Italian Government crashes Sotheby’s Verdi auction

Italian Government crashes Sotheby’s Verdi auction


norman lebrecht

October 27, 2017

A last minute intervention by Rome stopped the auction of a cache of Verdi manuscripts and letters at Sotheby’s London yesterday. The Italians agreed to pay £358,000 to make the documents, privately owned in America for half a century, available for scholarly and public perusal.

The Italians will also pay Sotheby’s commission.


  • Dan P. says:

    Could anyone tell us off hand what manuscripts were being sold? Thanks. Dan

  • Richard says:

    They were primarily autograph letters, including 36 (some of them never published) to Salvadore Cammarano (librettist of Il trovatore among others.) There was a page manuscript of a scene from Ernani, but I don’t know if that was part of what the Italian government bought.