News | July 7, 2023

Diderot’s Encyclopédie Tops Christie's Livres Rares et Manuscrits Auction


The Encyclopédie by Denis Diderto and Jean le Rond D'Alembert

Christie’s Paris online-only Livres Rares et Manuscrits auction explored seven centuries of writing and printing, the sale totaling €992,376.

The top lot of the sale was the Encyclopédie, ou Dictionnaire des sciences, des arts et des métiers par une société de gens de lettres by Denis Diderot (1713-1784) and Jean le Rond D'Alembert (1717-1783) which sold for €81,900, beating its high estimate of €50,000.

Other highlights included:

  • Preemption by the Bibliothèque nationale de France for an illuminated missal
 from the end of the 14th century from Notre-Dame de
 Paris which realized €56,700
  • A fascinating archive from artist Frédéric Delanglade, linked to the Surrealists' reinvention of the traditional playing cards, sold for €22,500 (estimate: €4,000-5,000)
  • Le Cimetière marin (Paris, Émile Paul Frères, 1920), an Arches wove copy of the first edition of one of Paul Valéry's most lauded poems in a superb allusive binding by Pierre-Lucien Martin, which made €12,600 (estimate : €700-1,000)