'$25,154' poem collection by prose pioneer Bertrand doubles sale estimate

With Bill Gates and Johnny Depp among the most famous collectors, it's of no surprise that the rare book markets are going so strongly.

Recent successful sales include this example which more than doubled its lower estimate (€8,000-10,000) to bring €18,500 at Alde's September 23 sale in Paris.

Written by the French poet Louis-Jacques-Napoléon "Aloysius" Bertrand, this book, Gaspard de la nuit, is his most famous collection of works.

Bertrand was instrumental in the introduction of the prose poem into French literature.

Showcasing fantasies in the manner of Rembrandt and Callot, composer Maurice Ravel wrote a suite of the same name inspired by Bertrand's work - a kind of 19th century multimedia extravaganza.

Louis-Jacques-Napoléon "Aloysius" Bertrand's Gaspard de la nuit

Published in 1842, the pages are bound in brown morocco with giltbranchalongtwoedges of thefirst dish.

The book's cover is decorated with flowers and leaves and scattered thistles, with mosaiced fluttering on the front and back and silver stars.

Billed as a "superb bound copy", slight defects in this original edition didn't stop it from bringing more than €18,000 ($25,154) in Alde's sale - thanks in no small part to the seminal influence of Bertrand and these poems in particular.

Watch this space for more news from the rare book markets.


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