Bibliothèque de Martine de Béhague et des Comtes de Ganay Sale Achieved $1.8 Million

Courtesy of Christie's

La Fontaine, Les Fables, Paris. Saillant. 1755-1759. Sold for €274,000

Paris — The "Bibliothèque de Martine de Béhague et des comtes de Ganay" hosted by Christie’s on 26 November attracted international collectors from 14 countries and achieved €1,640,250, selling 93% by value and 77% by lot.

Adrien Legendre, Head of Christie’s Paris Books and Manuscripts Department: “It has been a great pleasure to work on such fantastic books coming from Martine de Béhague’s collection, books that never appeared on the market for over a century. We are especially honoured that the Ganay family entrusted Christie’s to organise this sale. Today's results confirm collectors’ appetite for exceptional copies and particularly for illustrated books such as the famous edition of the Fables choisies by Jean de la Fontaine richly illustrated by Jean-Baptiste Oudry. This copy, bound by the King’s binding workshops for the Count of Artois and with all the plates hand-coloured, sold for €274,000 against a presale estimate of €150,000-200,000.”

Another strong result was achieved for a first edition of Philibert de l’Orme’s architecture treatise Le premier tome de l’architecture in a lavishly inlaid binding, which has been acquired for €237,500.

The exceptionally bound copy of the first edition of the Livre de la Conqueste de la Toison d’or, by Jacques Gohory and Leonard Thiry sold for €137,500, while a unique copy of the Moyen pour augmenter les revenus du royaume de plusieurs millions, by Gabriel de Querbrat printed for Jean-Baptiste Colbert realised €62,500. We can also mention a precious manuscript finely illuminated by Jean Cousin, coming from the Ambroise Firmin-Didot collection, which has been acquired for €55,000.

Finally, a copy of the rare 1651 edition of Leonardo da Vinci’s Traité de la peinture has also attracted collectors, and sold for €30,000, more than doubling its presale estimate of €8,000-12,000.

Please find the full results here.