BERLIN, Germany – Jeschke Jadi Auctions enters the year 2023 with a 1,521-lot Rare Books and Classical Art sale scheduled for Friday, March 31. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
The auction is headed by a manuscript edition based on the translation of Chinese characters compiled by an Italian priest from the Minorite Order Basile de Glemona of a Chinese-Latin dictionary (Manuscript Edition of Hanzi Xiyi). The manuscript includes 9,406 Chinese characters drawn in black writing ink and red ink with the corresponding Latin translation. Only four copies of these manuscript editions can be traced worldwide. The example in the March 31 sale is estimated at €8,000-€12,000.
Also featured is Jakob Hoefnagel’s Archetypa studiaque with 48 engraved copper plates. This emblem book, edited in Nuremberg by Christoph Weigel in 1706, explores natural phenomena in delicate and uniform impressions that nevertheless appear amazingly realistic. The well-preserved copy with extremely detailed and high-contrast plates is estimated at €9,000-€10,000.
An important science book on offer is an illustrated edition of Euclid’s Elements, published in London in 1847 and containing hundreds of color woodcuts. This is one of the strangest textbooks of the 19th century, “one of the oddest and most beautiful books of the whole century” (McLean). It had a press run of only 1,000 copies, with richly ornamented, typically Victorian ornamental initials by Mary Byfield, which contrast beautifully with the modern, almost constructivist-looking color diagrams. The unusual graphic layout sprung was motivated by a desire to make it easier for students to learn Euclidean geometry by using colors for the diagrams. The work is estimated at €7,000-€9,000.
A Venetian postal incunabulum stands out among the Renaissance choices. The Missale Romanum is illustrated with 25 large woodcuts as well as numerous smaller woodcuts and is published by Giunta. The work contains a calendar arranged by month with the days of the saints and other important feasts commemorating events from the life of Christ and the Virgin Mary. The calendar also includes the Dominican letters (for the calculation of Sundays), the Golden Numbers (for the identification of the new moons and the calculation of the full moons) and the designations of each day according to the ancient Roman calendar system. Presented in a contemporary binding, this work is estimated at €4,500-€6,000.
Within the section of Modern illustrated books, a clear winner is a collection of more than 300 original designs for wallpaper and fabric patterns from the studio of Lizzie Derriey. The Parisian atelier was a design studio for textiles and wallpaper based in the prestigious rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore. During its existence between 1928 and 1994, it contracted with some of the world’s most famous fashion designers, including Givenchy, Yves Saint-Laurent and Oscar de la Renta. The style of the studio, in which up to 25 artists and designers worked together, is characterized by a strong preference for bold colors, a lively imagination, and clean, fine detail work. The collection has an estimate of €2,500-€3,500.
A splendid description of Afghanistan can be found in James Atkinson’s Sketches in Afghaunistan, published in London in 1842 and estimated at €2,000-€3,000. Atkinson drafted these images during the British campaign to Afghanistan in 1839. He took part in the expedition as chief medical officer, but left the country shortly after the British occupied Kabul. He then published a travelog and this book of views documenting the various stages of the British march from India through the Bolan Pass to Kandahar and on to Kabul. The volume contains two particularly splendid views of Kabul, including a bazaar scene and two views of the lush gardens of Babur.
In classical art, Otto Pippel’s painting View of Munich’s Odeonsplatz and Ludwigstrasse, created around 1920, distinguishes itself with its application of paint in the typical style of German Impressionism. Pippel is considered one of the most important painters of German Impressionism, and his work is estimated at €3,000-€3,500.
With important provenance, namely from the collection of the Prussian major general and important art collector Carl Rollas du Rosey (1784-1862), a gouache by Johann Georg Wagner, created in 1762, shows a laboratory assistant at the chemical stove. Wagner, who lived to be only 23 years old, left behind a small body of work consisting almost exclusively of watercolors and gouaches. Despite his short life, he became known as an extraordinary talent and received numerous commissions as well as recognition. Works by Wagner are represented in the collections of the Stadel Museum Frankfurt, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the British Museum in London, and the Harvard Art Museum in Cambridge. The gouache is estimated at €1,000-€1,500.
The current rate of exchange is €1 = $1.07.
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