2 p.l., 124 pp. Large 8vo, cont. red cloth-backed marbled boards, spine gilt. [Paris]: Rapilly, .
(—). Catalogue de Dessins anciens, Architecture, Décoration, Ameublement, Orfèvrerie…Dont la Vente aura lieu…les samedi 21, lundi 23, mardi 24, mercredi 25 février 1891… 4 p.l., 104 pp. 8vo, orig. printed wrappers (spine slightly defective). [Paris]: M. Delestre & S. Mayer, .
The rare auction catalogues of Bérard’s library and drawing collection, one of the most important assemblages of architecture and decorative arts of its time. An established architect, Bérard (1838-90), inherited the foundations of these collections from his father, André Denis (1806-73), who pioneered the formal study of historical architecture and design. The two sales fetched a total of 164,774 francs, an impressive sum for the period.
Alfred de Champeaux, an early historian of decorative arts, composed the Preface for the second sale, which provides valuable information on the evolution of the collections from father to son. He writes: “Charles-Eugène Bérard avait hérité du goût paternel pour la curiosité et l’histoire, en même temps qu’il embrassait aussi la profession d’architecte. Il tint à honneur de conserver la collection que lui léguait son père, et il s’attacha à l’accroître par des acquisitions incessantes de dessins, de livres et de gravures.”
The first catalogue lists 1005 lots, many of which are composed of dozens of items. It is novel in its appreciation of all forms of art and books depicting European architecture and decoration from antiquity. It also offers works by Lepautre, Du Cerceau, Bullant, Marot, Meissonnier, and many other important architects and artists of the 17th-19th centuries. Much of this catalogue is annotated in various contemporary hands which provide personal accounts of the bidding and comments on several lots. At the end, pricelists have been tipped-in.
The second of 585 lots features work by celebrated artists and architects such as Du Cerceau, Delaune, Gillot, Huet, Le Pautre, Percier, Soufflot, etc. Priced in pencil throughout in a contemporary hand.
❧ I: Lugt 49648.
Item ID: 5934