Leading the sale was Cirque de l’Étoile Filante, 1938, by Georges Rouault. The publication, depicting circus performers in 17 color aquatints by Rouault and 82 wood engravings by George Aubert in characteristic Fauvist style, sold for $35,000. Rouault’s final work, Passion, 1939, also found success, selling for $21,250.
Additional livresd’artiste included Klänge, 1912-13, Wassily Kandinsky’s masterpiece of expressionism and one of the earliest artist’s books to contain nonrepresentational art, which reached $31,200; and a first English translation of Marcel Duchamp’s The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even, 1960, a typographic version by Richard Hamilton, brought $1,500, a record for the signed trade edition.
Sonia Delaunay’s Ses Peintures, Ses Objects, Ses Tissues Simultanés, Ses Modes, 1925, a tour de force of Simultaneous Contrast design theory, set a record for the work with $13,750, and 20 color pochoir plates of butterflies by Emile-Alain Seguy from 1925, realized $9,100.
Alphonse Mucha’s Ilsée, Princesse de Tripoli, 1897, brought a record price for a copy of the publication in the original folder at $13,000. A rich Art Nouveau selection continued with Eugène Grasset’s La Plante et ses applications Ornementales, 1895, 72 richly colored and intricately designed plates, that brought $7,250.
Works from the Cheloniidae Press found buyers with The Birds and Beasts of Shakespeare, 1990, which brought $6,500, a record for the work; and the artist’s proof copy of Tortoises, 1983, which featured sculptural leather binding evoking a turtle shell and garnered $5,750.
“Collectors enthusiastically received this smaller, thoughtfully curated fine books auction. What struck me most was the global participation in this sale, and the growing number of bidders on our recently launched Swann Galleries app, which reflects how people are becoming increasingly comfortable with this type of digital platform and appreciate the convenience it offers.”