Lyon, various printers 1878-1893.
Each volume in contemporary cloth-backed boards.
CHAPONY, Henri, comte de. d. c. 1878.
Catalogue De La Bibliothèque. Lyon, Mougin-Rusand for Auguste Brun 1878. 8vo. [ii], 256, p. Woodcut Brun device on the front wrapper.
Contemporary green cloth, gilt-lettered spine title, printed yellow wrappers bound in, interleaved.
[Manuscrits Sur Peau Des Vélin des XIVe, XVe et XVIe siècles.] Lyon, for A. Brun [before 12 December] 1881. 8vo. [ii], 61, p.
Contemporary blue cloth-backed marbled boards, book ticket of Auguste Brun on the front panel, printed yellow wrappers pasted to the front and rear pastedowns, respectively, interleaved.
G. (de l’Ain). fl. 1883.
Après Décès. Catalogue De La Bibliothèque. Lyon, J. Mayet for A. Brun [before 3 April] 1883. 8vo. [ii], 96, p.
Contemporary red cloth-backed marbled boards, printed orange wrappers bound in, interleaved.
M[arboz], F. fl. 1887.
Catalogue De La Bibliothèque. Lyon, Mougin-Rusand for A. Brun [before 14 February] 1887. 8vo. [ii], 80, p. Woodcut dragon on front wrapper.
Contemporary brown cloth-backed tan cloth and marbled boards, gilt-lettered spine title, printed pink wrappers bound in, interleaved.
Brouchoud, Claude-Anne-François. 1829-1886.
Catalogue De La Bibliothèque. Lyon, Mougin-Rusand for A. Brun 1887. 8vo. [ii], 80, , p.
Contemporary green cloth-backed marbled boards, gilt-lettered spine label, printed pink wrappers bound in, interleaved.
F. d. c. 1893.
[Catalogue Des Bibliothèques…De Feu MM. F***, C*** Et F**]. [Lyon, L. Silland for Louis Brun 1893]. 8vo. 156, p. — (lacking [i]-[ii]).
Contemporary brown cloth-backed marbled boards, gilt-lettered spine title, original orange rear wrapper bound in (front wrapper lacking), interleaved.
Ad I-VI: THESE INTERLEAVED AND ANNOTATED COPIES OF SIX BOOK AUCTION CATALOGS show the working methods of late 19th-century Lyonese auctioneers Auguste Brun (fl. 1850-93) and his son and successor Louis (1851-1940). On ruled blank leaves at the beginning of each catalog the Bruns recorded the names of the auction’s absentee bidders and assigned each a sequential number starting at 1 (in the first catalog this list has been excised). Then, on the blank interleaves across from the relevant lot(s), they recorded each absentee’s bid(s) using A TWO-LETTER ALPHABETIC PRICE-CODE, the bidders’ identities indicated by their “number”. In the catalogs’ blank margins, the Bruns wrote each lot’s the price realized, canceled withdrawn lots, jotted copy-specific notes and employed a second separate alphabetic code, the purpose of which remains completely opaque. The commissaire-priseur for each sale was Laurent Gazagne (fl. 1870-1920).
None of the catalogs is in U.S. collections, and THREE OF THEM ARE APPARENTLY UNRECORDED (for these the entries above are fuller). All are in very good condition. These six are right in the sweet spot of your Venn Diagram, if your sets include annotations, book history, cryptography, and unique resources.
Ad I: Chaponay was a member of the French Bibliophiles. This catalog of his library contains 2747 titles. The list of bidders preceding the sale has been excised, but manuscript evidence shows at least 145 individuals registered. Bidder 56 instructed Brun to secure lot 1756 (an 1855 Dante), but, if that proved unsuccessful, to bid the same amount on the next lot (another Dante from the year following), while bidder 12 seems to have trusted the house with the instruction of a “reasonable price” for lots 2018 (a seven-volume 1833 Latin-French Tacitus) and 2027 (a two-volume 1821 Suetonius in French)…but not to exceed 5 fr. the volume for the former. Manuscript notes in pencil on the front flyleaves suggest some buyers’ names. I have found two copies (both in France).
Ad II: UNRECORDED. This catalog’s front wrapper is pasted recto-down to the front pastedown, and the full title is not legible. The sale had 466 lots, and 57 bidders registered. Bidder 28, one Quinet, wanted lot 249, the 1814 six-volume Works of La Fontaine, though only if it contained 25 engravings, as the number of illustrations was not indicated in the printed catalog. Brun put the La Fontaine to hand, and a manuscript note settles it: 22 grav. et un portr. Accordingly, the set is marked incomplet in manuscript near the bids. Hélas, Quinet!
Ad III: UNRECORDED. On a ruled blank leaf following the rear wrapper, the Bruns record their expenses, including the cost of catalog proofs, postage for 530 copies of the catalog and advertising. Other blank interleaves have the total for the uncataloged books sold during the auction. The absentee bidder list runs to 102 names for the 733 lots.
Ad IV: UNRECORDED. This 742-lot auction is two times evidentiary — a manuscript note on the front wrapper provides the consignor’s surname: Marboz. One lot, no. 725, bundled some twenty autographs, but bidders were keener on the pieces than the whole, so Brun broke the lot to satisfy his customers. There were 73 absentee bidders in all.
Ad V: This 712-lot sale contains primarily 18th- and 19th-century books, with scattered 16th- and 17th-century editions. Of the 66 bidders, bidder 8, Nicolas, seems to have left multiple open bids (lots 464-8 and 475-6) with only the instruction bon marché — a “good deal”. One can live in hope…. The front flyleaves bear pencil notes on various lots. One other copy located (France).
Ad VI: 107 bidders, including Mlle. de la Baume at Paris and the bookseller-publisher Karl Hiersemann in Leipzig, registered for this multi-consignor sale of some 1377 lots. Bidder 16, Dumoulin of Roanne, left a few open bids (on lots 1089 and 1107 among them) with the directive the price be “not excessive”. Laid in are two sheets — one a printed invoice completed in manuscript from commissaire-priseur Gazagne to one Challiol (not a registered absentee bidder); the other a manuscript slip from Challiol to Brun reconsigning four titles to Brun for inclusion in his next sale (27.XI.1893). The front flyleaf has notes on buyers’ desiderata, and the rear flyleaves have notes on sale totals and clipped advertisements from periodicals. This copy lacks the front wrapper with the title. I have found two copies (both in France).
A Note on the Bruns’ Price-Code: It does not figure in the beautifully produced second edition of Ian Jackson’s magisterial Chamberpot & Motherfuck: The Price-Codes of the Book-Trade (2017). I concluded that the following nine letters made up their code — A, D, E, I, M, O, P, R and T — with all other letters being zero. One solution may be DOMIPETRA, a Latinate form of Dampierre or Dompierre. There may be other possibilities. I have yet to find an equivalency between an absentee’s maximum bid and a hammer price.