Auctions | February 5, 2021

Paul Destribats: Bibliothèque des Avant-Gardes Realized $4.4 Million at Christie’s Paris

Courtesy of Christie's

Boîte Alerte. Missives lascives (Paris, 1959) sold for €93,750 ($112,600).

Paris — Adrien Legendre, Director of the Books Department: “We are very proud of these excellent results which, once again, pay a very fine tribute to Paul Destribats. We are also very pleased that major French and foreign institutions participated and acquired some of the lots. With 98% of lots sold, we continue the success of the first two sessions, which had respectively achieved nearly 8 million and 2.2 million euros. The sure taste of Paul Destribats and the finesse of his choices were once again widely celebrated, as shown by the great results achieved for numerous works such as Parler seul, acquired at €90,000, realising five times its presale estimate, but also for two works by the author and artist Unica Zürn, Orakel und Spektakel. Anagramm texte und Zeichnungen (1955-1956) and Dezember (1955), which achieved outstanding results, selling respectively for €75,000 and €55,000."

À toute épreuve (1958), a wonderful collaboration between Paul Éluard and Joan Miró and a true milestone of modern book illustration, proved logically to be one of the many successes of the sale, selling for €168,750 against a presale estimate of €50,000-70,000. Additional successes include the famous Boîte Alerte. Missives lascives, the brainchild of Mimi Parent and Marcel Duchamp has attracted numerous collectors and sold for €93,750, more than twice its presale estimate. Wallace Ting’s iconic One ¢ Life, published by Sam Francis in 1964 and sporting a colourful ‘Pop’ binding by Georges Leroux sold for €56,250, doubling its presale estimate.

Finally, we may also highlight the strong results achieved for Vivantes cendres, innommées (1961), a text by Michel Leiris illustrated by Alberto Giacometti, estimated at €3,000-4,000 and sold for €50,000, or this copy of Young Cherry Trees Secured Against Hares (1946), which included two drawings by Arshile Gorky, acquired for €32,500, against a presale estimate of €2,000-3,000.


Lot 56 : DUBUFFET, Jean, LeR DLa CaNpaNe paR DUBUFe J (1948), sold for €1,625.
Lot 102 : DUBUFFET, Jean, Anvouaiaje par in ninbesil avec de zimaje, Paris, chez l'auteur, 1950, sold for €31,250
Lot 262 : LUCA, Gherasim, L’Extrême-occidentale, Lausanne, Éditions Meyer, [1961], sold for €3,000
Lot 341 : ALTMANN, Roberto, et Paul-Armand GETTE, Stances, Paris, Roberto Altmann, 1966, sold for €4,750
Lot 315 : MASSOT, Pierre de, Propos et souvenirs [sur Marcel Duchamp]. Fragment du manuscrit autographe du texte et épreuves corrigées complètes, 1964, sold for €250
Lot 215 : PARENT, Mimi, Sans titre [15 compositions originales], 1958, sold for €18,750