Proust's Du Cote de chez Swann up 100% at Sotheby's Paris

A first edition copy of Proust's Du Cote de chez Swann (known in English as Swann's Way) has sold for $821,627 at Sotheby's Paris.

The book headlined the sale of the libraries of Raoul Simonson and Albert and Monique Kies, more than doubling its estimate of $410,130 on December 18 to achieve an increase of 100.3%.

Marcel Proust Swann
Du Cote de chez Swann is volume one of Proust's epic In Search of Lost Time

The book was presented by Proust to his lover Lucien Daudet and had featured a dedication on the title page, although this was removed some time later.

It was presented to Daudet's doctor, along with other personal effects, while Daudet lay on his deathbed in 1946.

Proust famously fought a duel with the writer Jean Lorrain in the late 1890s over accusations that he had been romantically involved with Daudet. Fortunately for French literature, both men's bullets passed wide.

The book is bound in red morocco with gold tooling, and is in excellent condition - despite some speckling on the back cover.

We have a range of books and manuscripts for sale, including this handwritten list by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - a contemporary of Proust.

A signed letter from the writer Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918), containing an erotic poem titled Lou my Star, made $95,809 against a $27,374 high estimate - up an impressive 254%.

He was a pioneer of surrealism, coining the term in the early 1900s - and was once famously accused of stealing the Mona Lisa.   

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