Auction catalogs from the #BKMlibrary continue to provide fascinating discoveries. Recently, I found a catalog comprising the collection of Charles Gillot filled with visual treasures! Who was Charles Gillot? Following the modern tradition of virtual research, I Googled him.
Charles Gillot (1853-1903) was a French inventor and avid collector of ancient and medieval works of art. His father, Firmin Gillot, invented “gillotage” a type of relief photoengraving that revolutionized book publishing; allowing simultaneous printing of text and images. Like father like son, Charles later made technical improvements upon this process, while concurrently amassing an immense amount of important art works.
Following Gillot’s death, Durand-Ruel gallery in Paris conducted two auction sales of his collection primarily made up of Asian objects as well as Islamic antiquities. The 1904 sale received high praise from many notable figures of the time such as the Goncourt brothers, calling it “the most perfect, the most sophisticated Japanese collection.”
These beautiful auction catalogs are massive. Bound in two catalogs comprised of 3,453 lots—the delicate illustrations, marbled paper, and leather embossed horse are really something to behold!
The remainder of his collection was found 104 years after the original sale and Christie’s held the sale in 2008—owned by The Frick, one of our NYARC partners.
Posted by Kim Loconto