Census (updated 5/14/17)

CENSUS for La Prose du Transsibérien by Kitty Maryatt 5/14/17

This partial census records the existence of copies of La Prose du Transsibérien but not necessarily their whereabouts today. The glued copies are folded into 20, 21, or 22 panels. Some still have their vellum covers attached. All but one are folded text to image. The unglued copies are generally cut flush with pochoir on one side, but the other three margins are original. Inscriptions are noted when possible. Identification of a copy’s existence is sometimes only possible from sales records. We welcome corrections and additions to this list. If information is found for a copy in an institution, please send the institution’s catalog copy when possible.

1A. VELLUM COPIES, numbered

1 Sold by Christie’s in Paris on April 29, 2004 for 350,000 Euros, 4 sheets folded, in protective box by Paul Bonet (1963-64, Carnets 1445), Filipacchi copy

2 Sold by Christies in 2012 for 481,000 Euros ($621,082), 4 sheets folded but unglued in original cover, inscribed à Fela Poznanska Cendrars 1913, Miriam Cendrars’ mother, exhibited at the Bibliothèque Nationale in 1977 in Collection Sonia, Miriam Cendrars owned this copy

4 Unknown location, inscribed to Vincent Huidobro (according to Miriam Cendrars’ facsimile)

6 Unknown location: One of seven books on various substrates which were stolen from Blaise Cendrars’ house at Tremblay-sur-Maudre during the Second World War (according to Miriam Cendrars’ facsimile)

7 Muséo Reina Sofia, Madrid, unglued, with comment by Sonia (according to Miriam Cendrars’ facsimile) (Note that the museum says that their copy is #4, so need to double-check inscription and the edition number)

1B. VELLUM COPIES, unnumbered

Tate Modern (artist proof), four sheets glued but not folded, mounted under glass, two horizontal folds on each panel, colors muted: mustard, not yellow, red faded, purchased by Tate in 1980

Sold by Sotheby’s on June 10, 1976, lot 172, for 2,750 Pounds ($4,852), four sheets folded but unbound (this is probably the copy at the Tate Modern now; need to check provenance at Tate)

2A. COPIES ON JAPON, numbered

9 Private collection, South Africa, 4 sheets unglued, vellum cover not attached

11 Jean Bonna Collection, Switzerland, folded and glued, Miriam Cendrars published an offset reduced-size facsimile in 2011 using this copy

16 Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, 21 panels, black leather cover not attached, inscribed to Guillaume Apollinaire, exhibited at Inventing Abstraction at MoMA in New York in 2014

17 Sold at Sotheby’s May 2013 for 457,500 Euros, 20 panels, Blaise signed with right hand, gave to friend Suter, Sotheby’s says Sonia assembled it, Antoine Coron told Sotheby’s in 2013 that there are 72 examples, so this one makes 73 in Coron’s census (see #29 for update to census in 2017)

18 Sold by Christie’s Geneva on Nov. 14, 2000, 20 panels, signed by both Sonia and Blaise in black (encre de chine), the edition number is in the hand of Delaunay, attached to cover in black leather with two snaps, morocco box by Pierre Lucien Martin in 1966, collection Henri Paricau

29 Private Collection, Louisiana, folded and glued, cover attached, inscribed to Mr. Kaplan (discovered in 2017: if we add this to Coron’s census we would have 74 copies)

32 Sold at Sotheby’s in October November 2011 in Paris for 288,750 Euros, 22 panels, dedicated to Abel Gance, friend of Cendrars who helped when he divorced Fela with three children, Collection M. André Rodocanachi shown at Bibliothèque Nationale in 1977

34 Jacques Doucet Literary Library, Fonds Doucet, C.VII.24, legs Jacques Doucet, purchased 1917 by Jacques Doucet, 22 panels

2B. COPIES ON JAPON, unnumbered

Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco, 22 panels, vellum cover not attached, Reva and David Logan Collection


37 Copy as fold-out in Fine Print July 1987, and in A Book of the Book, published by Steven Clay at Granary Books in 2000

38 Sold by Sotheby’s on Mar. 17, 1977, lot 205, for 1800 Pounds ($3092), signed by both Blaise and Sonia, vellum cover

41 Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas, folded and glued

47 New York Public Library, Spencer Collection, 4 pages unglued, inscribed to M. Jean Decloux, 21 juin 1938

47 Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Livre d’Artiste catalog entry published in 2013 says the Hermitage copy is #47

51 Bibliothèque Nationale Switzerland, purchased 1916, sold by Blaise Cendrars’ brother Georges

56 Sold by Christie’s Paris Nov. 27, 2009 for 80,000 Euros, folded and glued, cover with snap, signed by Cendrars with right hand

57 Fondation Martin Bodmer, Geneva, Switzerland, Sold by Sotheby’s 0n Oct. 27, 1999 fgor 50,000 Pounds, signed by Blaise and Sonia, vellum cover with snap, fitted box by Georges Leroux in pink morocco with title onlaid on spine, owned by Jean Hughes

58 Sold by Pierre Berge and Associes in 2015 for 232,610 Euros, signed by both Sonia and Blaise, vellum cover has snap button

71 Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, 4 sheets unglued

97 Rutgers, New Jersey, 21 panels but framed and mounted

100 Sold by Sotheby’s on Nov. 7, 2002 for 48,000 Euros, folded and glued, vellum cover, 21 panels, in folding box with Perspex panels

102 Sold by Sotheby’s on Nov. 13, 1975, lot 62 for 1300 Pounds ($2,665), folded and glued, vellum cover

110 Zadkine Museum, Paris, 21 panels, vellum cover is not attached, inscribed to Zadkine in 1918

111 Private Collection, Massachussetts, 4 sheets unglued

111 Victoria & Albert Museum, National Art Library, glued and folded, but panels 1 and 2 glued with gap between them, framed and mounted

118 Sold at Sotheby’s from library of R. & B. L. October 2014 for 253,500 Euros ($319,880), 22 panels but framed and mounted

119 Biblioteca Mário de Andrade, São Paulo, Brazil, folded and glued, vellum cover still attached with protective case in black moroccan leather, dedicated À Paul Prado et à tous les amis de São-Paolo, Blaise Cendrars, Février 1924; a small facsimile was printed of this copy for the Brazilian edition of Marjorie Perloff’s The Futurist Moment, 1993

124 Getty Research Institute, 21 panels, vellum cover inscribed to Archipenko in 1918, vellum cover no longer attached to book

130 Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minnesota, 21 panels but now framed and mounted, sold to MIA in 2001 by Ursus, cover is still attached to book

131 Yale University, 21 panels, cover is still attached to book

133 Daniel Filipacchi Collection, Paris, 22 panels, copy with Paul Bonet binding done in 1963-64 was sold by Sotheby’s for 312,750 Euros ($418,234) in 2012 in Paris, previously unfolded, so Bonet could bind it to be read like a regular accordion fold, exhibited at Guggenheim in 1999

137 National Gallery, Canberra, Australia

139 Musée Nationale d’Art Moderne, Paris (Sonia donation copy)

139 Purchased in 2017 by Los Angeles County Museum of Art, sold by Sotheby’s 2016 n09516-198 for $225,000, 22 panels, inscribed to Chilean painter Manuel Ortiz de Zarate: Noël 1916, fingerprints on upper panel, cover is still attached to book

140 Collection of Arthur Cohen in 1975 (shown in his book on Sonia Delaunay), signed by both Sonia and Blaise in 1966

147 The Wolfsonian-Florida International University, Miami Beach, Florida

149 Sold at Christies in 2008 from collection of André Lhote for 162,250 Euros ($254,341)

150 MoMA, New York, 21 panels, inscribed to Louis Brun


Jacques Doucet Literary Library, Rés. 255 C, 4 sheets unglued, a note by Blaise Cendrars (from Miriam Cendrars facsimile) says it is the last of the unglued copies, faded, not an artist’s proof says Antoine Coron and Yves Peyré

Harvard University, Houghton Library, 4 sheets unglued

Musée d'Art et Histoire, Geneva, 20 panels, exhibited at Inventing Abstraction at MoMA in New York in 2014, Sonia Delaunay’s hand-painted gouache maquette with the painting on text side different from final pochoir edition

British Library, “epreuve d’artiste,” (artist proof) signed by Sonia, 22 panels


Sold by Christie’s Geneva on May 19, 1999, lot 765 for SF100,000 ($66,765), four unglued trial sheets: first sheet on simili japon, second and third on velin d”Arches, fourth on simili japon, Cendrars’ copy

Sold by Sotheby’s on Nov. 21, 1980. Lot 292 for 420 Pounds ($1006), only two of original four sheets, AN making dinner arrangements on first sheet: “Mon cher Bob”

TOTAL: 49 copies, including maquette and proofs

M. Antoine Coron, Former Director of Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, has an ongoing census: he said in a note to Sotheby’s in 2013 that there were so far 72 copies extant, so the Sotheby’s copy #17 would bring the total to 73 copies by 2013. In 2017, copy #29 was discovered in a collection in Louisiana, so Coron’s total would now be 74, unless he found more copies between 2013 and 2017.

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