The sale opens with a selection of outstanding medical manuscripts from the library of Jean Blondelet. This group includes rare first editions of Paré, Fabrici, Paracelse, Cardan, Harvey, Santori, Major, Mersenne, Guillemeau, and Larrey, as well as a Dürer once owned by Nostradamus. These will be joined by a selection of illustrated scientific books from the 16th to the 18th centuries, botanic and zoological works, 18th-century literature and Napoleonica.
The manuscripts of Rimbaud’s La rivière de cassis featured in the auction, as well as original drawings by the author are, like anything associated with him, outstanding. These literary highlights will be presented alongside manuscripts from Apollinaire, Barbey d'Aurevilly, Proust, Breton, Guy Debord, and Genet. Sartre’s long manuscript of an unfinished novel, La Dernière chance, will also be included.
The auction also features artists’ letters from Ensor, Jaguer, Jorn, Pissarro, Redon and Signac; original drawings by Picasso, Bellmer and Saint-Exupéry; and manuscripts from musicians such as Berlioz and Liszt, and the inventor of photography, Nicéphore Niépce. The sale is completed with illustrated books and original drawings by Louise Bourgeois, Buren, Dubuffet, Klimt, Lichtenstein, Man Ray, Miró, Staël, and Vieira da Silva.
Sotheby’s France first opened in Paris in 1967 and moved to its current headquarters in 1988 in the Galerie Charpentier on Rue Faubourg Saint-Honoré, opposite the Elysée Palace. Built during the Second French Empire and remodelled in the 1930s, it was at the centre of Parisian artistic life for more than 40 years. Auctions, exhibitions, lectures and cultural and special events are held regularly on these elegant premises.
Sotheby's France organises approximately 30 sales each year in many different collecting categories such as Impressionist & Modern art, contemporary art, African & Oceanic art, Asian art, 20th Century Design, Fine European Furniture & Works of Art, European Silver, Books & Manuscripts, Old Master & 19th Century European Paintings & Drawings and Photography. We also have Russian art and Jewellery specialists in Paris.