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>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann, wallpaper sample book, circa 1919. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Archive from a late office of the Breuer & Smith architectural team, New York, 1960-70s. $3,500 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> William Morris, <i>The Story of the Glittering Plain or the Land of Living Men,</i> illustrated by Walter Crane, Kelmscott Press, Hammersmith, 1894. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustave Doré, <i>La Sainte Bible selon la Vulgate,</i> Tours, 1866. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustav Klimt & Max Eisler, <i>Eine Nachlese,</i> complete set, Vienna, 1931. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>Eric Allatini & Gerda Wegener, <i>Sur Talons Rouges,</i> with original watercolor by Wegener, Paris, 1929. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>C.P. Cavafy, <i>Fourteen Poems,</i> illustrated & signed by David Hockney, London, 1966. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jean Midolle, <i>Spécimen des Écritures Modernes...</i>, Strasbourg, 1834-35. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>E.A. Seguy, <i>Floréal: Dessins & Coloris Nouveaux,</i> Paris, 1925. $3,000 to $4,000.
  • <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> BEETHOVEN, LUDWIG VAN. Autograph Manuscript sketch-leaf part of the score of the Scottish Songs, "Sunset" Op. 108 no 2. [Vienna, February 1818]. Inscribed by Alexander Wheelock Thayer. SOLD for $131,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. SOLD for $516,500
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> EINSTEIN, ALBERT. Autograph Letter Signed ("Papa") to his son Hans Albert, discussing his involvement with the atomic bomb, September 2, 1945. SOLD for $106,250
    <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> HAMILTON, ALEXANDER. Autograph Letter Signed, to Baron von Steuben, with extensive notes of Von Steuben's aide Benjamin Walker, June 12, 1780. SOLD for $16,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. SOLD for $275,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. SOLD for $118,750
  • <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> E.H. SHEPARD, Original drawing for A.A. Milne’s The House at Pooh Corner.<br>$40,000-60,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> BERNARD RATZER, Plan of the City of New York in North America, surveyed in the years 1766 & 1767. $80,000-100,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> THOMAS JEFFERSON, Autograph letter signed comparing Logan, Tecumseh, and Little Turtle to the Spartans. Monticello: 15 February 1821. $14,000-18,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN C. FREMONT, Narrative of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, in the Year 1842.. Abridged edition, the only one containing the folding map From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $3,000-5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ZANE GREY, Album containing 94 large format photographs of Grey and party at Catalina Island, Arizona, and fishing in the Pacific. From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $5,000-$8,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> WILLIAM COMBE, A History of Madeira ... illustrative of the Costumes, Manners, and Occupations of the Inhabitants. produced by Ackermann in 1821; From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ERIC TAVERNER, Salmon Fishing... One of 275 copies signed by Taverner, published in 1931,From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN WHITEHEAD, Exploration of Mount Kina Balu, North Borneo. Whitehead reached the high point of Kinabalu in 1888. Part of a major group of travel books from the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN LONG, Voyages and Travels of an Indian Interpreter and Trader, describing the Manners and Customs of the North American Indians... The first edition of 1791. $3,000-$5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> SAMUEL BECKETT, Stirrings Still. This, Beckett’s last work of fiction with original lithographs by Le Brocquy, limited to 200 copies signed by the author and the artist. From the Estate of Howard Kaminsky.. $1,500-$2,500
  • <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>

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