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, Oct. 23:</b> SMITH, CHRISTOPHER WEBB. 1793-1871. <i>Indian Ornithology.</i> [Patna, India]: 1828. $50,000 to $80,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DUPRÉ, LOUIS. 1789-1837. <i>Voyage à Athènes et à Constantinople, ou Collection de portraits, vues et costumes grecs et ottomans.</i> Paris: Dondey-Dupré, 1825. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> ADAMS, JOHN. Autograph Letter Signed ("J Adams"), [to Dr. Perkins?] while recovering from his small pox inoculation, [late-April, 1764]. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUSTEN, JANE. Autograph Letter Signed ("J. Austen"), to her sister Cassandra, 4 pp, "Thursday – after dinner," [September 16, 1813,] Henrietta St. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUDUBON, JOHN JAMES. 1785-1851. <i>The Birds of America, from Drawings Made in the United States and Their Territories.</i> New York & Philadelphia: J.J. Audubon & J.B. Chevalier, 1840-1844. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DODWELL, EDWARD. 1767-1832. <i>Views in Greece.</i> London: Rodwell and Martin, 1821. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> JAMES, JESSE. Autograph Letter Signed ("Jesse W. James"), to Mr. Flood demanding Flood retract spurious accusations, 3 pp, June 5, 1875. $200,000 to $300,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Textile of the Great White Fleet, with portraits of Theodore Roosevelt, Rear Admiral Robley D. Evans & successor Charles Stillman Sperry, 1908. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> William J. Stone, <i>Declaration of Independence,</i> Force printing, 1833. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Shugart family papers including documentation of the Underground Railroad, 63 items, 1838-81. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Records of the Dickinson & Shrewsbury salt works, over 2000 items, with extensive slave labor correspondence, legal records & receipts, bulk 1820-1865. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Gloria Steinem, typescript for her speech <i>Living the Revolution,</i> with related letters and documents, 1941-77. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> <i>Liberty Triumphant or the Downfall of Oppression,</i> depicting the aftermath of the Boston Tea Party, c. 1774. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Juan Eusebio Nieremberg, <i>Historia naturae, maxime peregrinae, libris XVI distincta,</i> Antwerp, 1635. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Antonio de Mayorga, manuscript map of Mexico City, 1779. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Thomas L. McKenney & James Hall, <i>History of the Indian Tribes of North America,</i> first edition, 3 volumes, Philadelphia, 1842-44. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Samuel Walker, diary of the entire first cruise of the USS Kineo, a gunboat on the Mississippi, 1854-69. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Scrapbook on early Stanford football, with letters from Walter Camp, 1893-95 & 1931. $8,000 to $12,000.
  • <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Roberts, David. Twenty Lithographs of the Holy Land, 19th Century. $2,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Declaration by the Reps. of the United Colonies of N.A. 1775. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Composer Jerome Kern personal Letters, Albums and Other. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Paine, Thomas. <i>Common Sense,</i> London 1776. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Stowe, Harriet Beecher. <i>Uncle Tom’s Cabin,</i> Cleveland 1852. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Hobbes, Thomas. <i>Leviathan,</i> 3rd edition, London 1651. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Anno Regni Georgii III. Intolerable Acts and other Bills, 1774. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Wilberforce, William. An Abstract of the Evidence, 5 Letters, and two books. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Nightingale, Florence. Notes on Nursing and Signed Letters, ca. 1860 $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Tolstov, Leo. <i>War and Peace,</i> 5 volumes, 1886. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Dickinson, John. Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania, 1768. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Twain, Mark. <i>Tom Sawyer,</i> 1877 [and] <i>Huckleberry Finn,</i> 1885. $4,000 to $6,000.

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