Rare Book Monthly

Articles - February - 2019 Issue

At Christie’s Paris on 20 February: Exceptional Material

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On 20 February 2019, at 9, avenue Matignon, in Paris, Christie’s will sell to the highest bidder the Bibliotheque Marc Litzler.  They have prepared a significant catalogue that suggests confidence in both the material and the potential outcomes.

 

Collecting is a very individual, usually private undertaking.  It is wrought with risks for it is often dependent on the judgment and honesty of dealers who know, from long experience, that collectors, even when shellacked, will never say a word because they are embarrassed.  It happens too often.  But there are also many honest dealers who provide expert advice that protects the collector and educates them on the finer points of condition, rarity and importance.  Among these collectors some will excel.  In the upcoming sale of Bibliotheque Marc Litzler at Christie’s on February 20th we’ll see the financial outcome of such a focused, quality-driven approach.  As often happens, such collections go to auction because they have achieved a scale and significance that enflames the imaginations of collectors, collecting institutions and dealers.  That spark is necessary for many collectors fear auction-room judgments.  Mr. Litzler’s commitment to public sale says he’s ready for a fair accounting.

 

The catalogue is massive, beautifully wrought, and printed on thick paper.  This is the form of catalogue every collector hopes they will someday have on their library shelf to illustrate their collecting achievements.  Mr. Litzler now has his catalogue and judgment is just a few weeks away.

 

Those who collect in the French style are usually condition obsessed, the rest of the world not-so-much.  For the French such collecting is about unusual bindings, important association copies and extravagant rarity.  In this sale all these elements converge as a “mélange exceptionnel.”

 

The estimates are eclectic.  Lots that will bring more than one hundred thousand euros rest comfortably near lots estimated at two thousand.  In my experience the continental buyer is untroubled by high or low reserves because they have clear opinions about the actual value.

 

In total there are 248 lots.  If you win any of the lots request a copy of the catalogue for each item because these lots, when they randomly return to the rooms in the decades ahead, will gain immeasurably from their having been purchased at this sale.  Inclusion of a copy of this sale catalogue will add cachet to the provenance and thousands of euros to the outcomes.

 

Bonne chance!

 

Click here to go to lot 1.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Darwin, Charles. <i>On the Origin of Species.</i> Presentation Copy. Sold for $500,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Darwin, Charles. Autograph Letter Signed, 3 pp, negotiating the 2nd American edition with Appleton. Sold for $21,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Hemingway, Ernest. Autograph Letter Signed, 8 pp, Paris, 1924, to his father discussing Bullfighting, Stories, and his new baby. Sold for $25,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Corialanus.</i> London, 1623. 1st printing [Extracted from the First Folio]. Sold for $50,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Swift, Jonathan. <i>Gulliver's Travels.</i> London, 1726. 1st edition, Teerink's A edition, fine, large copy. Sold for $21,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Fitzroy, Robert. Autograph Letter Signed to agent Thomas Stilwell, informing him of the progress of H.M.S. Beagle. Sold for $17,575.
    <center><b>Bonhams<br> Property from the Collection of Nicole and William R. Keck II</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Sonnets.</i> 1901. 2 volumes. Printed on vellum and illuminated by Ross Turner, bound by Trautz-Bauzonnet. Sold for $13,825.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Beardsley, Aubrey. <i>The Birth, Life, and Acts of King Arthur.</i> 1893-94. 2 volumes. Contemporary painted vellum gilt by Chivers. Sold for $5,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Assisi, St. Francis. <i>The Canticle of Brother Sun.</i> Illuminated on vellum, for the Grolier Society. Sold for $7,575.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Rackham, Arthur. <i>Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens.</i> 1/500 copies signed by Rackham. Sold for $4,825.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Proust, Marcel. <i>Du coté de chez Swann.</i> 1st edition, 1st issue. Inscribed by Proust. Sold for $8,825.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ian Fleming, <i>Goldfinger,</i> first edition, inscribed to Sir Henry Cotton, MBE, London, 1959. Sold for $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Joseph Brant, Mohawk Chief, ALS, writing after pledging support to King George III against American rebels, 1776. Sold for a record $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Sonia Delaunay, <i>Ses Peintures</i> . . ., 20 pochoir plates, Paris, 1925. Sold for a record $13,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Diana, Princess of Wales, 6 autograph letters signed to British <i>Vogue</i> editor, 1989-92. Sold for $10,400.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Alexander Hamilton, ALS, as Secretary of the Treasury covering costs of the new U.S. Mint, 1793. Sold for $12,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Benjamin Graham & David L. Dodd, <i>Security Analysis,</i> first edition, inscribed by Graham to a Wall Street trader, NY, 1934. Sold for $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> George Barbier & François-Louis Schmied, <i>Personnages de Comédie,</i> Paris, 1922. Sold for $9,375.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Alphonse Mucha, <i>Ilsée, Princesse de Tripoli,</i> Paris, 1897. Sold for a record $13,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ralph Waldo Emerson, <i>The Dial,</i> first edition of the reconstituted issue, Emerson’s copy with inscriptions, Cincinnati, 1860. Sold for a record $3,250.

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