Christie's will sell the Collection of Arthur & Charlotte Vershbow - one of the most celebrated American book collections - over four auctions in New York, with Francisco Goya's La Tauromaquia to lead the first sale on April 9.
The first edition copy (1816) is expected to sell for $400,000-600,000, as the rarest of the Spanish painter's four main intaglio series.
Depicting the imagery and emotion of a Spanish bullfight, the portfolio is one of just three known to have a title page and table with variant titles, as well as the prints in a different order from the norm and the printed plate-numbers scratched and altered. These features make it all the more desirable.
Also appearing on April 9 will be Goya's other print album, Los Caprichos, a critique of Spanish society that was swiftly withdrawn after its release in 1799, a move that Goya would later state was due to the Spanish Inquisition.
More of Goya's print albums will be seen as Part Four of the collection crosses the block at Christie's in October 2013. Further offerings from the Vershbow Collection will be sold on April 10.
In September 2012, one of Goya's masterpieces, Lot and his Daughters, sold with a 248.4% increase on estimate at $2.8m. It is the most important of only 10 major Goya works to have appeared on the market in the past 20 years.
Also starring in the sale is the 500-year-old Book of Hours inscribed by Henry VIII, which will sell with a $300,000-400,000 estimate. The book is superbly printed and coloured, and was given by the king to his cousin, with the inscription: "I pray you pray for me your loving cousin Henry R".
As Christie's correctly states, while manuscripts that belonged to Henry VIII are found in various American and European libraries, they are extremely rare in private hands.
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