Presentation Copy of Marx's "Das Kapital" Heads to Auction
On June 15, Bonhams in London will offer at auction a very rare presentation copy of Karl Marx's hugely influential economic work Das Kapital. The copy, inscribed by Marx to his then friend Johann Georg Eccarius, is expected to fetch £80,000-120,000 ($120,000-170,000).
The first edition of Das Kapital, published in 1867, was the only edition released during Marx's life. He inscribed this copy to his friend, Eccarius, who he described as one of his "oldest friends and adherents." Eccarius was a German tailor and a member of the Communist Party predecessor The League of the Just.
The two friends would eventually have a serious falling out over political differences, leading to allegations from Marx that Eccarius was a paid police informant. Marx would later write of Eccarius as a "scoundrel, pure and simple."
Nevertheless, the well-used Eccarius copy of Das Kapital remained in the hands of the family for the next 149 years until descendants decided to auction the book this year.
Bonhams reports that only two other presentation copies of the book have been previously auctioned.
[Photo from Bonhams]