Sotheby's - Paris

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2023

Livres et Manuscrits
Sale #PF2303

This catalogue offers an eclectic array, including some of the world’s most famous illustrated books dating from the 16th century to the present day. Among the works featured are a precious original edition of Colonna’s Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, known as Poliphilo's Strife of Love in a Dream (Venice, 1499); Albrecht Dürer’s Apocalypsis (Nuremberg, 1511); Holbein’s Simulachres & historiees (Lyon, 1538); and a beautiful full-colour edition of Hubert Jaillot’s Atlas nouveau (1692) in a Dutch binding of the period.

In 1911, Maurice Maeterlinck became the second francophone writer to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature, and this catalogue includes the gold medal and certificate that the Swedish Academy awarded him for the occasion.

Among various letters and manuscripts, we might cite a hand-written copy of the memoirs of the Duke de Saint-Simon. The archives of the architect Abel Blouet include a fascinating manuscript logbook that he kept while on a scientific expedition to Morea in 1828-1829, featuring his discovery of the location of the temple of Zeus in Olympia; and his travel diary from a trip to the United States in 1836 and 1837 during which he studied the American penitentiary system. In a different register, let us mention a study of Edgard Allen Poe by Baudelaire. Among mementoes of Marcel Proust are various letters in his hand, a very surprising manuscript of Un amour de Swann, a thoroughly scratched-off rough draft of the novel’s end jotted on an envelope, and the game box that he bestowed on Céleste Albaret. Other treasures include Jean Cocteau’s manuscript of Renaud et Armide (1941) and letters he wrote to Léon-Paul Fargue. There are also letters from Guy Debord to Gaëtan Marcel Langlais and several situationist documents.

Among the array of 20th-century works are the original edition of Céline’s Voyage au bout de la nuit, one of ten bound prints from the numbered print run, and a fabulous copy of Foujita’s La rivière enchantée featuring an original drawing.

Very contemporary books round out the catalogue, including a fully painted one-off by Daniel Buren and book-objects and other works by contemporary and conceptual artists such as Christian Boltanski, Louise Bourgeois, Marcel Broodthaers, Marcel Duchamp, Lucio Fontana, Rodney Graham, Asger Jorn and Lawrence Weiner.


Fri, Feb 24th 10am - 6pm
Sat, Feb 25th 11am - 7pm
Sun, Feb 26th 12pm - 6pm
Mon, Feb 27th 10am - 6pm

Sotheby's - Paris
76, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré

Paris, France

48.870524618185, 2.31778155

Sotheby's - Paris