Coming now from the Bergé collection, the book with the dedication sheet fitted at its original position is estimated € 600K for sale by Pierre Bergé et Associés in association with Sotheby's at Paris - Hôtel Drouot on December 14, lot 927.
I narrated as follows before the 2013 sale the literary work and its dedication.
A wealthy and sickly esthete attends the worldly salons. His ambition is to become a great writer. His sensuality provides him with a vision of life as a river that flows inexorably but is marked by memories of strong impressions even if sometimes their cause is derisory.
At the dawn of the twentieth century, that literary project by Marcel Proust opens the way to the psychological novel, closer to a long prose poem than to a true novel. In his research of every empathy, he did not reject homosexual emotion in his writings and in his own life.
His cycle of novels got a title that highlighted his literary purpose : A la recherche du temps perdu. In 1907 his plan was ready, but the writing phase will be long.
The first opus, Du Côté de chez Swann, was submitted to editors in 1913. Discouraged at first reading by obscure metaphors, André Gide refused to have it published by the prestigious NRF. Bernard Grasset agreed to edit it by author's expense. Gide soon recognized that his decision had been a major blunder.
At the end of the first print and according to the literary tradition, a few copies were printed on luxury paper for being presented to personalities selected by the author : five numbered 1 to 5 on Japon followed by twelve on Hollande.
The number 1 is dedicated to Lucien, a son of Alphonse Daudet. Proust had enjoyed in the mid-1890s the fragility of this effeminate teenager. Their romantic affair revealed against their will by the scandal chronicler Jean Lorrain was followed by an efficient literary cooperation.
The author had included in that copy a dedication page in a typically Proustian emphatic style which had been later kept by Daudet when he sold the book.
SOLD for € 1.25M before fees