Rare Book Monthly

Articles - October - 2016 Issue

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

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

  • Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Winston Churchill. The Second World War. Set of First-Edition Volumes. 6,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: A.A. Milne, Ernest H. Shepard. A Collection of The Pooh Books. Set of First-Editions. 18,600 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Salvador Dalí, Lewis Carroll. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Finely Bound and Signed Limited Edition. 15,000 USD
    Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ian Fleming. Live and Let Die. First Edition. 9,500 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter Series. Finely Bound First Printing Set of Complete Series. 5,650 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ernest Hemingway. A Farewell to Arms. First Edition, First Printing. 4,200 USD
  • Manuscript Masterpieces from the Schøyen Collection
    London auction, 11 June
    BROWSE NOW
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Holkham Hebrew Bible. In Hebrew, decorated manuscript on vellum [Toledo, 2nd quarter 13th century]. £1,500,000–3,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Crosby-Schøyen Codex. In Coptic, manuscript on papyrus [Upper Egypt, middle 3rd century / 4th century]. £2,000,000–3,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Geraardsbergen Bible. In Latin, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Southern Netherlands, late 12th century]. £700,000–1,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now : Jean de Courcy (fl. 1420). The Chronique de la Bouquechardiere. In French, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Paris, c.1480]. £200,000–300,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The ‘Catherine de Medici’ Hours. In Latin and French, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Paris, c.1485]. £120,000–180,000
  • Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Potter (Beatrix). Complete set of four original illustrations for the nursery rhyme, 'This pig went to market', 1890s. £60,000 to £80,000.
    Forum, May 30: Dante Alighieri.- Lactantius (Lucius Coelius Firmianus). Opera, second edition, Rome, 1468. £40,000 to £60,000.
    Forum, May 30: Distilling.- Brunschwig (Hieronymus). Liber de arte Distillandi de Compositis, first edition of the so-called 'Grosses Destillierbuch', Strassburg, 1512. £22,000 to £28,000.
    Forum, May 30: Eliot (T.S.), W. H. Auden, Ted Hughes, Philip Larkin, Robert Lowell, Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, & others. A Personal Anthology for Eric Walter White, 60 autograph poems. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum, May 30: Cornerstone of French Enlightenment Philosophy.- Helvetius (Claude Adrien). De l'Esprit, true first issue "A" of the suppressed first edition, Paris, 1758. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Szyk (Arthur). The Haggadah, one of 125 copies, this out-of-series, Beaconsfield Press, 1940. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Fleming (Ian). Casino Royale, first edition, first impression, 1953. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Japan.- Ryusui (Katsuma). Umi no Sachi [Wealth of the Sea], 2 vol., Tokyo, 1762. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Computing.- Operating and maintenance manual for the BINAC binary automatic computer built for Northrop Aircraft Corporation 1949, Philadelphia, 1949. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Burmese School (probably circa 1870s). Folding manuscript, or parabaik, from the Court Workshop at the Royal Court at Manadaly, Burma, [c.1870s]. £8,000 to £12,000.
  • Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    K. Marx, Das Kapital,1867. Dedication copy. Est: € 120,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Latin and French Book of Hours, around 1380. Est: € 25,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Theodor de Bry, Indiae Orientalis, 1598-1625. Est: € 80,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Breviary, Latin manuscript, around 1450-75. Est: € 10,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    G. B. Piranesi, Vedute di Roma, 1748-69. Est: € 60,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    K. Schmidt-Rottluff, Arbeiter, 1921. Orig. watercolour on postcard. Est: € 18,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Breviarium Romanum, Latin manuscript, 1474. Est: € 20,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    C. J. Trew, Plantae selectae, 1750-73. Est: € 28,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    M. Beckmann, Apokalypse, 1943. Est: € 50,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Ulrich von Richenthal, Das Concilium, 1536. Est: € 9,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    I. Kant, Critik der reinen Vernunft, 1781. Est: €12,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Arbeiter-Illustrierte Zeitung (AIZ) / Die Volks-Illustrierte (VI), 1932-38. Est: €8,000

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