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By
AFP
Published
Nov 9, 2016
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Fashion mogul raises $5.5m in second sale of famed library

By
AFP
Published
Nov 9, 2016

The second part of the sale of fashion magnate Pierre Berge's famous library -- one of the most valuable in private hands -- raised nearly five million euros (£5.5 million) Wednesday when it went under the hammer in Paris.

Some of the most rare first editions of classics of 19th century European literature were among the 376 works sold by Sotheby's including signed books by such French greats as Balzac, Hugo, Stendhal and Baudelaire.


Pierre Bergé, co-founder of Yves Saint Laurent, pictured here with the desginer.



One handwritten manuscript, which shows how Gustave Flaubert scratched out whole passages of his travelogue "Over the Fields and over the Shores" -- an account of his tour of France's Loire and Brittany regions in 1886 -- went for 537,880 euros.

An original edition of his masterpiece, "Madame Bovary", made 190,369 euros, nearly twice its estimate.

But the highest price in the two-day sale was for the manuscript of Stephane Mallarme's "Noces d'Heriodiade" (The Wedding of Heriodiade), about the marriage of the biblical character Salome's mother. It sold for 587,720 euros.

Berge told AFP afterwards that he was delighted with the sale. "It's an excellent result. It is what I hoped for," he added.

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.

Four more sales of the rest of the library, which is thought to be worth in excess of 30 million euros, are planned for next year.

"You have to know how to get rid of things," Berge, 85, told AFP before the first sale.

The proceeds of the auctions will go to a foundation Berge set up with Saint Laurent which helps support AIDS research.

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