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Profiles In History Auction Offers Correspondence & Manuscripts From World’s Greatest Authors

by Bryan Thomas Schmidt
Profiles in History, run by Joe Maddalena, is proud to announce that the personal correspondence and manuscripts from the world’s greatest authors will be included at their December 18 auction, The Property of a Distinguished American Private Collector. Part I of The Property of a Distinguished American Private Collector will take place in Los Angeles and include 300 of the most important manuscripts of the collection. The entire collection has over 3,000 items and will be sold over the next two years. Some of the items included in this auction are:
Charles Dickens evocative and important handwritten manuscript of “In Memoriam,” Dickens’s obituary tribute to William Makepeace Thackeray, his old comrade and brother in arms, dated January 15, 1864.  Dickens devotes considerable space to the fiction which Thackeray was at work upon at the time of his death, his unfinished novel Denis Duval. An extraordinary tribute from one great writer to another. The manuscript is expected to fetch $40,000 – $60,000.Ernest Hemingway typed letter signed (“Ernest”), in pencil, from the Hotel Ambos Mundos, Havana, Cuba, dated March 11, 1940 to his friend Walter Winchell, the American Newspaper Columnist, who had a nationally syndicated column for the New York Daily Mirror(1929-1963). Hard at work on his longest novel, For Whom The Bell Tolls, author Ernest Hemingway writes to Newsman and friend Walter Winchell to calm rumors of his rift with his second wife, Pauline, and comments on his progress. Hemingway’s book For Whom the Bell Tolls was based on an incident in the Spanish Civil War (1936-39). The letter is pictured above and expected to fetch $10,000 – $15,000.

L. Frank Baum handwritten signed letter, to his son Robert S. Baum, dated August 1, 1910. The great author of the “Oz” books, provides some sage advice for his son after completing his latest book, The Emerald City of Oz: “The new book `The Emerald City of Oz’ is just out and is a beauty.” Letters by Baum are rare and the content of the this letter is exceptional. The letter is expected to fetch $15,000 – $25,000.

William Shakespeare First Folio edition of HamletThe publication in 1623 of the 36 plays of Shakespeare, known today as the First Folio, was a monumental event in the history of world literature, collecting the theatrical works of an author who is universally recognized today as one of the greatest minds and poets who ever wrote.  The First Folio is expected to fetch $15,000 – $25,000.

Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Mark Twain) handwritten signed letter, to his wife Livy in Paris, dated December 25, 1893. Clemens enthusiastically describes his experiences negotiating a contract with one James W. Paige, inventor of a typesetting machine for which Clemens had formed a company to manufacture and market. The letter is expected to fetch $30,000 – $50,000.

Emily Dickinson rare and important handwritten signed letter, in pencil, to Mrs. Samuel E. Mack, dated Autumn 1884. Mrs. Mack’s efforts to visit Dickinson proved successful, and the poet expresses her pleasure in the visit, quoting a poem of Emily Bronte, ‘Last Lines’, no doubt from memory. Letters by Dickinson are extremely rare. The letter is expected to fetch $20,000 – $30,000.

F. Scott Fitzgerald, handwritten signed letter, dated June 15, 1931 to Paul Eldridge. Fitzgerald jokes that his wife wrote The Millionaire’s Girl and he simply used his name for its fame. Fitzgerald letters from this period in the author’s career are most desirable. The letter is expected to fetch $6,000 – $8,000.

Walt Whitman handwritten signed letter to a friend, dated May  25, 1889. Walt Whitman provides text for a friend’s speech on the subject of Leaves of Grass and his poetic and patriotic mission. Whitman sends along a paragraph herewith to work into his correspondence speech or toast. The letter is expected to fetch $8,000 – $12,000.

A collection of Edgar Allan Poe memorabilia including his fiancée’s engagement ring, a lock of his hair, family correspondence, photographic portraits, including one of Poe, and a silver spoon; all enclosed in a half morocco clamshell box with elaborately tooled spine, raisedbands, red morocco labels, inset red morocco label on front cover.  The letters and photographs are in an album within the box, inside the box there are three recesses housing the gold ring, the lock of hair and the spoon. A rare collection of Poe memorabilia direct from the descendants of Edgar Allan Poe. Memorabilia relating to Poe is excessively rare and the present collection is of great sentimental significance.  It is expected to fetch $30,000 – $50,000.

A Raymond Chandler typed letter signed on his imprinted stationery, dated January 15, 1951, “To the editor of The Author, in London”. Chandler scorns the Senator McCarthy hearings that attempted to discover Communists in America and prosecute them. Chandler lived through the era of Senator McCarthy and the House Committee on Un-American Activities, and he ridiculed them both. The letter is expected to fetch $2,000 – $3,000

A Joseph Conrad typed letter signed on his imprinted stationery, dated January 22, 1923, to his friend and biographer, Elbridge L. Adams. Conrad corrects and annotates an article on himself by Adams before its publication in The Outlook. An extraordinary letter and typescript from Conrad all about Conrad. The letter is expected to fetch $15,000 – $25,000.

An Ayn Rand typed letter signed to Lorine Pruette of the New York Times Book Review, dated May 18, 1943. Rand thanks Lorine Pruette of the New York Times for a positive review of The FountainheadThe Fountainhead was Rand’s first wildly successful novel with over 6.5 million copies sold.  She later wrote her magnum opus Atlas Shrugged,which is popular to this day and has recently been made into a movie. The letter is expected to fetch $2,000 – $3,000.

Founded in 1985 by Joseph Maddalena, Profiles in History is the world’s largest auctioneer & dealer of original Hollywood Memorabilia, historical autographs, letters, documents, vintage signed photographs and manuscripts. Born into a family of antiques dealers in Rhode Island, Joseph “Joe” Maddalena learned early on how to turn his passion of collecting historical autographs into a career. Upon graduation from Pepperdine, Joe pursued his passion to become a full-time dealer of historical documents, and opened his first office in 1985.

Profiles in History has held some of the most prestigious and successful auctions of Hollywood memorabilia and own virtually every Guinness Book record for prices of original screen-used memorabilia.  Highlights from their previous auctions include the “Cowardly Lion” costume from The Wizard of Oz ($805,000); Steve McQueen’s “Michael Delaney” racing suit from Le Mans  ($960,000); From the history-making Debbie Reynolds Auction in June 2011, Profiles in History sold the Marilyn Monroe “Subway” Dress from The Seven Year Itch for $5.52M and the Audrey Hepburn Ascot Dress from My Fair Lady for $4.44M. In February 2012, Profiles in History arranged the sale of a pair of Judy Garland screen-used Ruby Slippers from The Wizard of Oz  to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.
In addition, Joe Maddalena is the star of Hollywood Treasure, which just ended its second season on Syfy.  Hollywood Treasure takes viewers into the fascinating world of showbiz and pop culture memorabilia. For more information visit

Bryan Thomas Schmidt is an author and editor of adult and children’s science fiction, fantasy and humor books, short stories and articles. A frequent contributor to blogs like SFSignal, Adventures In SF Publishing, Grasping For The Wind and To Be Read, he also hosts Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer’s Chat under the hashtag #sffwrtcht on Twitter and blogs about writing and creativity on his own blog at Connect With Bryan On Google+

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