Schumann manuscript
An extract from draft of Fantasiestücke by Robert Schumann. Estimate £200,000-300,000 at Bonhams on November 27.

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The draft, which is unknown to music scholars, was taken out of Germany months before the outbreak of World War II. It is estimated at £200,000-300,000 at the Fine Books and Manuscripts sale on November 27.

Bonhams' books and manuscripts specialist Simon Roberts has described the 14-page manuscript as a “major discovery [that] provides a fascinating insight into Schumann’s working methods, and the creative decisions he took in completing the version of Fantasiestücke we are familiar with today.”

Roberts has prepared detailed notes on the draft manuscript and its relation to the published version of Opus 12. It contains six of the eight pieces from the final work and a ninth piece that was dropped at proof stage. Markings in Schumann’s characteristic red crayon also show how he experimented with the order in which the pieces should be played.

The manuscript was completed in July 1837 and given by Schumann to the composer Gustav Schmidt in August the same year. It was acquired by the Jewish German jurist Dr Moritz Sprinz shortly before he left Germany in February 1939.