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The Alexander Pushkin manuscript poem "On the Hills of Georgia" is to be put up for sale at Paris' Drouot auction house
The value of the rarity has been estimated at 200,000 to 300,000 euros, Drouot spokespeople say. But the final price may prove much higher, given the fact that this is Pushkin's only manuscript to be held in a private collection outside Russia. Its current owners, Vladimir and Andrei Hoffman, are grandsons to Modest Hoffman, one of Russia's most prominent Pushkin scholars. The manuscript comes from Polish Countess Karolina Sobanska's album, Andrei Hoffman told RIA. The countess added this French-language commentary at the foot of the poem: "Improvisation par Alexandre Pushkine, Petersbourg, 1829." Sobanska was Pushkin's last serious infatuation before his marriage to Natalia Goncharova. It was to her that he dedicated his 1830 poem "What Is My Name to Thee?" This manuscript is now part of St. Petersburg's Pushkin House's collection. Much of Sobanska's life was connected with literature, or with men of letters, to be more precise. Not only Pushkin was in love with her, but the Polish poet Adam Mickiewicz, too; she was a sister-in-law to Honore de Balzac and a wife to the French novelist and poet Jules Lacroix. Sobanska died in Paris at the age of 91. After her death, the album sheet with the poem "On the Hills of Georgia" passed down to one of her daughters. The artifact has changed hands more than once since then. In 1994, it was bought by the Hoffman brothers. As Andrei explained to this RIA correspondent, his brother and he have decided to open an atelier in Paris (both of them are involved with sculpture and architectural design), and they are now selling off part of their collection to be able to finance the project. The men inherited the bulk of that collection from their grandfather, who had settled in Paris in the early 1920s, and from their father, the well-known musicologist Rostislav Hoffman.
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