An exquisite calligraphic poem entitled At the Fox's Ball by Alexei Mikhailovich Remizov has seen the highest bids in Bonhams' June 26 auction of Russian Literature and Works of Paper in New York.
The poem is decorated with superb calligraphy, an art which the poet sought to revive in Russia. Based on the fables of Reynard the Fox, it sold for $62,500.
The work was completed in 1939 and is typical of Remizov's work, which tended to veer toward the fantastic and bizarre. It is thought to have been inspired by Sergei Diaghilev's famous Ballets Russes production of Igor Stravinsky's Le Renard.
Remizov's manuscript for Listotryas No 5, a 1952 calligraphic fairy tale penned by the poet while exiled in Paris, brought the second highest bids of the sale, realising $31,250.
A presentation copy of Aleksandr Blok's Poems about Russia, which is inscribed by the author, matched the Remizov manuscript at $31,250.
Blok was considered one of Russia's greatest poets and, unlike many contemporaries, initially embraced the Bolshevik Revolution. However, he soon became disillusioned with the new regime and ceased writing poetry.
He was then taken ill, and when his doctors requested that he be sent abroad for medical treatment, he was refused permission. He eventually received permission some months later, after he had died.
Paul Fraser Collectibles has a range of literary collectibles for sale.