Books of French President Mitterand sell for €1.5m

This copy (lot 227) of "The Autumn of the Patriarch" was signed in 1981 by its author, Gabriel García Márquez

The books and some writings belonging to former French President François Mitterrand have been sold at auction for €1.5 million, including some lots that went for tens of thousands of euros each.

The sale, which took place from 29-30 October, has been deemed a great success, pulling in three times’ the amount than previously estimated.

One lot - an edition of Hommes de Bonne Volonté by Jules Romains - went for €41,600 including fees. The works Comme Le Temps Passe by Robert Brasillach, and De Gaulle by François Mauriac - went for €31,200 each.

Some of the books were signed by their author.

The sale was organised by Paris auction house Piasa, and included thousands of works of literature from the 20th century, many of which were original editions.

Since the death of President Mitterrand in 1996, the collection had been the property of his oldest son, Gilbert. Some of the books were presented by Danielle Mitterrand, the President’s wife.

The sales were made in front of large audiences, with many bidders reportedly competing for the most historical, symbolic editions.

Other high-sellers included Notre Jeunesse by Charles Péguy (€29,900) and L'Amant de la Chine du Nord by Marguerite Duras (€23,400).

President Mitterrand was the longest-serving French head of state ever, and was in office from 1981 to 1995.

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