Rare Book Monthly

Articles - August - 2016 Issue

Second Session for Bergé Auction Scheduled for November

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Pierre Berge (from website of La Bibliotheque de Pierre Berge).

The second part of what may well be the greatest book sale of the 21st century so far has been scheduled for November 8 and 9 this year. It will be held in Paris at the famed auction site, the Hotel Drouet, hosted by Pierre Bergé and Associates and Sotheby's. This is the sale of the library of Pierre Bergé himself. Bergé is the former fashion company executive and longtime partner of Yves St. Laurent, now heading the art and book auction house that bears his name. The first sale, held last December, brought in almost €12 million (US $13 million) in sales. Four or five more sessions are planned to be held starting in 2017 before the sale is completed.

 

Bergé was the chief executive of Yves' St. Laurent's enormously successful fashion house. It enabled him to put together his fabulous collection of art and books. However, his love for books goes back long before the chance encounter with Yves St. Laurent which led to their forming the fashion business under St. Laurent's name. As a young man, Bergé was an avid reader. His love of reading brought him to work as sort of a runner in the book trade almost 70 years ago. In turn, he put together a small library of some of his favorite authors. While that meeting with St. Laurent quickly turned into a business, pulling Bergé away from a career in the book trade, at least until many years later, it never dampened his love for books. In the ensuing years, equipped with the type of money needed to build one of the finest collections in the world, Bergé formed the great library he possesses. But now, at the age of 85, he he has determined it is time to put most of the material out for the next generation of collectors.

 

We will not know precisely what is included in this session of the auction until the catalogue is published in September, but some information has been released. It appears that there will be 380 lots. Many of the writers are French, as in the past auction and not unexpected considering Bergé's nationality. However, he by no means limited himself to collecting French authors, so other European, English, and American writers will be included. Among the items expected is a manuscript of the Marquis de Sade's last novel, The Secret History of Isabella of Bavaria. Also offered is a manuscript of Gustave Flaubert's Over Strand and Field, recounting his 1847 tour along the Loire River and coast of Brittany with Maxime du Camp. It was not published until 1886, six years after Flaubert died. A Flaubert manuscript brought the highest price - €587,000 (US $640,000) - in the first Bergé auction.

 

Other celebrated French authors represented, often in copies autographed to other writers or other notable copies, are Balzac, Hugo, Mallarmé, and Baudelaire. A rare author's annotated copy of Promenades dans Rome by Stendhal is included. Non-French writers to be found include Tolstoy, Goethe, Wilde, Wordsworth, Shelley, Poe, Dostoyevsky, Byron, and Marx.

 

Assisting Bergé's firm and Sotheby's with the auction are book experts Stéphane Clavreuil and Benoît Forgeot. Bergé has little need himself for the funds the auction will raise. Instead, they will go to a foundation he and St. Laurent set up and for aids research.


Posted On: 2016-08-14 12:12
User Name: elysium

Drouot is the correct spelling.


Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Walt Whitman. <i>Leaves of Grass.</i> First edition, first issue, SIGNED in block letters by Whitman. 1855. $200,000 to $300,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Isaac Newton's copy of John Greave's <i>Pyramidographia,</i> London, 1646. $50,000 to $70,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Colonel John Mosby. Robert E. Lee's autograph letter to Samuel Cooper reporting on Mosby's exploits, with Cooper's autograph note ordering his appointment to Major.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Gyula Halasz Brassai. Large archive of autograph and typed letters, over 260, to his family including his wife Gilberte, 1947-1978. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Archive of drawings and letters from Harper Lee to Charles Carruth, including an inscribed first edition of <i>To Kill a Mockingbird.</i> $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 11:</b> VESALIUS, ANDREAS. 1514-1564. <i>De humani corporis fabrica libri septem.</i> Basel: Johannes Oporinus, June 1543. $300,000 to $500,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 11:</b> HARVEY, WILLIAM. 1578-1657. <i>De motu cordis & sanguinis in animalibus Anatomica Exercitatio.</i> Leiden: Joannis Maire, 1639. $25,000 to $35,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 11:</b> BERENGARIO DA CARPI, GIACOMO. 1460-1530. <i>Isagogae breves perlucide ac uberrimae in Anatomiam humani corporis.</i> Bologna: Benedictus Hectoris, 15 July 1523. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Bonhams NY, Mar 11:</b> FRANKLIN, BENJAMIN. 1706-1790. <i>Experiments and Observations on Electricity, made at Philadelphia in America…</i> London, 1769. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams NY, Mar 11:</b> BENIVIENI, ANTONIO. 1443-1502. <i>De abditis nonnullis ac mirandis morborum et sanationum causis.</i>Florence: Filippo Giunta, 1507. $8,000 to $12,000
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, <i>El Ingenioso Hildalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha . . . Nueva Edición,</i> first Ibarra edition, Madrid, 1780. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Illuminated Prayer Book in Latin and French, France, 1530-40s. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Illuminated Book of Hours in Latin, France, mid-15th century. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b><br><i>Die Ernsthaffte Christenpflicht,</i> earliest known edition of the first complete Mennonite prayer book, 1708. $300 to $500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Georg Agricola, <i>De ortu & causis subterraneorum Lib V.,</i> first edition, Basel, 1546. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Frederick Ruysch, <i>Icon durae matris in concava [convexa] superficie visae,</i> with 2 mezzotints by Jan Ladmiral, first edition, Amsterdam, 1737. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, <i>Eine Neue Art von Strahlen,</i> Würzburg, 1895. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Pietro Carrera, <i>Il Gioco de gli Scacchi,</i> first edition, Militello, 1617. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> William Lithgow, <i>The Totall Discourse, of the Rare Adventures</i> [etc.], London, 1632. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Michel de Nostradamus, <i>The True Prophecies or Prognostications,</i> first complete edition in English, London, 1672. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Pseudo-Methodius, <i>De revelatione facta . . . beato Methodio,</i> Basel, 1504. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Hrabanus Maurus, <i>De laudibus sancte crucis opus,</i> Pforzheim, 1503. $1,000 to $2,000.
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    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 28:</b> Autograph album featuring signatures by prominent actors, politicians, musicians and authors, including Rudolph Valentino. £1,000 to £1,500
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 28:</b> An extremely rare working radio script for Crazy People No 29, the first series of <i>The Goon Show.</i> £600 to £800
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 28:</b> Manuscript prayer book, in German. 8vo, 1755 £800 to £1,200
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    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 27:</b> Burton (Sir Richard Francis). <i>Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to El-Medinah and Meccah.</i> 3 vol., FIRST EDITION, 1855-56. £1,000 to £1,500
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 27:</b> [Mount (Richard) & Page (Thomas)]. <i>The English Pilot. Describing the Sea-Coasts…</i> 31 engraved maps, W. & J. Mount, T. Page, 1756 £4000 to £6000
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    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 27:</b> Loring (Josiah). Terrestrial Globe Containing all the Late Discoveries and Geographical Improvements. Boston, Gilman Joslin, 1846, £800 to £1,200
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    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Albert Einstein A remarkable letter on God in English, one of his most eloquent and quoted, 1 p, July 2, 1945. $100,000 to $150,000.
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    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Early, full printing of the Star-Spangled Banner in The Yankee, October 7, 1814. $8,000 to $12,000.
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    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Earliest known newspaper coverage of Babe Ruth, "a St Mary's schoolboy," Baltimore, April 4, 1914. $6,000 to $9,000
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