May 2018 | Jeremy Dibbell

Rare Books &c. at Auction This Week

lute.pngOn Tuesday, May 22, Sotheby's London holds two music sales: Fine Autograph Music: The Property of Helmut Nanz and Family (45 lots) and Musical Manuscripts (75 lots). The Nanz material includes Mozart's manuscript for his unfinished Allegro in G for Piano Four Hands (K.357), estimated at £300,000-400,000, and Wagner's manuscript of the first poetical draft of the libretto for Tannhäuser. Described as the "most important autograph manuscript by Wagner to appear at auction for over a decade," this is estimated at £200,000-300,000. Among the lots in the second sale are George Gershwin's autograph manuscript for the song "A Woman is a Sometime Thing" from Porgy & Bess (£60,000-80,000), a sixteenth-century manuscript of German lute tabulature (£30,000-50,000; pictured), and corrected proofs for an 1831 edition of the choral parts for Bach's "St. Matthew Passion" (£10,000-15,000).


At Leslie Hindman Auctioneers on Wednesday, May 23, Fine Prints, in 335 lots. Picasso's Faune dévoilant une femme (1936), is the top-estimated lot at $40,000-60,000. Andy Warhol's 1983 print Love is estimated at $30,000-40,000. Many works by Picasso, Miró, Chagall, and others.


Sotheby's Paris sells Livres et Manuscrits on Thursday, May 24, in 196 lots. An important collection of publisher Gaston Gallimard's correspondence with Marcel Proust is estimated at ??100,000-150,000, and twenty letters from Louis-Ferdinand Céline to his friend Auguste Becart could fetch ??25,000-35,000. The Proust lot is part of sixty lots from the estate of the author's grand-neice. A rare copy of the 1668 edition of La Bruyère's Les caracteres de Theophraste once owned by both Talleyrand and Rémusat is estimated at ??6,000-8,000.


Image credit: Sotheby's