ArtDaily.org reports on a forthcoming Christie’s auction of European illustrated books that recorded official celebrations and festivals from the 15th to the 19th century:

‘Encompassing over five hundred of the greatest and most visually arresting illustrations in the history of festivals and ceremonies, The Paul and Marianne Gourary Collection of Illustrated Fête Books will be offered for sale at Christie’s on June 12, 2009. This is the first specialized auction sale of this magnitude to ever take place in America in this important field of bibliophily. The collection covers many famous artists of the Renaissance and Baroque periods such as Ludovico Burnacini, Jacques Callot, Jean Cousin, Stefano della Bella, Nicolaus Hozenberg, and Jean Goujon. These sumptuous works record births, baptisms, weddings, anniversaries, elections, coronations, peace treaties, funerals, religious and secular festivals, theater performances, fireworks displays, and other official, political, artistic and musical productions.’ Read on.


Above: The top lot is an illuminated manuscript of Nurmberg’s historic Shrove Tuesday carnival, with 64 full page color illustrations of costumes and floats (Estimate: $80,000-120,000). Photo: Christie’s Images Ltd. 2009.

— Paul Razzell