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Ernest Hemingway

Dec. 3 auction features 40-year collection of Hemingway 1st editions, other books, ephemera

1939 photo of Ernest Hemingway posing for a dust jacket photo taken by Lloyd Arnold for the first edition of ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls,’ taken at the Sun Valley Lodge, Idaho. Public domain image
1939 photo of Ernest Hemingway posing for a dust jacket photo taken by Lloyd Arnold for the first edition of ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls,’ taken at the Sun Valley Lodge, Idaho. Public domain image

 

NEW YORK – On December 3, Jasper52 will auction a remarkable single-owner collection of Ernest Hemingway books – some of them first editions – together with rare Hemingway family-autographed ephemera. Absentee and Internet live bidding on all items in the 113-lot online-only sale is being facilitated exclusively through LiveAuctioneers.com. All lots will open for bidding at $1. Some have a reserve.

Like Hemingway, the owner of the collection is an award-winning writer and world traveler. Enamored with Hemingway’s writing style from a young age, he set about collecting the author’s “really important books” around 40 years ago.

Whether on assignment in Europe, taking a leisurely drive up the California coast, or combing through bookstores near Hemingway’s last home in Idaho, the collector says he always kept an eye out for rare editions and signed material.

“You never know where you’ll find a gem,” the collector said. “I’ve found books in Germany, Norway, all sorts of places.”

He also became acquainted with members of the Hemingway family, noting, “I’ve met two of Hemingway’s daughters and interviewed his youngest son, Jack, in Sun Valley (Idaho).”

The collector’s thorough knowledge of Hemingway’s career helped him to identify what was genuinely rare. “Some of the early books aren’t flashy, but they’re so hard to come by,” he said.

Of the first editions in the auction, the top-estimated lot is A Farewell to Arms. Published in 1929 by Grosset & Dunlap, this classic has a pre-sale estimate of $800-$1,000.

 

Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell To Arms, first edition, 1929, Grosset & Dunlap, est. $800-$1,000
Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell To Arms, first edition, 1929, Grosset & Dunlap, est. $800-$1,000

 

Another prized first edition is Lot 104, a 1926 first edition of The Sun Also Rises published by Scribners. It is expected to make $800-$1,000.

 

Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises, first edition, 1926, Scribners, est. $300-$500
Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises, first edition, 1926, Scribners, est. $300-$500

 

Bidders will have an unusual opportunity to acquire an instant Hemingway library in Lot 111, a complete collection of 20 handsome leatherbound volumes accented with 22K gold. Published in the 1990s by Easton Press, this collection is top quality throughout and is still sealed in its original packaging. The set is estimated at $1,000-$1,500

 

Complete collection of 20 Hemingway leatherbound volumes accented with 22K gold, 1990s, Easton Press, sealed in original packaging, $1,000-$1,500
Complete collection of 20 Hemingway leatherbound volumes accented with 22K gold, 1990s, Easton Press, sealed in original packaging, $1,000-$1,500

 

The top-estimated item in the sale is Lot 113, a 1943 War Department publication titled Basic Field Manual – First Aid For Soldiers, issued to and signed by Hemingway in black ink. This one-of-a-kind article has been exhaustively researched and will convey to the winning bidder with supportive background information. It is estimated at $8,000-$12,000.

 

1943 War Department publication titled ‘Basic Field Manual – First Aid For Soldiers,’ issued to and signed by Hemingway in black ink. One-of-a-kind item. Est. $8,000-$12,000
1943 War Department publication titled ‘Basic Field Manual – First Aid For Soldiers,’ issued to and signed by Hemingway in black ink. One-of-a-kind item. Est. $8,000-$12,000

 

All Hemingway family signatures are desirable to collectors, but the most elusive of all is the signature of Ernest Hemingway’s mother, Grace Hall Hemingway. The auction contains a first-edition copy of a 1940 book titled Sunnyside Children, by Helen Clark Wentworth, that has been inscribed and signed by Grace Hemingway. Entered as Lot 112, the book could reach $1,500-$2,500.

 

1940 first-edition copy of ‘Sunnyside Children’ by Helen Clark Wentworth, inscribed and signed by Grace Hall Hemingway, est. $1,500-$2,500
1940 first-edition copy of ‘Sunnyside Children’ by Helen Clark Wentworth, inscribed and signed by Grace Hall Hemingway, est. $1,500-$2,500

 

Bidding is currently open on all lots in Jasper52’s Dec. 3 Ernest Hemingway Book Auction.

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Ernest Hemingway