Auction 42 - Rare and Important Items

"J'accuse" by Emil Zola – The Original Essay Published in L'áurore 1898 / Collection of Newspaper Issues and Posters from the Time of the Dreyfus Affair

Opening: $4,500
Sold for: $5,750
Including buyer's premium
1. J'accuse ...! Lettre au Président de la République [I accuse …! Letter to the president of the republic]. By Emil Zola. In: L'aurore, Issue no. 87, Paris, January 1898. French.
The famous essay by Emil Zola, in defense of Alfred Dreyfus – an open letter addressed to the president of the republic in which Zola blames the heads of the army, the war ministry and the military court of law, with the distortion of justice. The publication of the letter caused many reactions in France. Zola was subsequently sued for slander and was sentenced for a year imprisonment, being forced eventually to seek asylum in England.
[4] pages, 61 cm. Spotting. Professionally restored tears with minor damages to the text. Bound together in a cardboard binding (the left edges are taped with non-acidic adhesive tape).
Bound together with the paper:
2. L'affaire Dreyfus, a printed page with facsimile of the handwriting of Alfred Dreyfus and Ferdinand Esterhazy, and a copy of the Bordereau that Dreyfus was accused of writing (the uncovering of the Bordereau, which included French-military information sent to the German embassy in Paris, marked the beginning of the affair). The purpose of publishing this page was to allow the comparing between the two handwritings.
Page of 35.5x44.5 cm. Folding marks. Slight damage. Pasted with tape on one of the pages which is bound together with the "J'accuse" issue.
3-24. Twenty two newspaper issues and posters on the subject of the Dreyfus affair.
These posters and papers were printed in France between 1898- and 1899, during the peak of the public discussion around the affair; some claiming his innocence and some bringing evidence of his supposed-betrayal.
The items include:
• Dreyfus un Traitre [Dreyfus a traitor], printed by E. Charaire [November 1898]. A poster with portrait photos of five prominent figures; under each portrait excerpts of their testimonies supporting the claims of Dreyfus' alleged betrayal.
• Dreyfus est Innocent [Dreyfus is innocent], printed by E. Charaire [December 1898].
A poster in similar format to the poster stating that "Dreyfus is a traitor", presenting portraits of eleven prominent figures, all stating their support for the claims of Dreyfus' innocence.
• Issue of Le Siècle (January 1899). The issue includes a series of photos; each photo is combined of two photos which were set together, presenting known enemies side by side. The series was published by the Dreyfus' supporters to manifest the ease with which one can forge photos.
• issues of Le Siècle, La Presse, Le Jour, Le Matin, Le
Radical, and other papers, including papers in favor and against Dreyfus.
Size and condition vary. Most of the issues are in good condition. In the issue of Le Siècle – dated 31.7.1898 – some tears and a missing piece, restored with pasted paper. Bound together in a cardboard binding (glued around their left-side edges) along with two pieces of paper from a later period.
Alfred Dreyfus (1859-1935) - A Jewish officer in the French army, was accused of treason he did not commit in the winding course of the Dreyfus affair, which has caused much excitement in France and around the entire Jewish world during the last decade of the 19th century. The time of the Dreyfus trial, was also the time of the press’ rising power, and caricatures especially became a popular means for messaging, directed to the masses who read these publications extensively.
A detailed list of newspaper issues and posters will be
sent upon request.
Rare and Important Items