Event Date22 November 2021 | Live auction 20079

Livres rares et Manuscrits

Livres rares et Manuscrits

Sale Overview

For this season’s Livres rares et Manuscrits sale, Christie’s is proud to present a selection of important books and manuscripts, including an illustrated Book of Hours and incunabula, as well as first editions of contemporary literature and artist books.­

The highlight of the sale is an extraordinary copy of Terence’s Comoedias from the personal library of Michel de Montaigne. This copy features more than 200 annotations written by the young Montaigne while he was still a student, and he so admired Terence that he even had one of  his quotes painted on the ceiling of his library : “Homo sum : humani nil a me alienum.” 

This sale also includes a masterfully-illuminated Book of Hours in a stunning Restoration binding, a selection of important incunabula, including a Nuremberg Chronicle and the first edition of Petrarch’s Secretum, printed in 1473. Collectors of important texts will be pleased to find books listed in the “bibliophile’s Bible”, Printing and the Mind of Man (PMM), such as beautiful first editions of Grotius’ De Jure belli ac pacis, 1625 and Montesquieu’s De l’esprit des lois, 1748. 

Among the 20th century works offered for sale are first editions (primarily deluxe copies) by modern and contemporary writers, including Céline’s Voyage au bout de la nuit, Perec’s La Disparition and Gary’s (pseudonym Ajar) La vie devant soi. Also presented is a special selection of Art Deco books by Schmied and a deluxe copy of the Serenades Indiennes illustrated with 4 original watercolours by Robert Delaunay (other editions of the Serenades Indiennes were also illustrated by Picasso, de Stael, Braque, Chagall and Zao Wou-Ki). Some of these copies are bound in artistic bindings by some of the greatest master bookbinders : Marius Michel, Pierre Legrain, Paul Bonet and Georges Cretté.

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