Picasso's playful notebook doodles expected to fetch up to £300,000

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The Independent US

A book covered in drawings by Pablo Picasso, which shows the artist at his most playful and exuberant, is expected to fetch more than £300,000 when it goes up for auction.

It took the Spaniard a single Sunday afternoon to decorate the book's 70 pages in pen-and-ink and coloured pencil drawingsin September 1947. He gave the finished product to a friend, the poet Paul Eluard, who had inspired him to join the French Communist Party in 1944. The two remained close until the poet's death in 1952.

The book, entitled Le Manuscrit trouve dans un chapeau, by the French writer Andre Salmon, is to be sold at Sotheby's in New York on 25 June. The artist inscribes it: "Pour Paul Eluard. Picasso." Also in the sale is a work by Paul Eluard entitled The Face of Peace, which Picasso illustrated with the famous image he created of a dove of peace and which became one of the most potent political and cultural icons of the last century. It is expected to raise up to £50,000.

In Salmon's book, about the Parisian bohemian art society of the early 20th century, images from young women to ornithological subjects ­ including owls, roosters and peacocks ­ reveal Picasso's key themes at the post-war period of his life.

The two books are part of a private sale of illustrated books and fine bindings by an anonymous American.

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