Paris, 12 April 2012, Art Media Agency (AMA).
On 11 May 2012, Christie’s auction house will offer a sale of manuscripts and ancient books. The 220 lots have an overall estimate of between 1.7 and 2.5 billion euros.
Among the lots offered at auction, noteworthy items include three books by artists, two of which are by Matisse:
- Jazz (1947), which comprises 20 stencil illustrations, 15 of which have a double-page spread, copy dedicated to Professor Paul Santy (1887-1970), who had treated him in 1941. The book’s illustrations, published by Tériade, were created using a papercutting technique. This copy is valued between €200,000 and €300,000;
- Pasiphaé by Henry de Montherlant. This book is illustrated with 50 linoleum cuts and was offered by Matisse himself to his printer Marthe Féquet. It includes a signed original illustration, additional prints, and their templates along with about fifteen handwritten letters by the painter;
- La prose du Transsibérien (1913) by Blaise Cendrars and illustrated by Sonia Delaunay. This ungathered copy, hand-signed by Cendrars, is valued between €45,000 and €65,000.
This auction also includes several important books and documents:
- An uncensored copy of Les Fleurs du mal by Charles Baudelaire, dedicated to “Armand Dumesnil.” Armand Dumesnil was a friend of Baudelaire who tried for many years to get him a pension;
- A series of six letters signed by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and addressed to Lucie-Marie Decour, where he tells stories about his life in Argentina and his piloting adventures. Sold separately, they are valued between €10,000 and €22,000. A journey logbook by a plane named Breguet XIV, comprising Saint-Exupéry’s signatures, dated 14 November 1926 and 4 December 1927, along with six signatures by Henri Guillaumet, is also being put up for auction. It is valued between €10,000 and €15,000.