A “Success Story” for our Books, Manuscripts and Prints Department


A “Success Story” for our Books, Manuscripts and Prints Department

Tuesday, December 5, 2023 at Hôtel Drouot – Paris



On December 5, Alexia Taiclet, auctioneer and director of our Books, Manuscripts and Prints department, auctioned over 300 lots at Hôtel Drouot. Among the rare books on sale was Michael Maier‘s Atalanta Fugiens (1617), an original edition of one of the finest books of alchemical emblems. Sparking a fierce bidding battle between British and American connoisseurs, this work made its way to new shelves for €48,423. Stendhal’s essential Rouge et Noir, first edition of 1831, sold for €19,114, while Bonjour tristesse, Françoise Sagan‘s scandalous first novel found a new owner for €11,468. Finally, the original English edition of Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, dated 1955, fetched €3,870.

The superb binding by Madeleine Gras, inspired by the engravings of Henri Laurens, containing Dialogues de Lucien de Samosate, sold for €5,352. De mauvais sujets, illustrated with 10 original color etchings by Marc Chagall, and Paroles peintes. V, with 9 engravings by Miro, Chillida or Tapiès, attracted the interest of connoisseurs at €5,606 for one and €5097 for the other.

Rembrandt Van Rijn‘s portrait of an “Vieil homme barbu à la toque en fourrure et au manteau de velours” fetched €10,496, while “The Great Descent from the Cross” sold for €3,936. The old prints section closed with a winning bid of €4,291 for a very rare print by Jean Boucher de Bourges depicting “Saint Jean-Baptiste dormant”.

In the 3rd part of the sale, devoted to the modern period, Les Maîtres de l’affiche, two complete sets from the first and second years totaled €8,396. Tsuguharu Foujita‘s Self-portrait with cat found a new home for €6,035, while Lazlo Moholy-Nagy‘s abstract linoleum print fetched €3,017. Works by Zao Wou-Ki, which are highly prized on the market, reached €3,673 for a color lithograph on Rives vellum from ’65 and €3,017 for “Composition abstraite 1 981”.

Finally, two colour lithographs by Alfredo Muller, depicting peacocks and swans respectively, will join the collections of the BNF’s Department of Modern Prints.



MAIER (Michael).

Atalanta fugiens hoc est, Emblemata nova de secretis naturae chymica.
[L’Atalante fugitive, ou Les Nouveaux emblèmes chimiques]. Oppenheim, Jérome Gallier (typographer) for Jean Théodore de Bry (publisher), 1617. Small in-4.

Estimate: 10 000 – 15 000€
Result: 48 423,40€




Paris, Tériade, 1951. In-folio.

Estimate: 1 000 – 1 500€
Result: 5 352€




Vieil homme barbu à la toque en fourrure et au manteau de velours
Etching and burin

Estimate: 5 000 – 6 000€
Result: 10 496€




Autoportrait au chat (avec profil de femme), 1927
Drypoint on paper

Estimate: 2 000 – 4 000€
Result: 6 035€








Sale on December 5, 2023



Alexia Taiclet
Auctioneer and department director
T. +33 1 53 30 30 84
[email protected]