 4: 10 am – 6 pm

Bidding is available in the standard methods: in person, absentee, online, and telephone. All methods require registration with Sotheby’s prior to the sale.

 

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Chiswick Auctions: Summer Books. August 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Adams (Richard). <i>Watership Down,</i> FIRST EDITION, author inscription on front free end paper, folded map tipped in, original boards, dust-jacket. £800 to £1,200
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Bowles (John). <i>Several Prospects of the Most…la Ville de Londres, avec des Remarques Historiques fort Succinctes, qui les Regardant,</i> 20 double page engraved plates only, of 23, 1724. £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Auden (W.H.). <i>Our Hunting Fathers,</i> FIRST SEPARATE EDITION, 1 of 22 copies, COPY B OF 5 PRINTED ON NORMANDIE, original patterned wrappers, Cambridge, for Frederic Prokosch, 1935. £800 to £1200
    <b>Chiswick Auctions: Summer Books. August 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Barrie (J. M.) & Attwell (Mabel Lucie, illustrator). <i>Peter Pan & Wendy,</i> FIRST EDITION, 12 chromolithograph plates, publisher's blue cloth, original printed dust jacket, [c.1920]; and 3 others (4). £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Bartolozzi (Francesco). Genius Calling Forth the Fine Arts to Adorn Manufactures and Commerce; Agriculture (Husbandry Aided by Arts and Commerce), glazed and framed. £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> A collection of engraved caricatures, including Gillray ([James]) Tales of Wonder!, 1802; Rowlandson (Thomas) Sports, Smock Racing, 1811;Irish Jaunting Carr, 1814. £400 to £600
    <b>Chiswick Auctions: Summer Books. August 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Bennett (Charles H, illustrator). <i>Æsop’s Fables,</i> 1875; Buchanan (Robert). <i>Ballad Stories of the Affections,</i> [1866]; Douce (Francis), The Dance of Death, 1833. £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Chinese Illustrations. A group of 6 Cantonese rice paper illustrations, depicting scenes of torture with different instruments, gouache, c.340 x 220mm, original wrapper boards preserved, [c. 1800]. £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Dulac (Edmund). <i>The Queen of Romania, The Dreamer of Dreams,</i> 5 coloured plates, [1915]; and others illustrated by Edmund Dulac. £300 to £400
    <b>Chiswick Auctions: Summer Books. August 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Fronth (Per). Xingu Chronicles, the portfolio, comprising 30 plates, photogravues in colours, each signed, dated and titled in pencil, each numbered 10/35, on wove paper, 790 x 600 x 60mm, 1997. £300 to £400
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> Pasternak (Boris). <i>Doctor Zhivago,</i> FIRST ENGLISH EDITION, original red publisher’s cloth, pictorial dust jacket, 4to, Collins & Harvill Press, 1958. £200 to £300
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Aug. 22:</b> 13 sepia photographs of visitors to the Thermes Nationaux d’Aix-les-Bains, c. 150 x 105mm, c.1890 (12). £300 to £400
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> first edition of the earliest extant manual on modern chess, Salamanca, circa 1496-97. Sold for $68,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Carte-de-visite album with 83 images of prominent African Americans & abolitionists, circa 1860s. Sold for $47,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Gustav Klimt, <i>Das Werk,</i> Vienna & Leipzig, 1918. Sold for $106,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Man Ray, <i>[London Transport] – Keeps London Going,</i> 1938. Sold for $149,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Thomas Jefferson, Letter Signed, to Major-General Nathanael Greene, promising reinforcements against Cornwallis, 1781. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Nicolas de Fer, <i>L’Amerique Divisee Selon Letendue de ses Principales Parties,</i> Paris, 1713. Sold for $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Russell H. Tandy, <i>The Secret in the Old Attic,</i> watercolor, pencil & ink, 1944. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ernest Hemingway, <i>Three Stories & Ten Poems,</i> first edition of the author's first book, Paris, 1923. Sold for $23,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Walker Evans, <i>River Rouge Plant,</i> silver print, 1947. Sold for $57,500.
  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>
  • <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Ernst, Max. <i>Mr. Knife and Miss Fork</i>. Paris, 1932. DELUXE EDITION. Sold for $15,625
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Cage, John. Autograph musical leaf from his Concert for Piano and Orchestra, NY, 1958. Sold for $18,750
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Cage, John. Autograph musical leaf from his Concert for Piano and Orchestra, NY, 1958. Sold for $18,750
    <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Einstein, Albert. Signed Passport Photo for his US citizenship application. Bermuda, 1935. Sold for $17,500
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Verard, Antoine. Illuminated printed Book of Hours. Paris, 1507. Sold for $7,500
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Wetterkurzschlussel. German Weather Report Codebook - for Enigma use. Berlin, 1942. Sold for $225,000
    <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Morelos y Pavon, Jose Maria. Autograph letter signed to El Virrey Venegas, February 5, 1812. Sold for $6,250
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Milne, A.A. Complete set of <i>Winnie-the-Pooh</i> books. 4 volumes. All first issue points. London, 1924-1928. Sold for $5,250
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> A 48-star American Flag, battle worn flown at Guadalcanal and Peleliu, 1942-1944. Sold for $35,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Locke, John. Autograph Letter Signed mourning the death of his friend, William Molyneaux, 2 pp, October 27, 1698. Sold for $20,000

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