The Brölemanns’ Treasures, from an Arabic Bible to Venetian Festivities

On 24 January 2020, by Philippe Dufour

This successful "white glove" auction netted €372,000. All 259 works collected by the famous dynasty of Lyon bibliophiles found buyers.

Jacques Gohory (1520-1576), Hystoria Iasonis Thessaliae Principis de Colchica velleris aurei expeditione, an in-quarto volume, Paris, 1563, Jean de Mauregard.
Result: €23,040

From Henry-Auguste Brölemann (1775-1854) to Arthur-Auguste Brölemann (1826-1904), four generations of passionate book collectors amassed paper treasures, many printed during the Renaissance. An example is an exceptional Bible in Arabic, Anajil Yasu’ al-Masih Sayyidina al-Muqaddasah, printed by Medici Press in Rome in 1591. This in-folio volume, the first edition of the Gospels solely in Arabic, was published under the direction of the Orientalist Giovanni Battista Raimondi for distribution to Christians and non-Christians in the Middle East. Featuring 149 woodcuts (including some by Tempesta and Parasole), the astonishing work fetched €24,642. Next came mythology with Hystoria Iasonis Thessaliae, a story about the quest for the Golden Fleece written by Jacques Gohory and printed in Paris in 1563 by Jean de Mauregard. The in-quarto volume featuring a superb series of Fontainebleau School prints after Léonard Thiry and engraved by René Boyvin netted €23,040. Natural history also shined with Le Liure des prouffitz champestres et ruraulx. Touchant le labour des champs vignes et iardins by Pierre des Crescens and printed by Phelippe le Noir in Paris in 1532. One bidder paid €19,590 to find out everything there is to know about 16th-century farming and gardening. A woman, Marguerite Briet, also called Hélisenne de Crenne, wrote the next text, Les Angoisses douloureuses qui procèdent d'amours (The Heartache Brought About by Love), which could be called the "first French sentimental novel". This is the 1539 Lyon edition printed by Denys de Harsy. The precious octavo sold for €17,865. Lastly, the small in-folio volume describing garments worn during Venetian festivals, Habiti d'huomini..., compiled by Giacomo Franco in 1610, fetched €11,704.

Saturday 18 January 2020 - 14:00 - Catalogue
Jack-Philippe Ruellan
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