Section I – Fine Press Books, Lots 1-212
Section II – Books about Books, Lots 213-272
Section III – Lots offered without reserve, Lots 273-301
Each lot illustrated in the online version of the catalogue.
Bid directly from the site. Now available in the Bid Live Now section
300 lots of finely printed books, broadsides and finely bound books and sets. The fine press portion of the auction features the collection of the late Marjorie Stern, being offered here for the benefit of the Special Collections of the San Francisco Public Library. Many fine volumes from the fine presses of the Bay Area and beyond are offered, including works from the Allen Press, Grabhorn Press, Arion Press, Yolla Bolly Press, Limited Editions Club, John Henry Nash, Perishable Press, and many others. The second section of the auction comprises 60 lots of sets and finely bound books. Classic works by some of the great names of Western literature including Robert Burns, Thomas Carlyle, Charles Dickens, Edward Gibbon, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Francis Parkman, William Shakespeare, and many others.
Bloomsbury Ephemera, Book & Postcard Fair
The fair has proved to be very popular this month and we are fully booked! Expect a veritable treasure trove for all collectors. We have postcard dealers, ephemera specialists, book dealers, as well as dealers in prints, maps, photographs and posters! As if that's not enough we welcome pulp and paperback specialists, all in one great fair!
Make sure you leave plenty of time to visit, there is lots to see and lots to buy. So whether you are just starting collecting, or adding to a collection the fair has something for everyone in all price ranges. Visit our website for all details, or phone Kim on 01707 872140.
Books & Manuscripts from The Pierre Bergé Library
On view at Sotheby's London, 27-30 October 2016
Sale at Drouot-Richelieu in Paris on 8 & 9 November
>From tomorrow until Sunday, Sotheby's London will exhibit books and manuscripts from the exceptional personal library of Pierre Bergé, the French businessman and art patron, also known as Yves Saint Laurent's partner in business and life.
Last year, Pierre Bergé decided to auction his entire personal library: 1,600 books and manuscripts, spanning, in incredible depth, all the great cultural, literary and philosophical landmarks, from the 15th through to the 20th century. A long-kept secret, his collection is estimated at around €40 million, making it the most valuable library ever to come to the market.
Following the great success of the first sale in December 2015, a further selection – 376 books and manuscripts dedicated to literary Europe from 1780 until 1900 – will be offered at Drouot-Richelieu, in collaboration with Sotheby's, in Paris on 8 & 9 November.
The core of this ensemble is dedicated to Flaubert – a key writer in Bergé’s literary pantheon – but all the British, Russian, American, German greats – Dickens, Dostoevsky, Goethe, Nietzsche, Pushkin, Poe, Henry James, Walt Whitman, Shelley, Walter Scott, Oscar Wilde etc. – are there too.
Highlights exhibited in London include:
• Baudelaire's first edition of Edgar Allan Poe's French translation of Gordon Pym
• The complete works of Lord Byron annotated by Stendhal
• Flaubert's last large autograph manuscript in private hands: 300 autograph pages of Par les champs et les grèves, including numerous innumerable crossing-outs, corrections and additions by the author
• The first edition of all three volume of Tolstoy's War & Peace
• A famous holograph manuscript by the Marquis de Sade
• A rare off-print of Faust by Goethe
• A rare copy of the first edition of Keats' Endymion
Ludwig van Beethoven’s most renowned piano concerto
Beethoven’s Fifth Piano Concerto in E Flat Major, Op. 73 is dedicated to Archduke Rudolf of Austria (1788-1831), the brother of Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor and Beethoven’s great friend, patron and pupil. The Archduke began taking lessons from Beethoven aged 15 or 16 and he was the only pupil that Beethoven taught composition to. The composer dedicated fourteen works to the Archduke in total, more than any of his other patrons.
The Fifth Piano Concerto is now known simply as “Emperor”: legend has it that it was described by one of Napoleon’s officers as “an emperor of a concerto” due to its grandeur and ambition. It is a revolutionary work in which Beethoven boldly reinvents the Piano Concerto, demolishing the older structure of the eighteenth-century form. It is by far the composer’s most forward- looking statement in the genre.
In “Emperor”, Beethoven’s innovation and the radical rethinking of the relationship between solo and accompaniment heralded a new kind of music. The scale of the work was unprecedented for Beethoven; the first movement is longer that any of his previous concertos. The composer used the full scope of the piano and orchestra, with previously scarcely used keys such as C flat and B major, and the highest and lowest ranges of the piano.
In this sketch-leaf, Beethoven’s working process is laid bare. The concerto evolves before our very eyes; fragmentary sketches at the top of the page would later be included in two different movements and by the bottom of the page, the sketch for the first movement has been further developed by the composer. The sketch-leaf gives an insight into his experimental approach, as much of the later passagework was not incorporated by Beethoven in his final version.
Most of the surviving drafts for the Fifth Piano Concerto are in two sketch-books in the Deutsche Staatsbibliothek, Berlin. A few sketches elsewhere are related to these books, notably a leaf in the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York. The watermark evidence of the present manuscript does not allow any firm identification with either sketchbook.
First Edition Isaac Newton Brings $87k at Swann Galleries Oct 18 Auction
The top lot of the sale was a first edition, first issue of Sir Isaac Newton’s seminal Opticks, 1704, a treatise on light and color. This excellent copy of the groundbreaking work sold well above its estimate at $87,500. Another highlight of the sale was Euclid’s Elementa geometriae, 1482, the first major mathematical work to appear in print. The printing process used in the first edition, which includes extensive geometrical designs, influenced the design of subsequent editions and similar works into the sixteenth century; it sold for $62,500.
Each section of the sale performed well, especially the collection of mountaineering literature from the estate of Timothy Treacy, an adventurer from California. Works in the collection helped to stimulate interest in mountaineering, as well as later classics on the subject. Specialist Tobias Abeloff said, “It was an interesting collection to work on, with many uncommon items. 129 of the 131 Treacy lots sold, so the sell-through rate mirrored the sale as a whole at 98%. The top Treacy lot was Edmund Thomas Coleman’s Scenes from the Snow-Fields, 1859.” That work sold to a collector for $16,250. Other high sellers from the Treacy Collection included a first edition of Rambles and Scrambles: Across the Country from Thonon to Trent, 1865, by Douglas Freshfield ($12,350) and a series of published letters between William Windham and Pierre Martel titled An Account of the Glacieres or Ice Alps in Savoy, 1744 ($10,000).
William Shakespeare’s A Winters Tale, extracted from the First Folio, sold after steady bidding for $25,000, well above its high estimate. A fourteenth-century vellum manuscript Psalter from England, written in gothic hand and including contemporary calendars, litany and miscellaneous texts, sold to a lucky collector for $8,450. Early English bibles also garnered much attention: The Byble, 1551 ($15,600); The holie Bible, 1572 ($7,280); and The Holy Bible, 1617 ($13,000), all sold to collectors for more than twice their estimates.
Specialist Tobias Abeloff said, “Healthy phone and internet bidding sent prices for many items well beyond their estimates.” This was Swann Galleries’ top-earning dedicated Early Printed books sale since the house’s October 2012 offering of Aldine Imprints & Early Printed Books from the Library of Kenneth Rapoport, underscoring the continued strength of premium book collections at auction.
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