Rare Books &c. at Auction This Week

Another round of sales from the Aristophil collection this week at the French auction houses:


- First up, ?crits & Correspondances de Peintres at Aguttes on Monday, April 1, in 183 lots. Rating the top estimate is a February 1890 letter by Vincent van Gogh to art critic Albert Aurier (??80,000-100,000). Several illustrated letters by Matisse and Dali will be offered, as well as an important letter by Seurat (??25,000-30,000).


- At Artcurial on Tuesday, April 2, ?crits et Oeuvres d'Artistes du XVIe au XXe Siècle, comprising lots 260-434. An album of Eugène Delacroix's pencil drawings from a trip to England in 1825 is the cornerstone of this sale, estimated at ??150,000-200,000 (pictured). A notebook containing more than thirty sketches by Matisse, likely preparatory studies for his illustrations of Mallarme's poems, is estimated at ??60,000-80,000.

- Aguttes sells Poésie et Littérature des XIXe et XXe Siècles in 303 lots on Wednesday, April 3. An 1872 autograph poem by Rimbaud rates the top estimate at ??150,000-200,000. The manuscript of Paul ?luard's Les Jeux de la Poupée could fetch ??100,000-15,000.

  - At Ader on Thursday, April 4, Feuillets d'Histoire, in 203 lots. The manuscript of Jean-Paul Marat's novel, Les Avantures du Jeune Conte Potowski, written around 1770 while Marat was in England, and not published until 1847, is estimated to sell for ??150,000-200,000. Three letters from Napoleon to Josephine are each estimated at ??100,000-120,000 (these are among the many Napoleon manuscripts on offer). A three-rotor Enigma machine could sell for ??30,000-40,000.

- On Thursday, Aguttes sells historical manuscripts (Histoire, Grandes Figures Historiques), in 227 lots. Rating the top estimate is a 1585 letter from Henry of Navarre (later Henry IV) to Henry III of France, arguing about the king's acceptance of the peace of Nemours (??20,000-30,000). A draft of Condorcet's 1791 essay "Aux étrangers sur la Révolution françoise" is estimated at ??10,000-15,000. A March 1790 letter by Marie Antoinette to the duc de Polignac could sell for ??10,000-12,000.

 - Rounding out the week at Aguttes on Friday, April 5, Histoire Postale | Guerre de 1870-1871, in 265 lots. The major lot in this one is a collection of fifteen letters sent out of Paris (some by balloon mail) in the diplomatic bags of the American ambassador, Elihu Washburne (??230,000-250,000). A Victor Hugo letter of October 17, 1870, sent to Eugène Rascol at the Courrier de l'Europe in London and published there, is estimated at ??15,000-18,000.

On Thursday, April 4 at PBA Galleries, a 271-lot sale of Art & Illustration, Prints & Graphics, Illustrated Books, and Miscellanea, with the last group of lots sole without reserve. Expected to lead the way is a copy of Josef Albers' Formulation: Articulation (1972), estimated at $10,000-15,000. Several 21st Editions and Arion Press titles are estimated at $3,000-5,000.

Arader Galleries holds their Spring Auction on Saturday, April 6, in 199 lots. A number of Audubon birds rate the top estimates; alongside them are an 1875 set of thirty-one George Catlin lithographs ($80,000-120,000); a copy of the first edition in French of Thomas Jefferson's Notes on Virginia (1786), estimated at $40,000-50,000; and several early globes.