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Aristophil in the interwar years

Aguttes’ latest dispersal from the massive Aristophil collection takes place in the firm’s Neuilly Sur Seine premises on June 19. This auction covers the interwar years of the 1920s-30s featuring work by various artists and writers.

Among the highlights of the sale is a group of 38 letters, postcards and other documents from Franz Kafka to his friend, doctor Robert Klopstock. They were written during the last years of Kafka’s life, between c.1920-24.

Klopstock was renowned for his research into the treatment of tuberculosis, a disease which he himself had. He met Kafka at a sanatorium in 1921.

The correspondence is written in German in ink and pencil and mostly signed simply K. The ensemble is estimated at €100,000-150,000.


Rembrandt etchings

A large selection of prints by Rembrandt Harmensz Van Rijn will feature in the 124-lot prints sale at Karl & Faber in Munich on June 16.

Some of them are biblical subjects and others are portraits such as this study of an elderly man in a fur hat. The etching on laid paper, a second state dated to c.1635, measures 4½ x 4in (11.5 x 10.5cm), with a fine margin around the plate edge.

The estimate is €19,000-22,000.


Illuminating book of hours

On June 5, at the Drouot auction centre in Paris, Binoche et Giquello is selling the library of Robert Beauvillain which was assembled in the early 20th century.

The sale is notable for including some rare illuminated books of hours. Pictured here is one of them, a book of hours used in Rome, produced in Bourges at the advent of the French Renaissance era c.1500-10.

It is richly illuminated with four diptychs, 28 large miniatures and 35 smaller ones, as well as four historiated initials, by the artist known as The Master of Spencer 6 who was working in Bourges between 1495-1510 (three more initials are from the hand of another artist).

The estimate is €600,000-800,000.


An original binding

This Dutch Bible, printed in 1556 by Hans De Laet in Antwerp and illustrated with woodcuts, will feature in the Carlo Bonte sale in Bruges from May 28-30.

Retaining its original 16th century leather binding with brass fittings, the Bible is estimated at €600-1000.


A cry for Hilfe

A German offset film poster for The Beatles’ 1965 film Help, measuring 2ft 8in x 23in (83 x 60cm), with a banner top right for Bravo magazine, will be offered for sale with another for Yellow Submarine of 1968, measuring 2ft 7in x 23in (84 x 59cm). They will be included in the June 6 auction at Schramm in Kiel. The estimate is €400.


Kokoschka thanks his carers

In 1908, when Oskar Kokoschka was just 21, the Wiener Werkstätte commissioned him to write and illustrate a book for children. It was titled Die Traumenden Knaben (The Dreaming Boys) and had 11 lithograph illustrations, eight of them in colour, one on the front cover, with a Wiener Werkstätte cloth binding.

Some 500 copies of this first edition were printed but only a few were distributed. The 275 unsold copies were acquired by Kurt Wolff who reissued it in 1917.

A rare copy of the 1908 first edition will be offered for sale by Koller in its book auction on June 15 in Zurich.

It has a handwritten presentation inscription from Kokoschka which translates as ‘but as I saw it again, I dedicated it especially to dear S. Marianne for Christmas 1915 / Oskar Kokoschka’.

The auction house relates this inscription to the time when the artist was recovering from both a war wound and emotional injury and was cared for by nuns and young women from noble families. Koller concludes that the book was given to a S(chwester) Marianne in gratitude for his care.

It has an estimate of SFr40,000-60,000. kollerauktionen.ch

Sèvres in soft focus

This copy of Edouard Garnier’s The Soft Porcelain of Sèvres, published in London by John C Nimmo, 1892, will be offered in New Orleans Auction Galleries’ mixed-discipline, two-day Estates sale on May 30-31 in Louisiana.

It features 50 chromolithographed plates that measure 17 x 12½in (44 x 33cm), is bound in green half leather on cloth boards and has ex-library markings (none affecting the plates).

The lot has an estimate of $1000-1500.


From Debussy to Messager

The final sale of the R&BL collection will be held by Sotheby’s Paris rooms in association with Binoche et Giquello, marking a decade of auctions from this source.

This latest offering, to be held online from June 11-17, features works by 19th and 20th century writers, musicians and artists. Letters, literary texts, musical scores and original drawings will be included.

Among the highlights is a series of 21 autograph signed letters running to 60 pages written by the French composer Claude Debussy to fellow French composer and conductor André Messager from 1902-10.

The letters, together with 13 autograph envelopes, have been bound together in one volume and are offered with an estimate of €18,000-25,000.


Allegorical atlas art

This pair of hand-coloured engravings by Matthaus Seutter (1678-1757) come from the Augsburg cartographer’s Atlas Novus of 1728 and are to be offered by Millea Bros as part of a June 4-5 auction in Boonton, New Jersey. The allegorical subjects, measuring 2ft 1in x 21½in (62 x 55cm), have an estimate of $400-600.


Group shows off bindery finery

Hindman’s sale of Books and Manuscripts in Chicago on June 23 features a group of fine bindings from the collection of Rhoda H Clark and the Monastery Hill Bindery.

Among them is this copy of Edward Fitzgerald’s Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, London, Macmillan and Co, 1907. It has an elaborately decorated and gilt morocco binding by Brentano. The book also has a tipped-in single leaf Persian manuscript with miniature and a bookplate for TA Langstroth.

The estimate is $300-400.


Surrealism and the nipple effect

The first edition of the catalogue Le Surréalisme en 1947 will be one of the attractions on offer in Ketterer Kunst’s Hamburg sale of books and manuscripts on July 6.

The exhibition, at the Galerie Maeght, organised by Marcel Duchamp and André Breton, was a significant post-war survey of the Surrealist movement. Containing 24 original prints and a cover by Marcel Duchamp, this is a deluxe first edition published in Paris by Maeght. It comes with the original wrapper, boards and chemise in a slipcase and has an estimate of €16,000.