Journey of discovery through the world of books

Top piece at the antiquarian book fair in Stuttgart

The Book of Hours of Le Goux de La Berchère was created around 1420 and contains eleven full-page miniatures and 24 calendar vignettes. Les Enluminures is expecting 970,000 euros.

(Photo: Les Enluminures)

Wiesbaden Finally live again – up until a month before the planned fair, it still looked as if the “Antiquaria” could actually take place in the Ludwigsburg music hall. But then the organizer Petra Bewer had to let this event take place almost exclusively in virtual space.

The Association of German Antiquarians, which is holding a series of events online to accompany the virtual trade fair, had already taken this step at the end of last year.

The offer does not suffer from the virtualization of trade fairs, which has been foreseeable for some time; at least the number of high-priced items can stand up to those of normal editions.

For the first time this year, the most expensive work comes from industry heavyweights Les Enluminures with branches in Paris, New York and Chicago. The Book of Hours of Le Goux de La Berchère was created around 1420 and contains eleven full-page miniatures and 24 calendar vignettes. At 970,000 euros, it tops the price list in the Stuttgart catalogue.

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The rarely depicted life of Saint Radegund, staged by Jean Bouchet for the French royal court between 1496 and 1498, costs a little less at 880,000 euros from Jörn Günther from Basel. Shortly before that, the book of hours of Françoise de Bellecombe was created in Paris, which the master of the Chronique Scandaleuse decorated with 18 full-page and 85 smaller miniatures, which Heribert Tenschert from Ramsen in Switzerland is offering for 680,000 euros.

Dossier on the initial setup of the “Palazzo Regale” installation by Joseph Beuys

The documentation created in 1986, which also includes three handwritten sketches, is said to cost 25,000 euros.

(Photo: Antiquariat Michael Solder; VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2022)

Ex Oriente Lux Rare Books from Berlin has specialized in Islamic manuscripts. The “Muqaddima” Ibn Khaldun, the introduction to a universal history of the philosopher and historian of the 14th century, is considered one of the pioneering works of historical science. The magnificent copy by the copyist Osman bin Osman bin Mustafa el Erzurumî from 1853 costs 9,500 euros.

The antiquarian book shop Kainbacher from Baden near Vienna offers autograph travel reports by the Africa researcher Hans Meyer at prices of 60,000 and 140,000 euros. The original diary of the biologist Rudolph von Willemoes-Suhm from the circumnavigation of the earth by the HMS Challenger in the years 1872 to 1875 costs 240,000 euros.

Topic “dissent” with current reference

Among the political literature in Stuttgart, one of the few surviving copies of the Declaration of Human Rights of the French National Assembly from 1789 stands out, which Hellmut Schumann from Zurich is offering for 250,000 euros.

“Dissent” is this year’s theme of the Ludwigsburg “Antiquaria”, which tries to loosely integrate general social moods. In this context, the Langguth reading aids antiquarian book shop in Cologne is contributing several volumes of two extra-parliamentary opposition magazines: “Die Schwarze Botin” (300 euros) and “Schwarze Protokolle zur Theorie derleftenbewegung” (350 euros).

More establishment than Goethe, on the other hand, is hard to imagine. Inlibris from Vienna and Kotte Autographs from Roßhaupten with two nibs that he owned (€65,000) make it even possible to write like the master. However, the buyer would then be responsible for the quality of what was written with it.

It is also worth taking a look at the catalogs for art collectors. A dossier created on the occasion of the first installation of the Palazzo Regale by Joseph Beuys in Naples is downright spectacular, including three autograph sketches. The documentation, created in 1986, is available from the antiquarian bookshop Michael Solder in Münster for 25,000 euros.

The Antiquaria Prize, endowed with 10,000 euros, is awarded to established persons or institutions and this year goes to the communication scientist Patrick Rössler. The more modest prize for young collectors at 1,000 euros is dedicated to the next generation. In its second edition, the 24-year-old German studies and theology student Elisabeth Wittkowski received it for her collection focus on the self-portrayal and reception of Elton John in the early 1970s.

More: Antiquarian book fairs in Stuttgart and Ludwigsburg: Books and graphics: all of this is available online