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Michelin Star Manuscripts

At auction in Paris, a complete collection of the Michelin Guide for France, from 1900 - 2016

While not the most valuable lot on offer at Christie’s Paris’ upcoming Rare Books and Manuscripts auction, this collection of 108 volumes of the French edition of the Michelin Guide is perhaps the most intriguing.

 

With beginnings as a free informational guide for drivers, gifted to Michelin’s customers at the 1900 Exposition Universelle, the Michelin Guide has grown into one of the world’s foremost indicators of consistent quality, its coveted star-awarding system – introduced in the early 1930s – a badge of honour to those who earn them.

 

This 108-book collection (excluding years 1915-18, 1921 and 1940-1944, which were not produced) provides a fascinating glimpse at both the evolution of the automobile, and therefore what constitutes necessary guidebook information, plus the state of France, notable in the absence of the volumes that would have been were it not for global conflict, and the temporary discontinuation of the rating system in 1945 due to shortages and requisitions.

 

Arranged in five custom wooden trunks, the collection goes to auction at Christie’s Paris on 5 December.

 

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