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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
"unscrew the locks from the doors! Unscrew the doors themselves from their jambs!": Rare Mimeographed Sheets of The Howl Produced for its First Reading. Preceding the First Edition and signed by Ginsberg and five others present at the Six Gallery in October of 1955
Two sheets from an exceptionally rare privately produced mimeographed printing of Howl, preceding the first edition. One of 25 copies printed on rectos only in purple ink typed by the poet Robert Creeley and printed by Marthe Rexroth at S.F State, where she was a secretary, for the famous Six Gallery reading (also known as Six Angels in the Same Performance). This event, which took place at 3110 Fillmore Street in San Francisco on October 7, 1955 was the first important public poetry exhibition heralding the West Coast literary revolution of the Beat Generation. At the reading, five talented young poets—Allen Ginsberg, Philip Lamantia, Michael McClure, Gary Snyder, and Philip Whalen presented some of their latest works. They were introduced by Kenneth Rexroth, who was a kind of literary father-figure for the younger poets. It was at this reading that Allen Ginsberg performed the piece in public, which had been advertised by a postcard proclaiming: “Remarkable collection of angels all gathered at once in the same spot. Wine, music, dancing girls, serious poetry, free satori.” The exuberant audience included Neal Cassady, who passed around the wine jug and a collection plate and a drunken Jack Kerouac, who refused to read his own work but cheered the other poets on, and later wrote an account in his novel The Dharma Bums. He fictionalized the event with a description of circulating gallon jugs of California burgundy among the increasingly raucous crowd, “getting them all piffed so that by eleven o’clock when Alvah Goldbrook (Ginsberg’s stand-in in the novel) was reading his wailing poem ‘Wail’ (‘Howl’) drunk with arms outspread everybody was yelling ‘Go! Go! Go!’” Also in attendance was Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who telegrammed Ginsberg the following day offering to publish his work, saying ” I greet you at the beginning of a great career. When do I get the manuscript?” He published in 1956 through his City Lights Press, but customs agents seized Howl and Other Poems when it arrived from its London-based printer on grounds that it was indecent and obscene. Ferlinghetti and his store manager Shigeyoshi Murao were acquitted of the obscenity charges in October 1957. The title page is signed by Allen Ginsberg, with the signature and a note by Marthe Rexroth, which reads, “I cranked the ditto master at S F State the first time around -and! was at the reading.” On the verso of the title, McClure has written the lengthy note, “This first long poem of Allen’s was read at the Six Gallery in San Francisco in October 1955. I was 22 years old and gave my first reading also that night. I read a poem titled FOR THE DEATHS OF 100 WHALES and other poems of nature and new consciousness. Our co-readers that night were Whalen, Snyder, & Lamantia. Kenneth Rexroth was M.C. I met Jack Kerouac that night. The group of us – minus Lamantia – read again in Berkeley, March 1956, on a rainy evening. It was a fine evening for poetry and I remember my pleasure in Allen’s comic ‘America’. I read mostly from a huge notebook of experimental poems of consciousness. Michael McClure.” On the dedication page are the signatures of Philip Lamantia, Gary Snyder, Philip Whalen, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and an inscription by David Meltzer: ” When Allen first read Kaddish in SF, I read too. I was 22.” Double matted and framed, the entire piece measures 20 inches by 26 inches, with an opening in the back of the frame to view McClure’s statement. Only one other similar printing of this edition has surfaced, which fetched $118,750 at auction in 2013, although this copy did include all of the pages. An exceptionally rare item of this important work and cornerstone to American thought and culture.
Price: $35,000.00 Item Number: 40140
Rare Gordon Bryant iconic portrait of American literary master F. Scott Fitzgerald, warmly signed by him, “Faithfully yours F. Scott Fitzgerald.” This portrait was part of a study of Fitzgerald by Bryant which he later published in Shadowland Magazine in 1921. In fine condition. Double matted and framed. The entire piece measures 15.25 inches by 13.25 inches. Rare and desirable.
Price: $22,500.00 Item Number: 111063
“Dear Barbara, you remind me of myself and I wish us both that you remain that way": Photograph of Ayn Rand; Inscribed by Her to Barbara Branden
Large signed photograph of Ayn Rand. Inscribed by her to Barbara Branden, “Dear Barbara, you remind me of myself and I wish us both that you remain that way – With love -Ayn June 21, 1951.” While living in New York during the early 1950’s, the recipient, Barbara, and her future husband, Nathaniel Branden, befriended Rand and her husband Frank O’Connor. Not only would the couple go on to become major proponents of Objectivism (establishing the Nathaniel Branden Institute in 1958 with Barbara serving as Rand’s assistant), but their personal lives would be dramatically intertwined with Rand’s. Begrudgingly sanctioned by both Barbara and Frank, Nathaniel began an affair with Ayn in 1954. The secret couple had a very public break in 1968, almost certainly due to Branden’s affair with actress Patrecia Scott who he later married. The photograph measures 8 inches by 10 inches. Matted and framed, which measures 17.5 inches by 19.5 inches. Photographs signed by Rand are rare.
Price: $15,000.00 Item Number: 73070
Photographic portrait of Henry James by John Singer Sargent, boldly signed by James and Sargent. The portrait measures 10.5 inches by 13 inches. Double matted and framed. In fine condition. Rare and desirable signed by both James and Sargent.
Price: $10,000.00 Item Number: 73010
Rare silver gelatin print of French philosopher, novelist, and playwright Jean-Paul Sartre. Inscribed by him in the upper left corner of the image, “A M. Satoru Yamano, sympatheque hommage, Jean-Paul Sartre.” In near fine condition. Matted and framed. The entire piece measures 14 inches by 11 inches.
Price: $9,500.00 Item Number: 123541
Rare original albumen photograph of Ralph Waldo Emerson seated with a book. Boldly signed by Emerson beneath his portrait, “R.W. Emerson.” Matted and framed. The photograph measures 7 inches 4.5 inches. The entire piece measures 11 inches by 13.5 inches. Rare and desirable.
Price: $9,200.00 Item Number: 95206
"I own one copy of Three Stories and Ten Poems and would be very happy if it became valuable": Ernest Hemingway Autograph Letter Excerpt
Chicago: The Walden Book Shop, 1930.
Rare letter excerpt boldly signed by Ernest Hemingway. Published by the Walden Book Shop in 1930, the introduction begins "The following notes are excerpts from a Hemingway letter in answer to questions concerning editions and numbers of copies." It goes on to provide a long italicized quote from the letter in which Hemingway describes the printings of his early books from Three Stories and Ten Poems through the forthcoming Men Without Women (1927). The quote reads, in part: “…The books have been Three Stories and Ten Poems, Contact Press, 1953-350 copies out of print, In Our Times, Three Mountains Press, 1924, 150, I think…They claim to be issuing a new edition. Then Scribners published The Torrents of Spring in the spring of 1926 in an unrestrained edition and The Sun Also Rises came out in the same year with, I believe an attempt made to print and sell as many as possible…I own one copy of Three Stories and Ten Poems and would be very happy if it became valuable in order that I might have something to leave to my children.” Signed by Hemingway in he lower right corner of the pamphlet. In fine condition. Double matted and framed with a portrait of Hemingway. The entire piece measures 26 inches by 17 inches. An exceptional example.
Price: $8,200.00 Item Number: 95977
"My Dear Stoker.....I don't know how to thank you enough. Sincerely Yours S.L. Clemens": Mark Twain Autographed Letter Signed To Bram Stoker
Autograph letter signed from Mark Twain to Bram Stoker, who he thanks for a photograph of Henry Irving, “My Dear Stoker: It is a wonderful picture. I have never seen one of Irving before that could at all compare with it. I don’t know how to thank you enough. Sincerely Yours S.L. Clemens December 27, 93.” With the transmittal envelope in Twain’s, signed “From S.L. Clemens To Bram Stoker, Abby’s Theatre.” The famous British actor Henry Irving was one of the inspirations for Count Dracula, the title character of the 1897 novel Dracula. Matted and framed. The entire piece measures 14 inches by 18 inches. A nice association linking these two great writers.
Price: $7,800.00 Item Number: 31008
Autograph manuscript page from Louisa May Alcott’s Jack and Jill, Chapter VIII, page 129. One page. The manuscript page reads, “up no capers with that child! The idea of a hot bath in the middle of the day, and him full of dinner, and croupy into the bargain! Wet a corner of a towel at the kettle-spout and polish him off if you like, but you won’t risk his life in no bath-tubs this cold day.’ Miss Bat’s word was law in some things, so Molly had to submit, and took Boo away, saying, loftily, as she left the room, ‘I shall ask father, and do it tonight, for I will not have my brother look like a pig.’ ‘My patience! How the Siamese do leave their things around,’she exclaimed [crossed out a moment after’] as she surveyed her room after making up the fire and polishing off Boo. ‘I’ll put things in order, and then mend up my rags, if I can find my thimble. Now, let me see,’ and she went to exploring her closet, bureau, and table, finding such disorder everywhere that her courage nearly gave out. She had clothes enough, but all needed care; even her best dress had two buttons off, and her drawers were a perfect chaos of soiled ruffles, off gloves, old ribbons, boot lacings, and bits of paper. ‘Oh, my heart, what a muddle! Mrs. Minot wouldn’t think much of me if she could see that,’ said Molly, recalling [crossed out ‘that Mrs.’] how that lady once said she could judge a good deal of a little girl’s character & habits by a peep at her top drawer, & went on to guess how each of the schoolmates kept hers, with great success.” The final printing reads slightly differently. Matted and framed opposite a photograph of Alcott. The entire piece measures 17.5 inches by 20 inches. Manuscript pages from Alcott seldom enter the market.
Price: $7,200.00 Item Number: 65051
Carte-de-visite of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Boldly signed by Ralph Waldo Emerson below the photograph. In near fine condition. Matted and framed. Rare.
Price: $6,800.00 Item Number: 67039
Rare gelatin silver printed photograph of Mark Twain by A. F. Bradley. Signed by Twain on the mount with Bradley’s imprint dated 1907. A contemporary of Twain, American poet Ina Coolbirth was a prominent figure in the San Francisco Bay Area literary community. In 1906, her home in California was destroyed in a fire and subsequent earthquake. Twain sent her three autographed photographs of himself which sold for $10.00 each and was subsequently convinced by New York photographer A. F. Bradley to sit for 17 more studio photographs to add further to the fund. Framed. The entire piece measures 11.5 inches by 15 inches. In near fine condition.
Price: $6,500.00 Item Number: 116026
"Don't Stop Me Now'Cause I'm having a good time, having a good time": Original Record of Queen's Jazz, Signed by Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon
Original record, boldly signed by Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon on the front panel. In fine condition. Framed. The entire piece measures 18 inches by 18 inches. Rare and desirable signed by each member of Queen.
Price: $6,000.00 Item Number: 122488
"It is a strange thing to hear one's name from across all these waters so beautifully set to song": AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED FROM ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON TO HIS BIOGRAPHER, LOUISE IMOGEN GUINEY
One page autographed signed letter from Robert Louis Stevenson to his biographer, Louise Imogen Guiney. Matted and framed with a portrait of Stevenson. The letter reads, “Dear Miss Guiney I have waited long upon the muse, for I thought your song should be answered in kind. But I must wait no longer, and the verses refuse to come. Let me, then, thank you in prose for your book which I have read with pleasure, and for your poem which gave me genuine pride. It is a strange thing to hear one’s name from across all these waters so beautifully set to song. Robert Louis Stevenson. Skerryvore, Bournemouth.” The recipient of the letter, Louise Imogen Guiney was an Irish-American poet and a cataloger at the Boston Public Library. In 1895, she and Alice Brown published a biography of Robert Louis Stevenson. In 1885, Guiney published a book of poetry titled The White Sail and Other Poems, which included a poem, The Indian Pipes, dedicated to Stevenson. A very warm letter, rare and desirable. The entire piece measures 19.5 inches by 27 inches.
Price: $4,800.00 Item Number: 43055
Rare silver gelatin print signed by Nobel Prize-winning author Thomas Mann. Inscribed by him on the lower portion of the photograph, “Mr. Satoru Yamano, with all my good wishes, Thomas Mann.” Double matted and framed. In near fine condition. The entire piece measures 11.5 inches by 10 inches.
Price: $4,800.00 Item Number: 123909
"Woman, my soul's stranger, your delight was left to me"; One page autographed handwritten poem completely in the hand of Nobel Prize-Winning Poet George Seferis
Two page autographed handwritten poem completely in the hand of George Seferis. Translated from the Greek: “The porch had darkened, by our side there was a rush in the two hearts had sheltered a confession. And the voice was entrapped in our lips, and we made mistakes and only from the depths of the body, Oh my God, we were waiting for a blessing. Darkness was blowing in the house and from the light of the star oh, your hair’s magnet remember the inaccessible angel. With the fast rings on the floor suddenly like an air blowing in the thought that we were reading the Bible with a prayer. Woman, my soul’s stranger, your delight was left to me, nice beloved woman tonight this foolish today. And the black rings of your eyes, and the nights horror. Bend to get into the case again, blade of my silence, chimera. George Seferis.” Double matted and framed. The entire piece measures 16 inches by 19 inches.
Price: $4,800.00 Item Number: 61092
Rare original Donald Brooks Fashion Design of Mia Farrow as Daisy Buchanan for the 1974 film version of The Great Gatsby
Original Donald Brooks fashion design sketch of Mia Farrow as Daisy Buchanan for the 1974 film production of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. One page pencil drawing with watercolor detail of a moonlit sky, the drawing features Farrow in full in “a wispy delicate dress of white and pale grey chiffon that moves against the body” as well as details of her family pearls, diamond bar capelet pin, pearl drop earring, and brocade t-strap dancing slipper with Donald Brooks’ inscription in pencil, “Mia Farrow as Daisy Buchanan ‘The Great Gatsby’ Donald Brooks.” In fine condition. Double matted and framed. The entire piece measures 27.5 inches by 22.5 inches. An excellent piece featuring the iconic Buchanan in the classic film The Great Gatsby.
Price: $4,800.00 Item Number: 95196
"A high opinion of your work is undoubtedly held by everyone who matters in the British Zone": Ian Fleming Autographed Letter Signed to Spy Antony Terry
Autographed letter signed by Ian Fleming to journalist and spy Antony Terry of the British Press Centre. On Kemsley House letterhead, dated 9th July 1951. It reads, ”I attach a copy of my final letter to Michael Parker, from which you will see that his application to Mr. Neville Berry only received consideration from me since Parker intended to move to Munich. Naturally, I do not want anyone else accredited to the British Zone, and I leave it to you in case Parker calls to clarify his mind on the point. Meanwhile, please accept my further congratulations on the splendid service you continue to give to us and which is greatly appreciated by all editors. It also gives me much pleasure to hear from time to time what a fine reputation you are building up in Germany. A high opinion of your work is undoubtedly held by everyone who matters in the British Zone. I hope you have a splendid holiday Yours ever Ian Fleming.” In near fine condition. The letter measures 8 inches by 10 inches. Matted and framed opposite a photograph of Fleming. The entire piece measures 16.5 inches by 18.5 inches.
Price: $4,500.00 Item Number: 20093
"The world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people": Rare original Henry Miller watercolor painting; signed by him
Rare original watercolor painting by American writer and artist Henry Miller. The painting depicts three anthropomorphic figures, one with a horse-shaped head beneath a sky dotted with one star. Signed by the artist in the lower right corner of the image, “Henry Miller 8/63.” In fine condition. Matted and framed, the entire piece measures 21 inches by 18.5 inches.
Price: $4,200.00 Item Number: 84955
"For I have promises to keep And miles to go before I sleep And miles to go before I sleep": Jacqueline Kennedy quotation of Robert Frost
Jacqueline Kennedy hand writes the first lines from the Robert Frost poem Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. From the collection of Mary Gallagher, who was the personal secretary to Jacqueline Kennedy from 1957 to 1964, which includes the Kennedy presidency. Before that, she was Senator John F. Kennedy’s secretary and worked briefly for Jackie’s mother. Robert Frost was one of President and Mrs. Kennedy’s favorite poets. He was invited to present two of his poems at the Kennedy Inauguration on January 20, 1961. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening is perhaps his best known work; and Frost himself admitted that it was “my best bid for remembrance.” Mrs. Kennedy slightly misquotes the three concluding lines, “For I have promises to keep And miles to go before I sleep And miles to go before I sleep.” Jacqueline wrote them on Mary Gallagher’s shorthand notebook in her new home in Georgetown, in 1964, where she moved to after leaving the White House. Gallagher further explains in her affidavit: “This happened to be but one of the many poems that [Mrs. Kennedy] had chosen daily from little stacks of books in which she had placed paper markers to designate the pages that had the various passages for me to type up over the next few weeks. As she explained, they were ‘for the fund-raising dinner in New York on the 16th, to be recited by Frederic March.’ The poem was recited by March at the Kennedy Library dinner and the Democratic Convention that same year. Matted and framed opposite a photograph of President and Mrs. Kennedy and Robert Frost. The entire piece measures 17 inches by 21 inches.
Price: $4,200.00 Item Number: 44052