Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - March - 2019 Issue

Valuable and Unusual Books, Autographs, Music and Photographs from Librairie Métamorphoses

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The latest from Librairie Métamorphoses.

Librairie Métamorphoses has released a catalogue of Livres Précieux ou Curieux, Autographes, Musique & Photographies (valuable and unusual books, autographs, music and photographs). Métamorphoses is a Parisian bookseller, and the material, as well as the catalogue, is in French. You will need to understand the language, and better than I, to fully appreciate this catalogue. Many of the works come from French surrealists, and surrealist writing is hard to understand in a language you can read, let alone one you cannot. I beg your indulgence for shortcomings of a review of a catalogue where my understanding is limited to a few words. I will not attempt to describe the personal letters and inscriptions, of which there are many, as they require greater translation skills. Suffice it to say there are handwritten notes from many important French writers of the past few centuries. For examples of what is in the catalogue, I will stick with items less demanding of translations.


I will start with an item needing the least of such skills - a photograph. The photograph is of Guillaume Apollinaire. He is seen lying in a hospital bed, his head bandaged. For those fascinated by surrealism, you can't ask for much more than this in terms of photography. It was Apollinaire who created the term "surrealism" to describe the then new genre of works beyond the realm of the real. He used the term to describe others' works, but Apollinaire was already an established poet as well as a correspondent when he first used that term in 1917. Apollinaire served during the First World War, which explains this hospital photograph. He received a head wound from which he was recuperating when the photograph was taken in May 1916. Unfortunately, he never fully regained his strength and in his weakened state, succumbed to an influenza epidemic in 1918. Item 3. Priced at €10,000 (Euros, or approximately $11,366 in U.S. dollars).

 

It has been three and one-half centuries since Moliere was writing his plays, but he remains one of France's greatest and most popular writers to this day. He is noted as a playwright, but Moliere was also a poet and an actor, often appearing in the plays he wrote. Many of his plays were ballets and featured music, but its his words for which they are remembered. He wrote comedies, and they regularly poked fun at people of the day, particularly the pompous. He was not always appreciated by his targets, which included the nobility, churchmen, and physicians. The church was able to get some of his performances banned. Fortunately for Moliere, he had an advocate at the top. King Louis XIV enjoyed the humor, especially since Moliere was careful in his treatment of the King. Moliere put on many performances for the King and his entourage. Item 48 is one of Moliere's notable plays, Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme. It is a farce about a representative of the bourgeois class, a social climber attempting to be an aristocrat. In the process, Moliere manages to make fun of both the social-climbing ordinary citizen and the pretentious aristocracy. Offered is a copy of the very rare first edition, first state, from 1671. Price on request.

 

Paul-Jean Toulet was a twentieth century French poet and novelist. His style is generally considered unusual, though not placed within any particular group. According to Wikipedia anyway, "his novels are almost unreadable today." That is why you want a collectible copy, such as this, rather than a reading copy. Item 65 is his final novel, published in 1920 (the year he died), La Jeune Fille Verte (the green girl). It is described as a story of intrigue in the French province of Bearn, near the Basque region of Spain. This is one of 50 copies printed, appropriately enough, on green paper. €7,500 (US $8,524).

 

Next we have a large plate of artwork from French comic artist Jean Giraud. It is for the series Le Longue Marche, from 1979. Giraud is noted for the detail in his artwork. The Long March features an unexpected setting for French comics - the American West. It is a place that long fascinated Giraud before taking on the project. It centers around a western character called "Blueberry," a name that American western writers probably wouldn't have selected for their hero. Anyway, he is much tougher than his name suggests, and he goes around the West fixing things that need fixing. Giraud is likely the most popular of all French (and Belgian) comic book artists other than Hergé. Item 28 €30,000 (US $34,090).

 

Librairie Métamorphoses may be reached at +33 (0)1 42 02 22 13 or librairie.metamorphoses@gmail.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Hindman Auctions<br>Fine Books and Manuscripts<br>November 12-13, 2020</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Nov. 12-13:</b> MACHIAVELLI, Niccolò. <i>Nicholas Machiavel's Prince. Also, The life of Castruccio Castracani of Lucca…</i> Translated by Edward Dacres. London, 1640. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Nov. 12-13:</b> FILSON, John. <i>The Discovery, Settlement and present State of Kentucke: and An Essay towards the Topography, and Natural History of that important Country…</i> Wilmington, Del.: James Adams, 1784. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Nov. 12-13:</b> ELUARD, Paul. <i>Un poeme dans chaque livre.</i> Paris: Louis Broder, 1956. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <center><b>Hindman Auctions<br>Fine Books and Manuscripts<br>November 12-13, 2020</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Nov. 12-13:</b> LEWIS, James Otto. [<i>Aboriginal Port Folio.</i> Philadelphia: Published by the Author, 1835-1836]. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Nov. 12-13:</b> [ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS]. BOOK OF HOURS, use of Rome, in Latin. [Southern Netherlands (Ghent or Bruges), c.1460]. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Nov. 12-13:</b> MORE, Thomas, Sir. <i>The Workes ... wrytten by him in the Englysh tongue.</i> Edited by William Rastell. London, 1557. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <center><b>Hindman Auctions<br>Fine Books and Manuscripts<br>November 12-13, 2020</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Nov. 12-13:</b> [KELMSCOTT PRESS]. MORRIS, William. <i>Love is Enough.</i> Hammersmith: The Kelmscott Press, 1897. $5,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Nov. 12-13:</b> LINCOLN, Abraham. Autograph endorsement signed as President (“A. Lincoln”), 24 February 1863. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Nov. 12-13:</b> WASHINGTON, George. Address panel with autograph free frank signed ("G:o Washington"), as Commander in Chief of the Continental Army, 5 August 1777. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <center><b>Hindman Auctions<br>Fine Books and Manuscripts<br>November 12-13, 2020</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Nov. 12-13:</b> GOREY, Edward. <i>The Beastly Baby.</i> N.p.: The Fantod Press, 1962. $1,000 to $1,500.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Nov. 12-13:</b> FROST, Robert. Photographic reproduction signed and inscribed ("Robert Frost”), to R.V. Thornton, 1955. $1,000 to $1,500.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, Nov. 12-13:</b> GOREY, Edward. <i>The Bug Book.</i> New York: Looking Glass Library, 1959. $500 to $700.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 17:</b> Jane Austen, <i>Pride & Prejudice,</i> 3 volumes, first edition, London, 1813. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 17:</b> John Hancock, Uncommon Privateer Commission, signed as President of Continental Congress, 1777. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 17:</b> Frank Lloyd Wright, photograph signed & inscribed. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 17:</b> Abraham Lincoln, document signed conscripting troops for first national draft in U.S., 1863. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 17:</b> Jane Austen, <i>Sense & Sensibility,</i> 3 volumes, first edition, London, 1811. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 17:</b> Charles Dickens, <i>American Notes for General Circulation,</i> first edition, inscribed to Richard Henry Dana, Jr., London, 1842. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 17:</b> John Maynard Keynes, <i>The General Theory of Employment, Interest & Money,</i> first edition, London, 1936. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 17:</b> Alexandre Raymond, <i>L’Art Islamique en Orient,</i> 2 volumes, first editions, Péra-Constantinople, 1922-24. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 17:</b> Igor Stravinsky, autograph musical quotation signed, 3 bars from <i>Perséphone,</i> 1936. $1,500 to $2,500.
  • <b>Christie’s, Nov 3 :</b> REGAMEY, Felix (1844-1906). Unique drawing showing Verlaine and Rimbaud in London, September 1872. €70,000 to 100,000
    <b>Christie’s, Nov 3 :</b> LABORDE, Alexandre de (1773-1842). <i>Voyage pittoresque et historique de l’Espagne.</i> Paris : 1806-1820. €20,000 to 30,000
    <b>Christie’s, Nov 3 :</b> BOCCACE, Jean (1313-1375). <i>Il Decamerone…</i> Venise : Gabriele Giolito di Ferrari, 1542.<br>€ 12,000 to 15,000
    <b>Christie’s, Nov 3 :</b> LAMBERT, Yvon (1936). Full collection of writings from <i>Une rêverie émanée de mes loisirs.</i> Paris : 1992 - 2018. €50,000 to 70,000
    <b>Christie’s, Nov 3 :</b> JOUVE, Paul (1878-1973) -- KIPLING, Rudyard (1865-1936). <i>La Chasse de Kaa.</i> Paris : Javal & Bourdeaux, 1930. €2,000 to 3,000

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