At Christie’s Paris on 20 February: Exceptional Material
- by Bruce E. McKinney
On 20 February 2019, at 9, avenue Matignon, in Paris, Christie’s will sell to the highest bidder the Bibliotheque Marc Litzler. They have prepared a significant catalogue that suggests confidence in both the material and the potential outcomes.
Collecting is a very individual, usually private undertaking. It is wrought with risks for it is often dependent on the judgment and honesty of dealers who know, from long experience, that collectors, even when shellacked, will never say a word because they are embarrassed. It happens too often. But there are also many honest dealers who provide expert advice that protects the collector and educates them on the finer points of condition, rarity and importance. Among these collectors some will excel. In the upcoming sale of Bibliotheque Marc Litzler at Christie’s on February 20th we’ll see the financial outcome of such a focused, quality-driven approach. As often happens, such collections go to auction because they have achieved a scale and significance that enflames the imaginations of collectors, collecting institutions and dealers. That spark is necessary for many collectors fear auction-room judgments. Mr. Litzler’s commitment to public sale says he’s ready for a fair accounting.
The catalogue is massive, beautifully wrought, and printed on thick paper. This is the form of catalogue every collector hopes they will someday have on their library shelf to illustrate their collecting achievements. Mr. Litzler now has his catalogue and judgment is just a few weeks away.
Those who collect in the French style are usually condition obsessed, the rest of the world not-so-much. For the French such collecting is about unusual bindings, important association copies and extravagant rarity. In this sale all these elements converge as a “mélange exceptionnel.”
The estimates are eclectic. Lots that will bring more than one hundred thousand euros rest comfortably near lots estimated at two thousand. In my experience the continental buyer is untroubled by high or low reserves because they have clear opinions about the actual value.
In total there are 248 lots. If you win any of the lots request a copy of the catalogue for each item because these lots, when they randomly return to the rooms in the decades ahead, will gain immeasurably from their having been purchased at this sale. Inclusion of a copy of this sale catalogue will add cachet to the provenance and thousands of euros to the outcomes.
Click here to go to lot 1.