Rare Book Monthly

Articles - September - 2019 Issue

Sep. 24: Artist books and other Italian material at Il Ponte Casa d'Aste


Highlights from Il Ponte Casa d'Aste's September sale

On September 24, 2019, Il Ponte Casa d’Aste’s sale of Books and Manuscripts is bringing 230 lots of interesting and varied material to auction in Milan. Some of the highlight sections include artist books, material celebrating the 50thanniversary of NASA’s first mission to the moon, etched and engraved views of Italian cities, and early Italian books.


Il Ponte names the top lot of the sale as one of ninety-nine copies ad personam of Salvador Dalì’s Bible. Printed by Rizzoli and embellished by Dalì with an original guache, it is estimated €40.000 to €60.000 as lot 211. Artist books are a strong category in general. Bad boys by Keith Haring, a proof printed by the artist that includes six signed and numbered lithographs (est. €7.000 to €10.000 as lot 221) and two sets of Joan Mirò lithographs Je travaille comme un Jardinier of 1963 (est. €1.500 to €2.000 as lot 223) and Le courtesan grotesque of 1974 (est. €1.800 to €2.500 as lot 224).


As an Italian auction house, Il Ponte’s focus is its home country, and lot 193 is a fascinating set of five flyers thrown out over Vienna by the air squadron La Serenissima led by Gabriele d’Annunzio on the 9thof August, 1918. Most sales of these flyers are from planes that never flew due to mechanical difficulties. This set was actually dropped, in lieu of bombs. These five flyers are estimated €2.000 to €3.000 as lot 193. Staying close to home, great maps, views, and architecture of Italy make up the first sixty lots of the sale. The first highly detailed map of Milan is the first lot of the sale: the Mappa Degli astronomi di Brera (est. €1.500 to €2.500).


Among the oldest books included in the sale, two volumes from Aldo Manuzio lead the pack. Omnio Opera by Poilitian, an incunabulum from 1494, marks the first appearance of Hebrew characters in an Aldina (est. €7.000 to €10.000 as lot 127), and Hirodotou logoi ennea, oiper epikalountai Mousai of 1502 is the first printed edition of the Persian wars by Erodoto (est. €8.000 to €12.000 as lot 102).


Il Ponte Casa d’Aste’s sale of Fine Books and Manuscripts is scheduled for 3pm Central European Time on Tuesday, September 24, 2019. Viewings in Milan will take place September 19-21. The entire catalog is viewable in English here, and in Italian here.


The following lots were selected by Il Ponte Casa d’Aste to be displayed:


DALI, Salvador(1904-1989)

Biblia Sacra vulgatae editionis. Rome: Rizzoli-Mediolani, 1967-1969.
One of the 99 copies ad personam consists of 5 volumes in folio richly illustrated with 105 color lithographs.

Estimate € 40.000-60.000


ERODOTO (484-430 a.C.)

Hirodotou logoi ennea, oiper epikalountai Mousai. Herodoti libri nouem quibus musarum indita sunt nomina. Venezia: Aldo Manuzio, 1502.
Editio princeps of Herodotus’ History of the Persian Wars issued by da Aldo Manuzio in the same year as the princeps of Thucydides, using the same same paper stocks and typeface.

Estimate € 8.000-12.000


POLIZIANO, Angelo (1454-1494)

Omnia Opera Angeli Politiani. Venice: Aldo Manuzio Romano, 1498.
Copy with large margins onstrong paper for this elegant first edition by Aldus. It is the first collected edition of a contemporary author and it is remembered also for the elegant font printed in Latin, Greek and for the first time in Hebrew. 

Estimate € 7.000-10.000


[D'ANNUNZIO Gabriele]

Flight over Vienna, the lot consist of 5 flyers: "Viennesi!"; "Wiener!"; "Non è vero"; "Es ist nicht wahr"; "In questo mattino d'Agosto". [Abano: Tipografia militare, 1918]:
An iconic group of flyers thrown over Vienna on 9 Augusto 1918 by the 7 bombers of the squadron "La Serenissima" lead by D’Annunzio. 
Estimate € 2.000-3.000


PACIAUDI, Paolo Maria Paciaudi (1710-1785) - Descrizione delle feste celebrate in Parma l'anno 1769. Per le auguste nozze di sua altezza reale l'infante Don Ferdinando colla reale arciduchessa Maria Amalia. Parma: Giambattista Bodoni, [1769].

One of the most extraordinary books printed by Bodoni and written at the beginning of his career in collaboration with Ennemond Alexandre Petitot (1727-1801), first Architect of the Duchy of Parma since 1753. This grandiose and famous work illustrates and describes in great detail the shows set up for the wedding of Ferdinand I of Bourbon, Duke of Parma, to Maria Amalia of Hapsburg-Lorraine, Archduchess of Austria, in 1769, for which Petitot had designed architectural projects, sets and attires, here in a masterfully reproduced etching by Benigno Bossi  and other masters of the time. Bodoni’s elegant layout complements the spectacular engravings and the book was a huge success: “The most attractive of all Bodoni’s books for the beauty of the figures" Brooks 6. Excellent copy on strong paper.

Estimate € 2.000-3.000


[ASTRONOMI DI BRERA]La pianta della città di Milano Milano: Amministrazione municipale, 1814.

Very good copy of the Map of Milan in perfect condition. The plan is almost identical to the one produced by the Brera astronomers in 1807, which is undated, and titled "Pianta di Milano. Capitale del Regno d'Italia". Some small differences are in the street numberings; in the 1814 plan what was previously Villa Bonaparte lost this definition (currently the Villa Reale) so that the Contrada Bonaparte (the current Via Palestro) is renamed Strada Risara.

Estimate € 1.800-2.500


MIRÓ, Joan (1893-1983)

[A SERIES OF LITHOGRAPHS FROM:] Le courtisan grotesque. Parigi: Iliazd, 1974. A series of lithographs from the work by Mirò and Je travaille comme un jardinier. Parigi: XXe Siecle, 1963.
One of the copies on Japan paper signed by the artist, unnumbered, from a limited edition of 145 copies.

Estimate € 1.800-2.500


MANZONI, Alessandro(1785-1873) - I Promessi sposi Storia milanese del secolo XVII scoperta e rifatta. Milano: Vincenzo Ferrario, 1825-26.

First edition, one of the early states: with the correction “di questa storia” (p. 378, vol. III), but  with the wording "gioia carnale" yet unchaged to "gioia mondana" (p. 330, vol. III) and substituted by the author in some copies in the course of printing. "Ventisettana" is the term used to indicate the edition of the  Promessi Sposi issued in 1827, but whose title pages show the dates of 1825-26.

Estimate € 1.000-1.500


MANZONI, Alessandro(1785-1873) - I promessi sposi. Storia milanese del secolo XVII scoperta e rifatta da Alessandro Manzoni. Edizione riveduta dall'Autore. Storia della Colonna Infame inedita. Milano: Guglielmini e Redaelli, 1840.

A good copy with the original “percallina"  binding of the definitive edition after the "risciacquatura in Arno" and the first to be illustrated, with the  Storia della Colonna Infame published for the first time. The illustrations are by Francesco Gonin, Paolo e Luigi Riccardi, Massimo D'Azeglio and engraved on wood by Bernard Pollet, Sheeres and Luigi Sacchi.

Estimate € 500-800


[LUNA - APOLLO]. Manuale della NASA sulla missione dell'Apollo 8: "Apollo 8 Mission Report, MSC-PA-R-69-1". Houston: Manned Spacecraft Center, 1969.
Estimate € 800-500


[ALPINISMO]- Bollettino del Club Alpino Italiano. Torino: Candeletti, 1874-93; L'Alpinista. Torino: Candeletti, 1875-76; Statuto del C.A.I. Torino: Candeletti, 1875; C.A.I. Regolamento della sezione di Torino. Torino: Candeletti, 1875.

Large collection of the official  C.A.I. (Club Alpino Italiano) review illustrated by numerous fine plates of mountains, landscapes, flora, fauna and ascents. Important testimony of the birth of Italian mountaineering.

Estimate€ 500-800


COLLODI, Carlo(alias of Carlo Lorenzini, 1826-1890) - Le Avventure di Pinocchio. Firenze: Felice Paggi, 1887.

The third edition of the most famous and sought-after children’s book, illustrated by Enrico Mazzanti, and printed just 4 years after the famous edition published by Felice Paraggi in Florence in 1883.

Estimate € 500-800


[FUTURISMO]- Il nuovo teatro Futurista. Milano: Taveggia, [1924].

Rare poster of the company’s première of the "Nuovo Teatro Futurista” in which "Anakam (or Aniccham) del 2000" by Depero and Casavola, and "Psicologia di macchine" by Prampolini and Mix  were represented for the first time. Important testimony of futuristic avant-garde theater.

Estimate € 300-400



Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Swann Auction Galleries<br>Edward Hopper & His Contemporaries:<br>Making a Modern American Art<br>June 30, 2022
    <b>Swann June 30:</b> Edward Hopper, <i>The Railroad,</i> etching, 1922. $70,000 to $100,000.
    <b>Swann June 30:</b> Edward Hopper, <i>Sheet of Studies with Men in Hats and a Saloon Keeper,</i> pen, ink & pencil, circa 1900-05. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann June 30:</b> Edward Hopper, <i>Night Shadows,</i> etching, 1921. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <center><b>Swann Auction Galleries<br>Edward Hopper & His Contemporaries:<br>Making a Modern American Art<br>June 30, 2022
    <b>Swann June 30:</b> John Marin, <i>Woolworth Building, No. 2,</i> etching & drypoint, 1913. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann June 30:</b> Charles Demuth, <i>Tulips,</i> watercolor & pencil, 1924. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Swann June 30:</b> Edward Hopper, <i>Under Control,</i> gouache, ink & wash, circa 1907-10. $30,000 to $50,000.

Article Search

Archived Articles

Ask Questions