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Rimbaud, Verlaine, Mallarmé & Their Friends at Sotheby's Sale of Books, Manuscripts & Precious Documents
There are also various examples of the period's enthusiasm for japonisme, with a score of rare 20 bindings decorated with Japanese-style motifs. Photo: Sotheby's.
PARIS.- Sotheby's announce the sale in Paris on December 15 of an exceptional 180-lot collection of books, manuscripts, photographs and prints. The ensemble majors on three iconic poets – Arthur Rimbaud, Paul Verlaine and Stéphane Mallarmé – and also features a number of their literary contemporaries, including Tristan Corbière, Alfred Jarry, Villiers de L'Isle-Adam and Oscar Wilde.

This library, assembled over a forty-year period, comprises works chosen with the utmost care, from books with original bindings and handwritten dedications to manuscripts, vintage photographs and drawings.

This extremely coherent ensemble tellingly portrays an era. The catalogue reads like a parallel history of late 19th century French literature; the links between writers are highlighted by an interplay of inscriptions, correspondence and provenance, including books once owned by Huÿsmans, Jules Renard, Mallarmé and Oscar Wilde.

The collection also takes us to the heart of the legendary scandals involving Rimbaud & Verlaine and Oscar Wilde & Alfred Douglas.

After his stormy meeting with Rimbaud in Stuttgart in 1875, Verlaine wrote to his friend Ernest Delahaye, evoking the rupture and regretting his "culpable folly of not so long ago, of wanting to live only through him" – before predicting that the man with whom he had been passionately in love would be "a nasty vulgar bourgeois by the age of 30…" This celebrated letter is offered with an estimate of €60,000-80,000.

Oscar Wilde's letter to his lover Alfred Douglas, sensationally produced by the latter's father at Wilde's trial, was translated into French by Pierre Louÿs: the copy of the first edition of this translation (published in Oxford by Alfred Douglas) is offered here, complete with the translator's handwritten inscription pour Oscar Wilde, affectueusement (est. €20,000-25,000).

Painters and musicians also feature prominently. There are books illustrated by Gustav Klimt, Edouard Manet, Maurice Denis, Pierre Bonnard and Paul Signac – not forgetting Le Douanier Rousseau's only known love-letter to his future wife, accompanied by a signed photo of him in his studio (est. €15,000-20,000).

The sale's most valuable musical item is undoubtedly a score of Tristan und Isolde inscribed by Wagner to the French composer Charles Gounod on the day of Tannhäuser's second performance in Paris – much acclaimed by Baudelaire (est. €50,000-60,000).

There are also various examples of the period's enthusiasm for japonisme, with a score of rare 20 bindings decorated with Japanese-style motifs.

Forgotten literary figures are also brought to light by this astonishing collection. Take the poet Charles Cros, author of Le Fleuve, the first book to be illustrated by Manet (with eight etchings); the copy here also contains a ninth, unpublished print (est. €35,000-40,000). Cros was also a scientific genius – the inventor of the phonograph, and a pioneer of colour photography. Another intriguing offering is an unpublished handwritten notebook mixing his poetry with scientific notes (est. €8,000-10,000).

Viewing
Friday 10 December 10am – 6pm
Saturday 11 December 10am – 6pm
Monday 13 December 10am – 6pm
Tuesday 14 December 10am – 6pm

Sotheby's | Tristan Corbière | Alfred Jarry | Villiers de L'Isle-Adam | Oscar Wilde |


Last Week News

December 2, 2010

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Tate Britain is Changing: First Phase of Major Building Project Starts this Autumn

Sotheby's to Offer Important Old Master and 19th Century Paintings From the Collection of J. E. Safra

Art Miami Celebrates Opening Night with Marquee Works Drawing Large Crowds and Sales

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Christie's Hong Kong Achieves Highest Ever Sale Total for Chinese Paintings

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After 30 Years of Service, Joan Rosenbaum to Retire as Director of the Jewish Museum

Highlights of the Debut of Naples International Art and Antique Fair Announced

ArtPrize Founder Rick DeVos Announces Plans for the Third Edition of ArtPrize

Janis Gardner Cecil Joins Edward   Tyler Nahem Fine Art as Director of Sales

$50,000 Hudgens Prize Winner Announced at the Hudgens Center of Arts in Duluth

Metropolitan Museum Director Thomas Campbell to be Keynote Speaker for The Charleston Art & Antiques Forum in March

Art Stage Singapore Set to Elevate Prominence of Asian Art in the Global Arena

Bonhams to Sell One of a Kind Guitar Signed by Rock Legends to Help Fight Puppy Farming

Miami Art Museum Breaks Ground on New Building in Downtown Miami's Museum Park

Imperial Russian Table from the Winter Palace Sells for £916,000 at Bonhams

Lee Harvey Oswald's Coffin to Be Auctioned in Los Angeles

Gallery Protests Smithsonian's Removal of Video

MacDougall's Works on Paper Auction Set New World Records

December 1, 2010

Entombed for Over 2000 Years, Warriors of China's First Emperor, Arrive in Sydney

Christie's to Present Important Auctions of Antiquities and Ancient Jewelry in December

Tragic Jackie Kennedy Image and Rare Marilyn Monroe Photo for Sale at Bonhams

Impressionist & Modern Art Sale at Sotheby's in Paris Includes an André Masson Masterpiece

Picture Bought for Its Frame in Devon Sells for $78,000 at Bonhams Canadian Art Sale

Kunsthaus Lempertz to Hold Contemporary Art and Photography Auction

Miami's Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden Presents Exhibition of Renowned Franch Artists

The Rockefellers and Their Astonishing Cultural Legacy Explored in New Book

Jewels & Objects Formerly in the Collection of The Duchess of Windsor Sell for Double-Estimate

Braginsky Collection of Rare Illuminated Hebrew Manuscripts Premieres at Israel Museum

Fresh Collapse of Wall at the Archaeological Site of Pompeii Sparks More Concern

Bob Dylan's Lyrics for "The Times They are A-Changin'" to Sell at Sotheby's in New York City

The Phillips Collection Releases Official Free App for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch

Jewish Museum in London Shortlisted for Major Award

Art Gallery of New South Wales Receives Important Collection from Mollie Gowing

Drawings and Sketches that Reflect Mexico's Independence Period Published

David Bomberg Drawings Acquired by Ben Uri Gallery with Help from the Art Fund

Smithsonian Acquires Several Important Archives

Smithonian's National Portrait Gallery Removes Video After Group Complains

November 30, 2010

Electrician Stuns Art World with Trove of Picasso Works of Art; Heirs Not Convinced

Sotheby's to Offer the Jewels of the Duchess of Windsor, One of the Greatest Jewellery Collections

Sotheby's Upcoming Sale of Contemporary Art will Feature Two Sessions at the Galerie in Paris

The Diamond Encrusted Skull by Damien Hirst on Display at Palazzo Vecchio

Seoul Auction Autumn Sale Held in Hong Kong Achieved Over HK$35 Million

Berlin-Paris, International Gallery Weekend Fixture, Returns for the Third Time

First International Retrospective of Jean Paul Gaultier to Premiere in Montreal

Lisson Gallery Presents Exhibition by Abstract Artists, Peter Joseph and Carmen Herrera

VIP Art Fair, Exclusively Online, Announces List of 139 Galleries From 30 Countries

Great Results From Christie's Hong Kong Southeast Asian Modern & Contemporary Art Sale

Haunch of Venison Presents the First Solo Exhibition in the UK by Artist Nicolas Provost

Milwaukee Art Museum to Premiere Frank Lloyd Wright Exhibition in February 2011

Tom Sokolowski to Step Down as Director of the Andy Warhol Museum After 14 Years

The Rijksmuseum Displays Lessons in Drawing in the Golden Age: From Copying to Drawing

The Return of the Red Baron at Bonhams Oxford

The Whitney Museum of American Art Acquires Skylar Fein Work for Permanent Collection

Prehistoric Rock Art at the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area was Damaged by Spray-painted Graffiti

Montage Finance Launches to Provide Secured Lending to Art Collectors, Art Gallery Owners, and Art World Investors

Smithsonian Acquires Several Important Archives

November 29, 2010

World Renowned Artist Anish Kapoor Exhibits His Works of Art in India for the First Time

Staatsgalerie Stuttgart Presents First Exhibition Devoted to Hans Holbein in 45 Years

Epic, Dramatic and, Above All, Cinematic Photographs by David Drevin at Camera Work

Bruce Munro Installs Light Showers in the Magnificent Nave of Salisbury Cathedral

Works by Modigliani, Matisse, Cassatt, Pissarro and Others Featured at New Santa Fe Gallery

First Solo Exhibition in London by Spanish Artist Francesc Ruiz Opens at Gasworks

A Portrait Miniature of Elizabeth I Reigns Over Bonhams Sale at Knightsbridge

Two Exceptional Gilt Bronze Figures from a Private European Collection Offered at Sotheby's

A Selection of Works by Simon Starling at the Contemporary Art Center of Málaga

Cédric Delsaux Deals with the Fact and Fiction of Modern Urban Space at acte2galerie

Staffordshire Hoard Scoops 'Acquisition of the Year' at Apollo Magazine Awards

Kunsthalle Mannheim Establishes a Flexible Platform for Exhibiting Contemporary Art

Topping-Out Ceremony at the Städel Museum, Shell for Expansion Completed

Galerie Jeanne Bucher Presents an Exhibition by Argentinian Artist Antonio Seguí

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Young Designer-Silversmith Award 2010 Recognised at National Museum Cardiff

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Protest Painting by Nicholas Middleton Wins Visitors' Choice

Eskenazi to Bring Chinese Treasures to New York

Matt Stokes Brings a Unique Take on "Penny Gaff" Culture to Stratford Underground Station

November 28, 2010

"Uncanny Realities" Exhibition of Sculptures and Photographs at Museum Frieder Burda

Expert Says Michelangelo Drew Inspiration from Brothels to Paint Frescoes in Sistine Chapel

The Herakleidon Museum Presents Exhibition "Edvard Munch, Beyond the Scream"

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Barbra Streisand Details Love of Design in New Book "My Passion for Design"

"Landscapes without Memory" by Joan Fontcuberta at Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam

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American Museum in Britain Celebrates 50 Years of Relations Between the Two Countries

Joslyn Art Museum Welcomes New Chief Curator and Holland Curator of American Western Art

New Purpose-built Cultural Centre for Manchester to Bring Together Library Theatre and Cornerhouse

National Museum of Cultures Receives Donation of Works Created by Hambis Tsangaris

Unveiled: New Weiner Art Commission for mima through Art Fund International

Bassenge's Holding Final Auction of 2010, Covers 19th Century Work to Contemporary Photographs

Madison Square Park Conservancy Announces the New York Public Art Premiere of Jaume Plensa

First Comprehensive Survey Exhibition of Mark Morrisroe's Work at Fotomuseum Winterthur

Canadian Artist Shannon Bool's Most Important Sources of Inspiration at Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst

November 27, 2010

Galería Javier López - Mário Sequeira Opens New Space with Alex Katz Retrospective

Morandi and Fontana Lead the Milan Evening Sale of Modern and Contemporary Art at Sotheby's

Mexico Launches "Mexican Digital Library" Including Twenty Important Codices

Auction Houses in London Eye Russian Recovery Ahead of Next Week's Sales

MacDougall's Have the Top Lot of London's "Russian Week", Early Masterpiece by Ivan Shishkin

Unprecedented Discovery of Imperial Correspondence to Go on Sale at the Hotel des Ventes in Geneva

National Gallery in London Acquires First Work by Norwegian Artist Peder Balke

Bonhams to Hold First Modern Turkish Art Sale in London in April 2011

Bibliotheque de l'Arsenal Exhibit Shows Bastille Prison had 5-Star Comforts

Artist as Activist: United Kingdom's Tate Modern to Show Joan Miro: The Ladder of Escape

Consumer Power: 50 Years of Choice Explores the Role of Choice Displays at the Powerhouse Museum

Major Exhibition of Work by Queensland Artist Scott Redford at the Queensland Art Gallery

Major Gifts Establish Centre for the Study of Drawings at the Courtauld Institute of Art

Sotheby's Auction The Great Britain Philatelic Collections of Lady Mairi Bury Brings £3 Million

Climate Activists in Egypt Use Art to Send Message

Phillips de Pury & Company Announces Forthcoming London Theme Auction MUSIC

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4.- eBay and Sotheby's partner to bring world class art and collectibles to a global community

5.- Exhibition on Screen returns with new series of films bringing great art to big screens across the globe

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7.- The Phillips Collection in Washington introduces a uCurate app for curating on-the-go

8.- United States comic icon Archie Andrews dies saving openly gay character

9.- New feathered predatory fossil, unearthed in China, sheds light on dinosaur flight

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