BERLIN, Germany – Jeschke van Vliet starts its two-day auction of valuable and rare books, as well as prints and historical photography on July 30 and 31, with an extensive offering in modern illustrated literature. The core of the first day of the auction will be artists’ books from two German private collections, which department head Balazs Jadi characterizes as “an impressive overview of the artistic work of German and international book artists.” The modernist section also includes French bibliophilia juxtaposed with avant-garde literature. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
Salvador Dali’s interpretation of Dante’s Divine Comedy, estimated at €3,000-€6,000, is the top lot of the artists’ books, containing 100 richly colored wood engravings by the Surrealist master.
Pierre Reverdy’s Une aventure methodique, which contains 38 color lithographs by George Braque, was created on the initiative of Parisian printer Fernand Mourlot, and carries an estimate of €2,200-€4,400.
With a handwritten dedication by Parisian publisher Ambroise Vollard, a monograph of works by Auguste Renoir also includes an original etching, and is estimated at €2,800-€5,600.
Seven large-format color lithographs of the Informel are reproduced by the Spaniard Antoni Tapies in Joan Brossa’s Nocturn matinal, estimated at €1,000-€2,000.
In addition to these classics, a wide range of contemporary German book art is offered, combining an impressive spectrum of artistic works in a wide variety of graphic techniques, materials and formal inventions. The works of Anja Harms (estimated at €900-€1,800) or Michael Morgner (estimated at €600-€1,200), among others, are also examples which have already gained attention beyond the German-speaking world.
Among the travel books with numerous important international illustrations is the History of Sumatra by William Marsden, which contains 27 plates, some engraved in aquantint, showing the fauna and flora, estimated at €4,500-€9,000.
Brindesi’s Elbicei Atika is a magnificent work of plates published in Paris in 1855, printed in bright colors and partly in gold, depicting the costumes of the Ottoman Empire during the reign of Mahmud II (1808-1839). It carries an estimate of €8,000-€16,000.
The first European printed work ever to contain Chinese and Japanese characters is the Cartas que os Padres e Irmnos da Companhia de Iesus, published in Alcala in 1575. The copy in the late July sale is estimated at €12,000-€24,000.
The natural sciences are amply represented in this sale. In addition to Audebert and Viellot’s Oiseaux dores ou a reflets metalliques, a seminal ornithological magnum opus at the turn of the 18th to the 19th century, estimated at €4,500-€9,000, one of the most curious and beautiful textbooks of the 19th century is found in the field of mathematics: The first six books of the elements of Euclid with hundreds of color woodcuts, estimated at €7,000-€14,000.
Also impressively illustrated is Robert Fludd’s Utriusque cosmi maioris scilicet et minoris metaphysica atque technica historia from 1617 with hundreds of engravings from all areas of the natural sciences. It is estimated at €6,000-€12,000.
The current rate of exchange is €1 = $1.17.
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