I visited “The Bookshop” at Kirkstall, West Yorkshire, England and took at look at the section dedicated to art. After a little while scanning every row of Books I discovered a book with “Sotheby’s, Toulouse-Lautrec, 27th April 1978" endorsed on the spine.
“Hmmm, interesting, what could it be?” I asked myself. I pulled it from the book case and discovered it was the original catalogue from the famous Sotheby's sale of works by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Containing the original prices realised sheet, as well as full-page images of all 160 lots.
The inside sleeve was set out as follows:
HENRI DE TOULOUSE – LAUTREC
FROM THE COLLECTION OF LUDWIG AND ERIK CHARELL (Sold by order of the Executors)
Which will be sold at auction
SOTHEBY PARKE BERNET & CO
Auctioneers of Literary Property and Works Illustrative of the Fine Arts
Day of Sale
Thursday, 27th April 1978 at 11:00am, precisely.
What a fantastic find. It features all 160 items that went up for sale with a full description of the works and condition of the works in their then current state.
Of the 160 lots to be sold only 1 featured Jane Avril and this was item number 7 which reads as follows from the catalogue:
7. COUVERTURE DE L’ESTAMPE ORIGINALE (L.D. 17; A. 10; A./W.10), 1893, lithograph printed in colours, on wove, a very good impression, signed in pencil, inscribed by the artist Passe, and with an inscription in ink A Monsieur Floury, son bien reconnaissant et devoué And. Marty, the partially erased number 3 causing a small abrasion at left, deckle edge of sheet just trimmed away all round, two short tears in lower edge, creases where previously folded in four, otherwise in generally good condition, backed with linen. 564 x 655
An impression of the dark pink stone on verso, visible through the linen backing.
In the background is Père Cotelle, the master-printer at the studio of Edouard Ancourt. The figure studying the proof is Jane Avril. André Marty published Lautrec’s Album Yvette Guilbert; Floury, to whom Marty dedicates this impression, published the Histoires naturelles by Jules Renard, illustrated by Lautrec.
As you can see it is a very detailed description and all other items are similarly detailed.
The catalogue itself is in absolutely perfect condition and one wonders just how long “The Bookshop” has had it on their shelves? Not any more, it now forms part of my ever growing Jane Avril and Toulouse-Lautrec collection of books where it will remain for many more years to be read and enjoyed.
So who were Ludwig and Erik Charell?
Ludwig Charell (1891?-1956) was a German-American art expert who owned a large collection of work by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Charell also accumulated numerous photographs of Toulouse-Lautrec's work and related images which were deposited at The Museum of Modern Art Library in 1962 upon the instruction of Charell's brother Erik who died in 1978 which prompted the sale.