Madame Bovary Presentation Copy, First Bible in Czech, Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Books: Auction Preview

Image: Forum Auctions

One of six colored aquatints of the Epsom races by James Pollard, offered at Forum Auctions this week.

Another pretty busy week coming up: here's what I'll be watching:

At Artcurial on Tuesday, March 26, 142 lots of Livres & Manuscrits, including Hans Bellmer's Les Jeux de la poupée (1949) with illustrations by Paul Éluard (€35,000–40,000); Jacques-François Duverney and Gautier-Dagoty's Anatomie de le tête (1749), estimated at €10,000–15,000; and Éluard and Péret's 152 proverbes mis au gôut du jour (1925), expected to sell for €7,000–10,000.

ALDE sells 377 lots of Éditions originales du XIXe au XXIe siècle – Bibliothèque Daniel Morcrette et à divers on Tuesday. An important presentation copy of Flaubert's Madame Bovary (1857) is expected to lead the way: it is inscribed by the author to Elisa Maurice Schlesinger, and could sell for €20,000–30,000. A presentation copy of Baudelaire's Les Paradis Artificiels (1860) is estimated at €10,000–12,000.

At New England Book Auctions on Tuesday, 242 lots of Fine Art, Antiques, Graphics Selections from the Veatchs Inventory, including a group of fifteen Federal Art Project lithographs ($4,000–5,000) and a Cosway-style binding by Sangorski & Sutcliffe on a copy of the first book edition of Dickens' Pickwick Papers ($3,000–5,000).

Forum Auctions sells 266 lots of Colour Plate Books from the Library of Norman Bobins on Wednesday, March 27, including James Pollard's six colored aquatints of the Epsom races (£4,000–6,000) and a nearly-complete set of the hand-colored issue of H.B. [John Doyle's] Political Sketches, estimated at the same range.

On Thursday, March 28, Forum Auctions sells 435 lots of Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. Expected to lead the way at £40,000–60,000 are four Augsburg broadsides from 1666–1667 documenting the appearance of the "false messiah Shabthai Tzvi." A manuscript copy by B.G. Crame of John Aubrey's "Remaines of Gentilisme and Judaisme" is expected to sell for £30,000–50,000, and a copy of the first Bible printed in Czech (1488) could reach £30,000–40,000. Harriet Maltby's copy of Lord Byron's Poems on Various Occasions (1807) is expected to sell in the same range. Audubon's Ornithological Biography, inscribed to his supporter and early subscriber William Rathbone of Liverpool, is estimated at £10,000–15,000.

Heritage Auctions will sell 118 Books from the Personal Library of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Friday, March 29; these all seem to be volumes previously sold in the Bonhams sale back in 2022.