Fashion mogul Pierre Berge said Wednesday he will put the second part of his famed library-one of the most valuable in private hands-up for auction in November. The French philanthropist, who co-founded the Yves Saint Laurent fashion empire with his lover the late designer, raised 11.7 million euros ($12.8 million) from the sale of the first part of his collection last year.
He now intends to put 380 works that include some of the cream of 19th-century European literature under the hammer, a statement said. They include the manuscripts of the Marquis de Sade’s last novel, “The Secret History of Isabella of Bavaria” and Gustave Flaubert’s “Over the Fields and over the Shores”-an account of his tour of France’s Loire and Brittany regions in 1886.
Although the full catalogue of the Paris sales will not be released until September, it will also include signed books exchanged between such greats as Balzac, Hugo, Stendhal and Baudelaire. English-language, German and Russian classics will also feature strongly with rare editions of work by the poets Byron, Shelley and Wordsworth, Oscar Wilde, Tolstoy, Turgenev, Kleist and Goethe. “You have to know how to get rid of things,” Berge, 85, told AFP before the last sale. The proceeds of the auction on November 8 and 9 run by Sotheby’s in Paris will go to a foundation Berge set up with Saint Laurent which helps support AIDS research. — AFP