Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Berès Collection Surpasses Estimates

With the increased attention drawn by his donation of a Stendhal manuscript to France, book dealer Pierre Berès had a very good day at the auction house yesterday - his collection's sale grossed almost twice the $7.5 million it was estimated to bring in, according to Reuters.

"Inside the crowded Drouot auction hall in central Paris, the scene resembled an updated version of one of Balzac's novels of money and avarice as an auctioneer dispatched one treasure after another to a floor of impassive bidders," the report notes.

The single most expensive piece sold is described as a "16th century collection of bird paintings" (if anybody knows more specifically what that was I'd love to hear it), which sold for $1.5 million. Other items included a presentation copy of Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary to Alexandre Dumas, and corrected Balzac proofs.