Auctions | May 25, 2016

Artcurial Will Auction an Original Watercolor from "The Little Prince" on May 31

ii_1546130c95a694d8.pngParis--On Tuesday 31 May an original signed watercolour illustration from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's seminal children's book The Little Prince (1940) will go under the hammer at Paris auction house Artcurial. It is estimated to fetch between ?? 50 000 - 60 000 /  $ 55 000 - 66 000. 

The iconic illustration shows the Little Prince standing in desert sand dunes with his scarf blowing in the wind, corresponding to the narrator saying of the young hero: 

 This night I didn’t see him get under way. He had slipped away silently. 

 When I succeeded in joining him he was walking at a rapid pace. He only said to me:

 - Ah, you’re there. 

 And he took me by the hand. But he was still tormented: 

 - You shouldn’t have come. You’ll have sorrow. I’ll seem to have died and it won’t be true.

Just days after The Little Prince was published in New York in 1943, the author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry mysteriously disappeared on a reconnaissance flight to southern France, presumed dead. The original manuscripts were acquired by the Pierpont Morgan library in New York, where they have remained there since, and the original watercolours returned to France with Saint-Exupéry's wife. 

The author did not live to see the full impact of his literary creation. Today, The Little Prince is one of the most read books in the world having sold 145 million copies and been translated into 270 languages. When it was published, Mary Poppins author P. L. Travers remarked: "The Little Prince will shine upon children with a sidewise gleam. It will strike them in some place that is not the mind and glow there until the time comes for them to comprehend it."

Other highlights of Artcurial's Books & Manuscripts sale include: the correspondence of French painter Max Jacob and an illustrated limited edition of Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book.

Image: An original watercolour from the Little Prince, page 87 of the original copy by Antoine de Saint-Exupery (estimation: 50000-60000 ?? / 55 000-66 000 $)