21 March 2005
NAPOLEON I, Emperor of the French (1769-1821) -- Samuel SOTHEBY (1771-1842). A catalogue of the library of the late Emperor Napoleon, removed from the Island of St. Helena, by order of his Majesty's Government. Which will be sold by auction on Wednesday, the 23rd of July. London: J. Compton for Sotheby, 1823.
8o (218 x 132 mm). 4 leaves. (Inner margins repaired.) Red half morocco, gilt spine, by Roger Devauchelle.
Rare auction sale catalogue of Napoleon's books from St. Helena that Martin Bossange had been unable to sell (see previous lot). Lot 89, Volney's Voyage en Syrie et en Egypte (2 vols. 1799) covered with notes by Napoleon, which had rated a 2-line entry in Bossange's catalogue, earns a long note from Sotheby, ending: "This unique Book forms an historical document, which will be looked at with a mixture of pleasure and pain by the admirers of so great a man."
This priced copy of the catalogue (some manuscript prices are affected by the marginal repair) was published by Roland Folter in Börsenblatt für den Deutschen Buchhandel (Nr. 69, 31 August 1973, pp. A303-306). He identifies another state of this catalogue (with imprint added on the last page), as well as another issue with changed title and an additional quire offering Napoleon's walking stick and "an interesting collection of books" from another source.
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