Ernest Hemingway African Hunting Rifle.

Rare African hunting rifle from the collection of Ernest Hemingway; obtained by him in Africa and later gifted to his best friend and biographer A.E. Hotchner

Ernest Hemingway African Hunting Rifle.

[HEMINGWAY, Ernest; A.E. Hotchner].

Item Number: 117552

Rare African hunting rifle from the collection of Ernest Hemingway; obtained by him in Africa and later gifted to his best friend and biographer A.E. Hotchner. The African musket-rifle measures 5 feet in length and is elaborately decorated with intricately hammered beaded and etched metal wrappings and garnet gemstones. Hemingway began collecting guns at the age of 10 when his grandfather gave him a 20 gauge shotgun. Throughout his lifetime he bought, sold, and gifted several guns from his collection and was often photographed proudly displaying a variety of rifles while bird and big-game hunting in Idaho and Africa. The present rifle was obtained during Hemingway’s 1953-1954 winter safari trip to Africa with his fourth wife Mary, during which they survived two near-fatal plane crashes and were for several weeks presumed dead. Hemingway later gifted the gun to his closest friend and biographer A.E. Hotchner. The gun is accompanied by a signed letter of provenance from Timothy Hotchner, A.E. Hotchner’s son, which reads in part, “This item was given to my father by Ernest Hemingway in his youth. My father met “Papa” in 1948 and remained close friends with him… until Hemingway’s death in 1966. Hemingway was very connected to Africa, and several of his writings were influenced by the time he spent there including Green Hills of Africa, The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber, and his classic work, The Snows of Kilimanjaro… My father proudly displayed this gun in his study, where he would tell people, including me, about its storied history. He liked to say that it probably took two people to fire it: one to pull the trigger and the other to have the barrel rested on his shoulder. My father had many keepsakes from Hemingway, including letters, photos, and matador outfits, which he sold over many years. However, this gun was perhaps his favorite, and he kept it until his death.” In very good condition. From the collection of A.E. Hotchner. Exceedingly rare with exceptional provenance.

Hemingway first met Aaron Edward Hotchner in the late 1940s when Hotchner was sent to Cuba by Cosmopolitan to solicit from Hemingway an article on “The Future of Literature.” Hemingway took an immediate liking to Hotchner and they remained close friends; Hotchner edited the manuscript of Across the River and Into the Trees, acted as Hemingway’s agent in several deals concerning screen adaptations of his novels, and edited Hemingway’s last significant original work, The Dangerous Summer. Hotchner played an essential role in trimming the excessive manuscript of 120,000 words (for the assignment which called for a 10,000-word article) down to 50,000 words and The Dangerous Summer proved to be Hemingway’s last significant original work, published in book form posthumously in 1985. In 1966 Hotchner published his profound and intimate biography, Papa Hemingway, which would go on to become a bestseller.

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