Books, Manuscripts & Prints on December 5, 2023 at the Hôtel Drouot

PARIS – Tajan’s Books & Manuscripts winter sale will take place on December 5:

In the first part, you will find a selection of antiquarian books, including the first edition of Maier’s L’Atalanta fugiens (1617); a charming silver binding with enamel paintings on porcelain (17th c.); various illustrated books on Rome, including the Dutch edition (1704) of François Desseine’s La Description de la Ville de Rome.

A second part will feature a fine Stendhalian collection: first editions, exceptional copies and selected documentation, including an Italian Grammar from Louis Crozet’s library, annotated by Stendhal; Histoire de la peinture en Italie with a consignment to Count Kosakowski; Le Rouge et le Noir, from the library of Félix Faure, Stendhal’s youthful friend; autographed letters to his friend the lawyer Salvagnoli…

On the modern books side, first editions will be unveiled, including Sagan, Nabokov, Apollinaire, Yourcenar and an important collection of Marcel Jouhandeau’s manuscripts…

Among the illustrators: Marc Chagall (with 10 original etchings illustrating De mauvais sujets, poems by Jean Paulhan, first color etchings by Marc Chagall in 1958), Zao Wou-Ki (10 original lithographs illustrating André Malraux’s Tentation de l’Occident, 1962), Henri Laurens, André Masson.

Fine bindings by Georges Cretté (Les Idylles de Théocrite illustrés par Henri Laurens, Tériade, 1942), Alain Lobstein, Madeleine Gras (Dialogues de Lucien de Samosate illustrés par Henri Laurens, Tériade, 1951).




Rare First Edition of one of the Finest Emblem Books of the Baroque Period




L’Atalante fugitive, ou Les Nouveaux emblèmes chimiques des secrets de la nature is one of the most beautiful emblem books of the Baroque period, a literary masterpiece, and the first example of a printed work combining text, image and music.

This famous collection of alchemical emblems is illustrated with an engraved title and 50 fine copper engravings, attributed to the engraver Mathieu Merian l’aîné (1593-1650), probably in collaboration with his father-in-law, the publisher and engraver Jean Théodore de Bry (1561-1623).

The German Michael Maier (1569-1622) practiced philosophy and medicine at the princely courts of Prague, England and Germany. He is the author of numerous treatises on alchemy, published between 1616 and 1624, whose aim is to reveal the synthesis of the sciences, bringing together medicine, history, music, astrology, agriculture, mineralogy, ethics…

Thus, in this Atalanta fugiens, each of the 50 engravings is preceded by a musical fugue, complete with epigram, motto and long speech containing numerous references to mythology, fables, philosophy and science. These “fugues” are the only alchemical musical composition still preserved, a treasure trove for musicologists.

This is the rarest and most sought-after of Michael Maier’s works: very few copies of this 1617 first edition are known.

This copy comes from the prestigious English Harley collection (old manuscript bookplate “From the Harleian library n° 13209”), built up from 1704 by Robert Harley and then his son Edward. Their extensive collection of printed works was sold to the bookseller Thomas Osborne in 1741, and their exceptional collection of manuscripts has been one of the three holdings of the British Museum library since 1753.




Charming 17th-century binding in filigree silver, embellished with small enamel paintings on porcelain and cut-glass cabochons. On: L’Offitio della chiesa.
Paris, Claude Hérissant, 1681.

2 000 / 2 500 €




STENDHAL. Armance.
Paris, Urbain Canel, 1827. 3 vol. in-12, burgundy morocco lined by Huser.
Rare first edition of Stendhal’s first novel, published without an author’s name.

8 000 / 10 000 €




STENDHAL. Le Rouge et le Noir.
Paris, A. Levavasseur, 1831. 2 vol. in-8, ornate contemporary half-basin.
First edition.
A fine copy in contemporary binding, from the library of Félix
Faure (stamp), one of Henri Beyle’s closest childhood friends.

15 000 / 20 000 €




Italian grammar. 1803. In-8, shagreened basane.
Textbook from Stendhal’s library in Civitavecchia.

15 000 / 20 000 €




Numerous autograph manuscripts and typescripts of autobiographical stories






Sale on December 5, 2023 at 2pm

Hôtel Drouot, 9 rue Drouot, 75009 Paris



Saturday December 2, 11am – 6pm
Monday December 4, 11am – 6pm
Tuesday December 5, 11am – 12pm



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


Ségolène Beauchamp
Member of the Compagnie Nationale des Experts
+33 6 64 67 12 60
[email protected]