Highlights included, at the top of the price lists, a first edition of Dürer’s famous Apocalypse set of woodcuts. Depicting scenes from the Book of Revelation, this was the work, published in 1498 in Nuremburg in both German (as here) and Latin text versions, that brought Dürer fame and fortune.
The Litzler set sold at €346,000 (£301,020), including premium and taxes.
From a very different era, and about as far removed in inspiration as one could imagine, was an exceptional copy of Matisse’s celebrated livre d’artiste, Jazz, published by Tériade in 1947.
Sold at €298,000 (£259,260), this was a beautifully preserved copy that the well known art book publisher Albert Skira had given to his wife as a birthday present
Also in exceptional condition was another much admired work of the 20th century, Blaise Cendrars and Sonia Delaunay’s Prose du transibérien… of 1913. Signed and inscribed by Cendrars for the collector André Lefévre, it was sold at €237,500 (£206,625).
Among those works which made considerably more than expected was 65. Maximiliana ou l’exercice illégal de l’astronomie. Written and illustrated by Max Ernst, it is inspired by the work of a 19th century astronomer, Guillaume Tempel. This was one of 10 examples on japon ancien from an edition of just 70 copies produced in 1964 and it sold at €112,500 (£97,875).
Illustrated with 10 etched plates by Jean-Émile Labourer, and in a striking binding by Pierre Legrain, one of 20 special copies on vélin d’Arches of Petits et grand verres, choix des meilleurs cocktails… that sold for €118,750 (£103,315) was another notable success.
This was a 1927, deluxe French edition of a work by Nina Toyer and AH Ader originally published two years earlier in England as Drinks Long & Short, again with illustrations by Labourer. The latter was also responsible, under the name Ph Le Huby, for the French text of the 1927 edition. Numbered 13, this was Legrain’s copy.
Among the earlier works, drawn from in a variety of disciplines but with illustration very much the key attraction, was a copy of the 1556 Corrozet issue of Pierre Belon’s L’histoire de la nature des oyseaux…, the first work devoted wholly to birds.
Exhibiting contemporary colouring to the 158 woodcut illustrations, it made what may well be a record sum of €30,000 (£26,100).