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"You are one of the most special people to me, and you have meant so much to my life": Exceptionally Rare collection of original Harper Lee drawings, paintings and letters with a first edition of To Kill A Mockingbird in the scarce first issue dust jacket; inscribed by Lee to close colleague and friend Charles Weldon Carruth
Philadelphia & New York: J.B. Lippincott Company, 1960.
First edition of perhaps the most important American novel of the 20th century, inscribed by Harper Lee to a close college friend and with a scarce archive of drawings and letters exchanged between the two. Octavo, original green cloth backed brown boards, titles to spine in gilt. Association copy, inscribed by Harper Lee to close University of Alabama college friend, Charles Weldon Carruth, “To my dear friend Charles, with love always — Harper Lee.” In the fall term of 1945, Lee and Carruth both enrolled in a Shakespeare course taught by one of the University of Alabama’s most famous faculty members, Hudson Strode, who directed the school’s theatre troupe and taught several courses in theatre and creative-writing. At the University of Alabama, Lee contributed a regular column to the campus newspaper, ‘Caustic Comments for Crimson White’, as well as many articles to the university’s humor magazine, Rammer Jammer, of which she became editor in chief in 1946. Lee ultimately dropped out of college before graduation and moved to Manhattan in 1949 to pursue writing as a career; Carruth later moved to New York City as well, where he worked as a radio producer before becoming a writer and editor for the Catholic News. Near fine in the rare first-issue dust jacket which is in very good condition.
Accompanied by an exceptionally rare archive of pencil and ink drawings sketched by Lee of Carruth, caricatures drawn by her while attending Strode’s Shakespeare courses, an original acrylic portrait by Lee of Carruth inscribed by her on the verso “From Nelle Lee, Dec 25, 1952”, and three letters written by Lee to Carruth regarding her thoughts on her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama.
Measuring 8 inches by 10 inches on ruled sheets of paper, the 11 drawings, four of which are signed by Lee “NLee”, include 5 realist studies of Carruth in various poses and six captioned caricatures in ink depicting him as Shakespearean leads including: a portrayal of Shylock as a pawn shop owner and “Money Lender Extraordinaire: Easy Loans – Pound of Flesh Compounded Semi-Annually”, King Lear standing on the cliffs of Dover with a price tag (“$3.98”) hanging from his cloak, Hamlet standing on a diving board with Yorick’s skull and a bloody knife hidden behind his back (performed at the “Old Vic”), Julius Caesar smoking a pipe while “contemplating the infinite”; Othello towering over an angel and devil; Cassius dripping dry outside the Roman baths where “you must have a ticket before you bathe”, Malvolio, “the impatient one,” crossing his legs while “waiting to go to the jakes”, and Carruth dressed as an unidentified female character with Carruth’s note, “Fall Quarter/ Univ. Ala 1945”. Additionally included is a caricature of Professor Strode wearing the breeches and curly-toed shoes of a court jester with his book “Timeless Mexico” in one hand and Yorick’s skull in the other, signed “Nelle Lee” and dated “11/8/45.”
Showcasing not only the depth, but also the length of Lee and Carruth’s friendship, the three letters include a letter written by Lee to Carruth in 1991 regarding his retirement, “My beloved Charlie, I can’t think of anyone to whom these words apply more — in your work, in your life — ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant.’ …You are one of the most special people to me, and you have meant so much to my life.” Two years later, in January 1993, the second letter thanks him for a “…lovely Christmas remembrance and, farther back, your memoir of Winston County [Alabama, where Carruth was born].” Despairing the changes occurring in her hometown, she continues, “You remember the Faulknerian prophecy — the Snopeses shall inherit the earth? They’ve already taken over Monroeville … they are trying to turn Harper Lee into a tourist attraction like Graceland or Elvis.” She goes on to discuss the restoration of the Old Courthouse, and remarks that she “nearly had a fit” after seeing a billboard featuring a mockingbird, describing it as “in indescribable taste” and “a fraud on the public”. “[They] say they are doing this to honor me. What they are doing … [is] embarrassing me beyond endurance … So keep an eye out for a small place that will hold 10,000 books … is near grocery stores & hospitals, and you! … We can look at each other and celebrate our longevity.” Signed by Lee as the Queen Victoria, “Your unamused but loving, Victoria R & I.” Lee often gave herself nicknames when signing letters: “Francesca da Rimini,” one of Dante’s damned, when she felt hopeless; “E. Bouverie Pusey,” the Anglican theologian, when she got worked up about some finer points of theology; and “Victoria R/I”—the Queen Empress Victoria—when she felt royal and moody.
A remarkable collection offering unprecedented insight into the education, broad talents, unique sense of humor, and deep personal thoughts regarding the reception of the most important work of one of America’s most respected and enigmatic writers.
Price: $100,000.00 Item Number: 1115260
First Edition, first issue of The Great Gatsby; with a signed presentation inscription signed by him in 1929 in Paris bound in
New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1925.
First edition, first issue of the author’s masterpiece with “chatter” p.60, “northern” p.119, “sick in tired” p.205, and “Union Street station” p.211. Octavo, original green cloth, gilt titles to the spine. With a presentation note inscribed by the author bound in before the half-title page, “For J.E. Cribb from yours sincerely F Scott Fitzgerald Paris, 1929.” Paris in the 1920s proved the most influential decade of Fitzgerald’s development. Fitzgerald made several excursions to Europe, mostly Paris and the French Riviera, and became friends with many members of the American expatriate community in Paris, notably Ernest Hemingway. Fitzgerald’s friendship with Hemingway was quite effusive, as many of Fitzgerald’s relationships would prove to be. Hemingway did not get on well with Zelda, however, and in addition to describing her as “insane” in his memoir A Moveable Feast, Hemingway claimed that Zelda “encouraged her husband to drink so as to distract Fitzgerald from his work on his novel”, so he could work on the short stories he sold to magazines to help support their lifestyle. In near fine condition with a touch of wear. Housed in a custom full morocco clamshell box.
Price: $38,000.00 Item Number: 104061
"The ship rushed on, nearer and nearer Earth": First Edition of Philip K. Dick's Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch; Signed by Him
Garden City, NY: Doubleday and Company, Inc, 1965.
First edition of Dick’s classic novel, which was nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1965. Octavo, original cloth. Signed by Philip K. Dick. Fine in near fine dust jacket. Jacket design by Tom Chibbaro. Exceptionally rare signed.
Price: $22,000.00 Item Number: 101458
The Indian War of Independence of 1857; signed by Vinayak Damodar Savarkar and from the famed library of Raja Shamraj Rajwant Bahadur
, c. 1909.
First edition in English of this highly influential work on the history of the 1857 rebellion by “one of the makers of free India.” Octavo, original cloth with gilt titles to the spine and front panel, patterned endpapers, folding map. Signed by the author on the half-title page. From the famed library of Raja Shamraj Rajwant Bahadur with his ownership initials and library notes to the front free endpaper noting that the book was “purchased on 1-3-1943” (prior to Gandhi’s assassination) and that the author’s autograph was obtained subsequently on 23-12-1957 in Bombay. Indian nobleman Raja Shamraj Rajwant Bahadur assembled India’s greatest library, famed for its diverse collection of rare antiquarian manuscripts and important books. Tipped in is a 1958 newspaper clipping from The Times of India adhered to the pastedown which reads in part, “Dr. C.P. Ramaswami Alyar said here today that the Indian people owed a debt of gratitude to Mr. V.D. Savarkar for his contribution to revolutionary thought and as such he was entitled as being one of the makers of free India.” In very good condition. Uncommon, the only signed example of this work we have seen.
Price: $20,000.00 Item Number: 106594
“Man, when you lose your laugh you lose your footing": First Edition of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest; Signed by Ken Kesey, Director Milos Forman and Jack Nicholson
New York: The Viking Press, 1962.
First edition of the author’s classic first book. Octavo, original cloth. Signed by Ken Kesey, Milos Forman and Jack Nicholson. Fine in a near fine first-issue dust jacket. Jacket design by Paul Bacon. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. Most rare and desirable signed by these three contributors.
Price: $20,000.00 Item Number: 107650
Garden City, NY: Doubleday and Company, Inc, 1974.
First edition of this novel which won the John W. Campbell Award and nominations for the Hugo and Nebula. Octavo, original cloth. Signed by Philip K. Dick on the front free endpaper. Fine in a fine dust jacket with a touch of shelfwear. Jacket design by One Plus One Studio. An exceptional example, uncommon and desirable signed.
Price: $18,500.00 Item Number: 101435
Rare Autograph Letter Signed and entirely in the hand of George Orwell; sent months after he took up residence on the isle of jura where he would write his masterpiece nineteen eighty-four
Rare autograph letter signed and entirely in the hand of great English author George Orwell. One page, the letter reads, “Barnhill Isle of Jura Argyllshire Scotland 31.5.46 Dear Sir, I of recently received your letter dated the 22nd, as I was travelling for some days before coming here. I am afraid I cannot make any engagement to speak for you, as I intend to be at the above address until October and am not certain of my movements after that. Please forgive me. Yours truly, Geo. Orwell.” In fine condition. Double matted and framed with a portrait of Orwell. The entire piece measures 23 inches by 13.5 inches. Scarce and desirable, written only days after Orwell took up residence at Barnstable where he would compose his masterpiece, Nineteen Eighty-Four.
Price: $18,500.00 Item Number: 104068
“Heroes get remembered, but legends never die": First Edition of The Babe Ruth Story; Warmly Inscribed by Him to His Doctor
New York: E.P. Dutton & Co., Inc, 1948.
First edition of Babe Ruth’s autobiography. Octavo, original cloth, illustrated, pictorial endpapers. Association copy, inscribed by the author on the half-title page in the year of publication, “To my good friend and Pal Dr. Richard Lewisohn From Babe Ruth 1948.” Dr. Lewisohn was a surgeon who experimented with an anti-cancer drug, teropterin (pteroltriglutamic acid). In 1947, Dr. Lewisohn offered Ruth, who had been diagnosed with throat cancer in 1946, to receive this experimental therapy. Dr. Lewisohn was very honest with Ruth about his small chances for a recovery although no formal informed consent was signed. Ruth responded bravely that he would still like to go through with the experimental treatment in order to provide the medical community with information that might help individuals in the future with the same ailment. Thus, Ruth became a subject in one of the first clinical trials of an anti-cancer drug. Dr. Lewison’s experimental course of teropterin injections led to a dramatic, albeit short-lived, improvement in Ruth. The improvement in Ruth’s condition was featured in the lead story of September 11, 1947 in the Wall Street Journal which reported on Dr. Lewisohn’s report of the case at a medical conference. The Wall Street Journal stated that researchers might be on the verge of a cure for cancer. As a direct result of Dr. Lewisohn’s treatment, Ruth was able to say farewell to his fans at Yankee Stadium and attend other public functions, as well do the interviews for and see the publication of this book in May of 1948. He was also attend the premiere of the film based on upon this book. Ruth passed away just a short time later on August 16, 1948, before the film’s public release. Near fine in a near fine price-clipped dust jacket with some professional restoration. As told to Bob Considine. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. Signed first editions are scarce, given the short time between the release of the book and Ruth’s passing. Association copies such as this one are highly prized.
Price: $15,000.00 Item Number: 106746