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:</b> Jean de Mandeville, <i>Reysen und Wanderschafften durch das Gelobte Land,</i> Strassburg, 1488. Sold for $106,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> José González Cabrera Bueno, <i>Navegación Especulativa, y Práctica,</i> Manila, 1734. Sold for $55,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Francis W. Winton, manuscript on pow-wows with indigenous Canadians, 1881. Sold for $65,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Louise Bourgeois, <i>He Disappeared Into Complete Silence,</i> portfolio with complete text & 9 engravings, 1947. Sold for $413,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Erich Maria Remarque, <i>All Quiet on the Western Front,</i> first American edition, Boston, 1929. Sold for $9,375.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Sir William Russell Flint, gouache & watercolor illustration for Homer's <i>Odyssey,</i> 1924. Sold for $22,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Kurt Vonnegut, archive of 12 letters, signed to his family, 6 illustrated, 1930s-40s. Sold for $12,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Oscar Wilde, <i>Lady Windermere's Fan,</i> first edition, presentation copy, signed & inscribed, London, 1893. Sold for $27,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Emil Cardinaux, <i>St. Moritz,</i> 1918. Sold for $17,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> R.J. Waters, 3 panoramas of the San Francisco earthquake & fire, 1906. Sold for $21,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Album with 200 cartes-de-visite, including images by Felice Beato, John Thompson & F.W. Sutton, Japan & China, 1863-69. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Thomas Paine, <i>The American Crisis,</i> Fishkill, NY, December 1776. Sold for $40,000.
  • <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 New York: Fine Books and Manuscripts Including the World of Hilary Knight. December 5, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> KNIGHT, HILARY. The Original Portrait of Eloise that Hung at the Plaza Hotel. $100,000 to 150,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> WARHOL, ANDY. "Iced Lemon Delight," an Original Watercolor Presented to Hilary Knight's cat, Phoebe $8,000 to 12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> SENDAK, MAURICE. <i>Where the Wild Things Are.</i> PRESENTATION COPY, INSCRIBED with drawing to Hilary Knight in the month following publication. $10,000 to 15,000
    <b>Bonhams New York: Fine Books and Manuscripts Including the World of Hilary Knight. December 5, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> NOLAND, KENNETH. Original circle painting, untitled, acrylic and ink on cloth, for cover of monograph $8,000 to 12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> TOULOUSE-LAUTREC. <i>Histoires Naturelles,</i> 1899. With 22 original lithographs. $10,000 to 15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> SHAKESPEARE, WILLIAM. <i>A Collection of Poems,</i> [1711]. The first authoritative and complete collected Sonnets.$15,000 to 20,000
    <b>Bonhams New York: Fine Books and Manuscripts Including the World of Hilary Knight. December 5, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> LONDON, JACK. <i>The Call of the Wild.</i> 1903. First edition, first state jacket. $2,000 to 3,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> FROST, ROBERT. Autograph Manuscript of "Build Soil," 12 pp, 1932-1936. $15,000 to 20,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> GOULD, GLENN. Glenn Gould's extensively annotated copy of Bach's Goldberg Variations $100,000 to 150,000
    <b>Bonhams New York: Fine Books and Manuscripts Including the World of Hilary Knight. December 5, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> PLATH, SYLVIA. EARLY Autograph Letter Signed, about her beginnings as a writer, Northampton, MA, 1951. $7,000 to 10,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> HOUDINI, HARRY. A collection of 11 cast iron shackle and lock items from Houdini's personal collection. $20,000 to 30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> M4 ENGIMA MACHINE, with very rare RARE HYDRA KEY ENVELOPE. $400,000 to 600,000

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