In our December 2015 issue of Rare Book Monthly, I wrote about the first of a series of important sales being held in association with Sotheby’s comprising La bibliothèque de Pierre Bergé, the 1600 item collection amassed by Pierre Bergé of Yves Saint Laurent fame. Another session took place last year in November, and this month, the third auction, entitled Musique et Poésie, is scheduled for June 28th. The high standards of Mr. Bergé’s collecting eye are as apparent in this sale as ever.
The online catalog for Musique et Poésie has yet to be posted, but Sotheby’s is offering a peek of what’s to come.
The first highlight of the sale is a unique copy and original edition of one of German composer Richard Wagner’s last stage works, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg [The Master-Singers of Nuremberg], which is corrected and annotated by Wagner himself from the time he spent composing the opera. The book was printed in Mainz in 1862, and it carries an estimate of 60,000 to 80,000 €.
Next, a second edition of Pierre de Ronsard’s Les Amours, with comments from Marc Antoine de Muret, features the rare music booklet with a few odes from the author not yet printed. Printed in Paris in 1553, Ronsard’s work is estimated 40,000 to 60,000 €.
The last musical item from the sale being previewed is a score by Frédéric Chopin, dubbed Scherzo for piano, from 1837. The score features an autograph by Chopin to his young “virtuoso pupil” Jeanne Porte and is estimated 15,000 to 20,000 €.
The first three items are all musical items, and the final preview item falls under the poetry category. French symbolist poet Stéphane Mallarmé’s Un coup de dés jamais n’abolira le hazard [A Throw of the Dice will Never Abolish Chance] is a book with an interesting history because it was printed shortly before Mallarmé died and Mallarmé used very purposefully placed blank space and placement of words. Prior to 2004, the book had never been published with the typograph and format that Mallarmé intended. The copy being offered in the upcoming sale are the corrected proofs, handwritten and bound by Geneviève Mallarmé, and illustrated by Odilon Redon with autograph documents and lithographs by the artist. This extraordinary item is estimated 40,000 to 60,000 €.
La bibliothèque de Pierre Bergé - Musique et Poésie is a sale hosted by Pierre Bergé et Associés, in association with Sotheby’s. It is scheduled for June 28, 2017 at 2 pm CEST in Paris. As more information about the sale becomes available, it will be posted to Sotheby’s website as well as the website of Pierre Bergé et Associé.