Highlights include an autograph letter signed by Edgar Allan Poe. In the one-page letter, dated November 12, 1836, Poe solicits a donation for the Southern Literary Messenger, his shortlived employer and his formal entrance into the publishing realm. A beautifully-penned letter from the then-27-year-old scribe, written during a formative period in his life, it carries an estimate of $125,000-$150,000.
Another standout is a handwritten poem by Emily Dickinson, soliciting a shopkeeper’s smile. The autographed poem on two pages has no date but is believed to have been written circa 1861. Rendered in her distinctive, slanted handwriting, it is one of two known copies of the autograph manuscript of this lovely Dickinson poem – the other known example is not signed. This one was apparently sent to Samuel Bowles, a family friend and journalist who was the owner and editor-in-chief of the Springfield Republican. Any autographic material from Dickinson — a recluse who did not achieve notoriety in her lifetime — is extraordinarily rare, and this is just the second handwritten poem by her that RR Auction has ever offered. This is a true rarity that would be the centerpiece of any American literary collection. Its estimate is $50,000-$75,000.
Also featured is an original manuscript by Beatrix Potter for a play titled Squirrel Nutkin. It is signed and inscribed inside the front cover in ink: “E. L. Choyce, from Beatrix Potter, (Mrs. Heelis), Spring 1924, For private acting.” It consists of 21 pages in pencil inside an exercise book and is estimated at $50,000-$60,000.
Rounding out the highlights is a two-page handwritten Charles Dickens manuscript draft for David Copperfield. The undated six-chapter outline of a stage performance based on the novel has an estimate of $30,000-$40,000.
Fine Autograph and Artifacts Featuring Literature and Revolutionary rarities auction from RR Auction began on September 23 and will conclude October 12. For more information, go to www.rrauction.com.
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