Plato’s very first print edition auctioned in New York

Published between 1484 and 1485 in Florence, the volume from the collection of Elaine and Alexandre Rosenberg brings together the complete works of the philosopher. Its sale, scheduled for April 23, could reach $ 400,000.

What to drool all the philosophers of the whole world. On April 23 in New York, the very first printed edition of Plato’s complete works will be auctioned, Christie’s said in a statement released Thursday. Estimated between 200,000 and 400,000 dollars, the volume, dating from 1484-1485, is part of the collection of rare books of Elaine and Alexandre Rosenberg, himself the son of the famous art dealer, Paul Rosenberg. The collector is also the uncle of journalist Anne Sinclair.

Also according to the auction company, this copy, written in Latin, was “Printed in Florence by the nuns of San Jacopo di Ripoli”, Dominican convent where one of the first printing houses in Europe was created in 1476 by the Italian typographer Bernardo Cennini. Christie’s claims that this sale “Marks the return of Plato’s philosophy to Western Europe after an absence of nearly 1,000 years”. Otherwise, “All of the illuminated manuscripts will be presented in preview in the galleries of Christie’s Paris from March 18 to 23”, if sanitary conditions allow it, of course.

Almost 8 million euros in sales

The family has already announced that they will not make any personal profit from these auctions, recalling the long philanthropic tradition that has been theirs. “The collection is expected to reach over $ 8 million, and all proceeds from the sale will go to museums to support their antique book departments.”, indicates the press release.

This book is not the most expensive sold in the world. A book of hours – liturgical work intended for lay Catholic faithful -, produced in 1440 by the Master of Barthélémy the English, one of the most brilliant illuminator of his time, whose real name is unknown, and who worked in Angers or Le Mans, is estimated today between 1.5 and 2 million euros.



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