Rare Book Monthly

Articles - November - 2016 Issue

Nov 8 & 9: Round 2 for La Bibliothèque de Pierre Bergé

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Highlight lots from the second sale of La Bibliothèque de Pierre Bergé

A little less than a year ago I wrote an auction preview for the first sale of La Bibliothèque de Pierre Bergé, which is the collection of French industrialist and co-founder of Yves Saint Laurent Couture House, Pierre Bergé, that is being auctioned off over a series of sales lasting into 2017. The first sale was a tremendous success, containing seven of Rare Book Hub’s top 50 most valuable auction lots of 2015. The material consistently topped high estimates, with two particularly shocking results being a drawing by Victor Hugo selling for over €500.000 after an initial estimate of €50.000-80.000 and a copy of Charles Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du Mal fetching €282.450 after an estimate of €40.000-60.000.

This month, in conjunction with Sotheby’s Paris, La Bibliothèque de Pierre Bergé is back for round two. The auction is set to take place November 8th and 9th and features 376 lots broken into four sections:

  1. Precursors, containing pre-romantic material, noir fiction, and material by the Marquis de Sade.
  2. Romanticism.
  3. Material by Gustave Flaubert.
  4. Modern material by realists and dreamers.

Highlights of the sale are numerous. The item with the single highest estimate is an autograph manuscript by Flaubert of Par les Champs et les Grèves (Voyage en Bretagne), an account of his travels in Britain with Maxime du Camp. The manuscript is heavily annotated and revised throughout, serving as Flaubert’s working copy, and carries an estimate of €400.000-600.000.

The collection of Bergé was amassed over fifty years, with an eye and a passion for the material that few, if any, possess. This fact, combined with a financial situation conducive to collecting allowed him to acquire the best of the best for subjects he focused on. The following items are but a few indicators of the quality of his collection:

  1. A first edition copy of Victor Hugo’s La Légende des Siècles and the only copy printed on vellum. Est. €60.000-80.000.
  2. Another copy of Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du Mal, this one a better copy than the lot offered in the first sale. It was bound by Lortic, Baudelaire’s favorite binder and contains an inscription to Alcide-Pierre Grandguillot, chief editor of the Constitutionnel du Pays. Est. €100.000-150.000.
  3. A first edition of Arthur Schopenhauer’s Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung, and the only known copy in private hands of the rare larger paper printing. Est. €40.000-60.000.
  4. A first edition of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, one of 795 copies printed at the author’s expense and one of 599 bound in green cloth. Est. €40.000-50.000.
  5. A first edition of Oscar Wilde’s The Ballad of Reading Gaol, one of 30 large paper copies on Japan paper and contains a four page signed autograph letter by Wilde to his editor Leonard Smythers.
  6. A rare first trade edition of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment [in Russian] in its original first Russian binding. Est. €30.000-40.000.
  7. A first edition set of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace [in Russian], containing all six volumes. Est. €20.000-30.000.

I made mention in my preview of the first sale that there are a number of videos featuring Bergé discussing his collecting. They have been added to in the last eleven months and are very interesting. You can view them here.

The second sale of La Bibliothèque de Pierre Bergé takes place November 8 and 9, 2016 with both sessions at 2:00 PM CET at Hôtel Drouot in Paris. The entire catalog of 376 lots can be viewed here.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Newton. <i>Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica</i>. London, 1687.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Josephus. <i>De antiquitate Judaica.</i> Lubeck, 1475-76.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Carlerius. <i>Sporta fragmentorum, Sportula fragmentorum</i>. Brussels, 1478-79.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Fridolin. <i>Der Schatzbehalter</i>. Nuremberg, 1491.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Pinder. <i>Der beschlossen gart des rosenkrantz marie</i>. Nuremberg, 1505.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Isidorus Hispalensis. <i>Synonyma de Homine</i>. Nuremberg, 1470-71.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Durer. Sammelband including <i>Underweysung der messing</i>. Nuremberg, 1525-29.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 19: 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28: Printed & Manuscript Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 5: African-American Fine Art</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 17: Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 19:<br>Art & Storytelling: Photographs & Photobooks</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 26: Rare & Important Travel Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 2:<br>Old Master Through Modern Prints</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 7: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14: 19th & 20th Century Literature</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 16: Contemporary Art</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 5:<br>Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 14: Illustration Art</b>
  • <b>Announcing a new Books for Sale platform hosted by Biblio</b>
    <b>List your books simultaneously on Rare Book Hub and Biblio</b>
  • <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Exodus 10:10 to 16:15. Complete Biblical scroll sheet in Hebrew, a Torah scroll panel. Middle East, ca. 10th or 11th century.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Copernicus Refuted. (Astronomy.). Scientific manuscript of a course of studies at Collège de la Trinité, Lyon. 1660s.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Israel’s War of Independence and the Early Days of the IDF. 58 photographs presented to Israel Ber, IDF officer and later convicted spy.
    <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Early Unpublished Darwin letter on the races of man. Autograph Letter Signed [to Henry Denny]. Down, Kent, June 1, [1844].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Classic Image of American Slavery. Kimball, M. H. <i>Emancipated Slaves</i>. New York: George Hanks, 1863.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> (Underground Railroad.) Scaggs, Isaac. Important Runaway Slave Poster: $500 Reward Ran away, or decoyed from the subscriber…

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