André Meyer (1884-1974) assembled one of the most significant private collections devoted to music, which Sotheby’s will be offering at auction in Paris on October 16 and 17. Comprised of manuscripts, printed music, paintings, furniture, sculpture, drawings, and musical instruments, Meyer’s collection was acquired during the first half of the twentieth century. (He began collecting in 1899 when he was only 15 years old.) Meyer devoted his entire life to music as a critic, patron, and collector, and generously opened his library to anyone with interest.
The most exciting piece in the collection is a sketch leaf of piano exercises by Ludwig van Beethoven that was once owned by Frédéric Chopin, a Beethoven enthusiast. Other exciting items include: the first collected edition of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Six Partitas for Keyboard; a signed autograph manuscript of Arnold Schoenberg’s String Quartet; a first edition of Jean-Philippe Rameau’s Traité de l’Harmonie, Corrected & Annotated by Rameau prior to the 2nd Edition in 1726; a variety of portraits of composers, including Chopin, Schubert, and Schumann; and a piece of pearwood paneling that is decorated with musical trophies, circa 1730.
The viewing will take place at Sotheby’s Paris on October 12, 13, and 15.