Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Tristan Tzara. Autograph Manuscripts on Dada. [Paris?]; [circa 1920s].
    An album, 8.75" x 10.75", of 20 manuscripts, both hand written and typed, bound in a custom-made Paul Bonet binding with custom made box, relating to Tzara's activities in the Dada movement. The album also includes two photographs.
    Following blue envelope cover, there are two photographs of Tzara (circa 1920s), followed by 1) a postcard to French surrealist poet Paul Éluard (1895-1952), dated September 22, 1925: "My dear Eluard, Unfortunately I will not be able to see you, and neither will Ernst [Max Ernst (1891-1976), a German painter, sculptor, graphic artist, and poet, and a primary pioneer of the Dada movement and Surrealism]. I will be in Paris on Monday and Tuesday and I will see you then. I regret that it cannot be in another place. A good day to you and to Gala [Éluard's lover]. 2) Another letter to Éluard, with doodles, [similar to first one, discussing a visit]. 3) Manuscript text, "Les ciseaux des façons d'agir." with "Antitête" written in margin, title of book published in 1933. 4) Manuscript text, untitled, first line, "Dans l'autobus aux roues difficiles la musique monte..." with "Antitête" written in margin. 5) Manuscript text, untitled, first line, "Quand les yeux sortent de leur orbite..." Note in margin: "Mr. Aa l'Antiphilosophe", title of Volume I of "Antitête." 6) Manuscript text, untitled, on French Foreign Service letterhead, first line, "L'équilibriste minuscule au fond de ma chambre..." with "Faites vos jeux" (feuilles libres) in pencil in margin, title of work published in 1923. Feuilles Libres was a literary and art periodical and it is probable that each instance of Tzara including this phrase in his notes indicates his intention to publish the content in the periodical. 7) Manuscript text with pen-and-ink sketches, identified in pencil at margin by Tzara's hand as draft of Monsieur Antipyrine. 8) Manuscript text, group of five "Crime" poems, with note in margin, "De nos oiseaux", title of book published in 1923. 9) Manuscript text, poem, "Je sors de mon appartement somptueux," with note in margin, "De nos oiseaux." 10) Manuscript text, poem, "Longue-vue fertile," with note in margin, "De nos oiseaux." 11) Manuscript text, poem, "Sur une ride de soleil," with note in margin, "De nos oiseaux." 12) Manuscript text, poem, "eau sauvage," with holograph corrections in pencil, with note by Tzara at top right: "The last stanza was written at the baroness Oettingen's during a contest of exotic poems in which also participated Eluard, Soupault, and others." 13) Typescript hand-titled, "Monsieur Aa l'Antiphilosophe," with holograph corrections in pencil, signed at foot of first leaf by Tzara. 14) Manuscript text, 7 numbered pages with first page featuring the title "Faites vos jeux (feuilles libres)." Faites vos jeux is the title of an unfinished 1923 novel inspired by Tzara's youth. 15) Manuscript text, 4 pages that follow in the flow of the content in previous seven pages. 16) Manuscript text, 4 pages with title "Le coeur à l'école" and numbered IV, in all probability a chapter of Faites vos jeux. 17) Manuscript text, 3 pages, 2 pages 12mo, with title on first page, "Les antennes sans souci," also appears thematically connected with the rest of Faites vos jeux manuscripts. 18) Booklet tipped in, filled with manuscript text and pen-and-ink sketches. Includes what appear to be verses of poetry and a list of addresses to major periodicals, two pages in German.
    Tristan Tzara (1896-1963), born Samuel Rosenstock, was a Romanian-born French avant-garde poet, essayist and performance artist. Also active as a journalist, playwright, literary and art critic, composer and film director, he was known best for being one of the founders and central figures of the anti-establishment Dada movement.
    A wonderful collection of Tzara manuscripts. While it is impossible to know for sure, we believe it is probable that Tzara himself would have gathered these, his own disparate writings, and given them to Bonet to place in this magnificent binding. We can't find specific examples of Bonet and Tzara collaborating, but there existed such relationships with other artists and binders: "The binder's role is important here. Bindings, in single copies or limited editions, enhanced the quality of the surrealist book as a material object and, of course, as a commercial product. Several Surrealists commissioned their own bindings from craftsmen like Paul Bonet." --Elza Adamowiez, The Surrealist Artist's Book. Princeton Univ. Library Chronicle, Winter 2009.
    Condition: The binding is very fine; custom-made box is chipped around spine and edges, with some separation at along bottom; internally, manuscripts are tipped in on; overall good.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2019
    4th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,827

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $300,000 (minimum $49), plus 20% of any amount between $300,000 and $3,000,000, plus 12.5% of any amount over $3,000,000 per lot.

    Sold on Sep 4, 2019 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2021 November 12 - 13 Space Exploration Signature Auction.

    Learn about consigning with us

    Heritage Auctions and Mr. Chad Reingold were...professional and courteous in all transactions and provided outstanding service in answering my many emails. I recommend them at the highest level.
    Killy M.,
    Melbourne Beach, FL
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search