London, South Kensington
1 June 2009
DIDEROT, Denis (1713-1784). Autograph letter signed to an unidentified correspondent [Monsieur d'Hornoy?], n.p., 'ce jeudi, je ne scais quel jour du mois d'aoust, le lendemain de la vierge' [i.e. 16 August] 1781, 2 pages, 8vo.
Advising him of a development in a court case -- 'cette miserable affaire' -- a procedural ploy adopted by the plaintiffs whose plea and witness statements were not registered with the clerk of the court, and speculating on their reasons. The defendant is Diderot's grocer. 'Je n'ai dans cette affaire d'autre interêt que l'amour de la justice. Je serois vraiment affligé, s'il arrivoit que le foible fut opprimé'. A reference to the anger which Voltaire might have felt ('je suis sur qu'un assignation auroit aussi facilement derangé la tête de Voltaire que la mienne') suggests that the letter was intended for the latter's great-nephew, Alexandre de Dompierre d'Hornoy whom Diderot mentioned in an earlier letter.
Contact Client Service
New York +1 212 636 2000
London +44 (0)20 7839 9060
Asia +852 2760 1766
VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 15% on the buyer's premium
The Plantin Polyglot bible — offered on 11 July — makes an emotional homecoming to the Antwerp printing press where it was produced some 450 years ago
Marianne Ihlen inspired some of the Canadian poet and musician’s greatest work. A selection of his gifts to her are offered in Valuable Books & Manuscripts on 11 July
From Connecticut to Kent in southeast England, homes with links to such classic works as Desire under the Elms, Lord of the Flies and The Deep Blue Sea
The Belgian collector, antiques dealer and designer outlines what the art and objects in his library mean to him