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Tea Time With Katina And Leah

by | May 31, 2024 | 0 comments

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An article in Country Life (Feb. 2024) p. 110

During a trip to Paris, Bernard Shapero, a young rare book dealer, bought a manuscript about the French Navy that was bound in the full green Morocco of Louis XVI that had been presented to the King by the author. Then, guess what, as Shapero opened the volume, he discovered that the King  had subsequently presented it to Marie Antoinette, his wife, who had added ornamental linings in red Morocco, gilt-stamped with her coat of arms, to the inside covers. Like wow! As you might guess, Shapero bought the book. But, a few hours later, bumped into a French dealer he knew and shared the news of his new acquisition. Since Shaperp was just getting started as a dealer, he agreed to sell it to the persistent dealer and had immediate remorse.  Thirty years later, Shapero was at some auctions in New York, at Christie’s, he saw the book and immediately bought the book again for more than he had paid for it previously. Luck, maybe? I wonder where the book is now? Any rare book dealers to let us know?

In the same issue, there’s another article, “Weird and Wonderful”, about a Rene Magritte painting (The Intimate Friend, 1958). It’s a typically surreal painting of a wine glass and crystalline floating behind a bowler-hatted man. Valued at 30-50 million pounds.  Maybe we’re in the wrong businesses!?

Are you paying attention to Against the Grain’s “Bet You Missed It”? It has all kinds of great tidbits! I remember when we started it many  years ago. I think it was Faxon’s Mary Jean Losier who liked the idea. In the upcoming issue of ATG,  the story of Laurent de Brunhoff got my attention probably because when I was a young girl, I never could  sleep at night. My father used to tell me stories, too. My mom was an artist as well as a pianist but we never were creative enough to do something like Babar which has come out in 18 languages, had an 1989 movie and multiple TV adaptations! 

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