old books have sold for up to 17,000 euros in Tours

In one of the lounges of the hotel L’Univers, in the center of the city of Tours, Rouillac, father and son, organized auctions, this Saturday January 14, 2023. For sale, the first part of a family library .

Codes are respected, the place quiets down, and the hammer blows at every sale are over. The Hôtel l’Univers, in downtown Tours, hosted one of auctioneers Rouillac’s sales this Saturday, January 14.

To bid the room, the hand signals were careful, the nods were immediately understood by Aymeric Rouillac.

By phone or online, other buyers, more anonymous, raise the stakes remotely. As for this copy of “Theophrastus’ men“by Jean de La Bruyère, sold for 14,500 euros to a buyer in London.

In a phone call to the father of the house, Philippe Rouillac, the British raised the price, by 500 euros, until the deal was done. That’s worth a “thank you sir“.

To this sum, it will be necessary to add 24% of selling costs, as well as other supplements for online buyers. The largest amount, 17,000 euros, will be given for the Diderot and d’Alembert encyclopedias. In total, sales for the first part of this collection called “Fabulae” were 226,000 euros.

For these far-flung buyers, everything is thought out. The camera makes it possible to display the books, sometimes manipulating them to reveal the pages. Truer than nature.

Sometimes the values ​​fly, often overseas, other bargain hunters are present and active in the room. Pierre Delages is one of them. 28 years old, cap screwed on his head, he has been cleaning sales for about a year. “JI collect a little bit of everything, books, Persian rugs” he explains.

It’s true that in the beginning, when you walk through the door of a room, you wonder where you are” the actor recalled. Quickly, he included the codes:”we may think that it is reserved for a certain class, but not at all. Yes, I live a good life, but not a lot of money either“.

Selling like this takes preparation. A few days before, he had seen the books in which he planned to invest: “not to resell them afterwards, but to give myself a gift, I had a little savings.“For a copy of Molière’s George Dandin, he spent 350 euros, not including expenses.

In the middle of the yearning, several hundred books coming from the same library. Mr.’s Q. A mysterious name behind which hides the three generations of men who make up this Berry collection.

They dream with their books“said Jean-Paul Veyssière, the expert who took care of the classification and authentication of the works mostly from the 16th and 17th centuries. We think they love literature, books are often accompanied by index cards”more or less objective“, comment. Jean De La Fontaine, Molière, De Bruyère, Marie-Catherine Villedieu, the authors and autrice are many, and their quality of conservation shows “a feeling of deep affection for the book“said Jean-Paul Veyssiere.

While a manuscript was being sold for 1,400 euros, Clotilde Roy arrived to disrupt the order of things. He stood up and indicated his desire to get ahead of this copy of “Love History of the Gauls” by Roger de Bussy-Rabutin. It’s simpler: in the name of the State, it was simply stolen from its owner, completely legally.

Right he has as head of acquisitions for the center of national monuments, a public establishment under the aegis of the Ministry of Culture. Among the hundred monuments brought together by the center, the castle of Azay-le-Rideau, or of Bussy-Rabutin, in Burgundy.

It was because of the manuscript that the author found himself exiled for 17 years in his castle and imprisoned for several months in the Bastille.

At first, he wrote it just for his sick lady. He wanted to distract her while she recovered. Intended to be secret, it finds itself lent to a friend, then one thing leads to another and ends up being published in the Netherlands.

Inside, all the escapades of the French monarchy and aristocracy. The loves of the Sun King are told there. The characters are anonymous. It was only after Louis XIV was named, by an explanatory note.

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