Title: NOSTRADAMUS/EARLY PRINTED BOOKS
Date: April 23, 2007
Time: 10:30 AM
Exhibition: Saturday, April 14, 10-4
Monday, April 16, 10-6
Tuesday, April 17, 10-6
Wednesday, April 18, 10-6
Thursday, April 19, 2-6
Friday, April 20, 10-6
Saturday, April 21, 10-4
Contact Person: Tobias Abeloff
On Monday, April 23, Swann Auction Galleries sold 16th-18th century books from the Nostradamus Library of the late Daniel Ruzo, widely considered to be the finest private collection of books by and about the storied French astrologer. The Ruzo collection contained many extremely scarce titles, several of them unique copies.
All of the 114 lots of Nostradamus books found buyers and two achieved record prices: a 1555 Lyon edition of his treatise on cosmetics and preserves, Excellent & moult utile Opuscule à touts necessaire, qui desirent avoir cognoissance de plusieurs exquises Receptes, $19,200 (see top illustration); and an unrecorded variant of the 1557 Antwerp edition of the same work, Le vray et parfaict embellissement de la face, & conservation du corps en son entier, $14,400 (second illustration). These and many of the other early Nostradamus rarities were acquired by the Musée Nostradamus, Salon-de-Provence, France, where they will be available to scholars.
During his lifetime Nostradamus was known primarily for the almanacs and prognostications forecasting events of the coming year that he published annually from 1550 until his death. Making its auction debut was the only known copy of the earliest surviving prognostication, Prognostication nouvelle, & prediction portenteuse, pour Lan M.D.LV., first edition, Lyon, 1554, which realized $13,200 (third illustration). Other examples included the only known copies of the earliest surviving almanac, Almanach pour l'An 1557, first edition, Paris, 1556, $6,240 (fourth illustration); and The True Prophecies or Prognostications, first complete edition in English, London, 1672, $4,655 (see final illustration).