Designer Bindings, French Culinary Books, Inscribed JFK Photo: Auction Preview


Illustration from the 1666 edition of L'Escole parfaite des officiers de bouche, offered at Christie's Paris this week.

On Wednesday, March 22, ALDE sells 275 lots of Reliures de Paule Ameline & Beaux illustrés modernes. Some really lovely designer bindings in this one, so do have a look. Highlights are expected to include a 1931 edition of Balzac's Le Chef-d’œuvre inconnu with illustrations by Picasso (€40,000–50,000); a 1932 edition of Mallarme's Poésies with illustrations by Matisse (€25,000–30,000); and a 1971 edition of Fernando de Rojas' La Célestine, also with illustrations by Picasso (€20,000–30,000).

At Forum Auctions on Thursday, March 23, Books and Works on Paper, in 344 lots. A fourteenth-century Persian manuscript leaf rates the top estimate at £1,200–1,800. Other lots include a complete run of The Yellow Book (1894–1897), estimated at £600–800; and a full run of the novels of Iris Murdoch (£500–700).

Christie's Paris sells 206 lots of Le Festin de Pierre - Bibliothèque du baron Pierre de Crombrugghe on Thursday. The major highlight of this sale is the only known complete copy of the first illustrated cookery book, Le cuisinier taillevant (1495–96), still in its original binding. It is expected to sell for €400,000–600,000. The 1542 Livre fort excellent de Cuysine is estimated at €80,000–120,000. This is one of just three known copies of this edition. For the collector of French culinary books, this will be one not to miss!

At PBA Galleries on Thursday, Americana – Travel & Exploration – Maps, Prints & Views, in 467 lots. A large-paper copy of Sydney Parkinson's A Journal of a Voyage to the South Seas, in his Majesty’s Ship, the Endeavour (1773) rates the top estimate of $5,000–8,000. A large Yousuf Karsh photograph of John F. Kennedy, inscribed by Kennedy to Chicago judge Dwight Mckay, is expected to sell for $4,000–6,000.