Books and Manuscripts

Via Pitteri 10, Milan
  Viewing: 18,19,20 May (10/13 – 14.30/18.30)
  Auction: 23 May 

The auction for the Department of Books, Manuscripts and Engravings, scheduled for 23rd May, is full of noteworthy lots.

To be highlighted is a collection of about 150 artist's books covering a period of time from the artistic avant-gardes of the 20th to the 21st century together with numerous fine antique books.

Fascinating and colorful, their value is increased by the autographs of famous intellectuals of the time and by the good conditions of conservation. Among the examples of the Futurist period, there are several books with the dedication of Filippo Tommaso Marinetti and a curious edition of the '70s of the Manifesto della cucina futurista (€ 100.00-200.00), printed on silver paper and metallic red characters.

Within the Surrealist context, we note a prestigious volume by André Bréton, Paul Eluard and René Char (€ 12,000.00-18,000.00), belonging to the latter, printed on pink paper with the binding of the period by Devauchelle. Also part of the collection is a second copy of the same subject that bears the signature of all three intellectuals.

Two copies of the Second Manifeste du Surréalisme will also go under the hammer (€ 2.000,00-3.000,00), one of them with a dedication to Man Ray, and a rare example of the speech that Bréton held for the French students at Yale University in 1942, published without his permission in that year: the official copy, in fact, arrived two years later in 1945.

Il Reale Assoluto by Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp (€ 4,000.00-6,000.00) will also be put up for sale, with two original lithographs signed by Man Ray and later used in reproduction for the publishing of the book.

Also from the Surrealist period, a book by Bréton with a cover created by Marcel Duchamp and the artist's signature and several volumes of the surrealist artists of the East such as Toyen, Styrski and Nezval.

The sale continues with a series of books from the Cubist period, including a volume by Blaise Cendrars (€ 300.00-500.00), which conceals a particular curiosity: on the title page there are two photos taken with one of the first Photomaton in Boulevard des Italiennes in Paris.

Among the most recent volumes worthy of note are the one inspired by the exhibition of Adami, Del Pezzo, Tadini, Schifano of 1965 (€ 100.00-200,00), with the puzzles of their works, and Il primo giorno di primavera by Del Pezzo who personally took care of the original cover and the four inserted boards. Among the selection of antique books there are several autograph documents together with the inscribed copy of Il Petrarca from 1554 which belonged to Ugo Foscolo and bears his inscription (Lot 757, € 1.000,00-1.500,00) and four letters by Gabriele D’Annunzio addresed to Matilde Festa Piacentini (Lots 554/557).

A collection full of unique specimens that attracts the eye for aesthetic beauty and captures the soul for the intellectual richness contained in every single piece.

The catalogue also includes some fine 19th-century works on Egypt and Nubia by Jean François Champollion and Franz Christian Gau (lots 550 and 578, € 8.000-12.000 and € 2.000-3.000), the beautiful Plan de Paris in its 1739 edition by Michel-Étienne Turgot (Lot 634, € 7.000-9.000) and the renown Prospectus Magni Canalis Venetiarum by Canaletto (Lot 546, € 7.000-10.000). A series of fine bindings are also part of the sale: one is in silver (Lot 589, € 2.000-3.000), two are in German blindstamped pigskin (Lots 616 and 637, € 1.200-1.800) and one is a Venetian 16th/17th-century red morocco binding containing four works by Boccaccio (Lot 542, € 5.000-8.000).