December 11, 2015
Beginning of the Auction of Pierre Bergé’s Library

In 2009, Pierre Bergé parted with the art collection he assembled with Yves Saint Laurent. In December 2015, he parted with a more personal collection composed of books and manuscripts, which he started when he arrived in Paris at the age of 18 and became a dealer in first-edition books. A considerable amount of time was needed to auction the approximately 1,600 works composing the collection.

It is not easy to part with friends going back over forty years! And what friends they were! I love them all, from Saint Augustine to André Gide, even if I have an undeniable weakness for Flaubert. I can never look at the copy of David Copperfield that belonged to Dickens himself without a certain sense of tenderness, since it was the first real book I read when I was 9. I have read and loved all the books I am parting with today, and I am bidding them farewell because I am suspicious of estates. At the age of 85, it is necessary to face the future calmly and with determination. Like Edmond de Goncourt, I wish that all my books will ‘be dispersed under the auctioneer’s hammer and that the pleasure each one of them afforded me be given again to those who inherit my tastes.

Pierre Bergé, catalogue for the first sale of Pierre Bergé’s library, December 11, 2015.