March 2016 | Rebecca Rego Barry

Charlton Heston, Rare Book Collector

Who knew Charlton Heston collected rare books? If not an "aggressive" collector, still the actor amassed a small and varied collection that included some rare Shakespeare imprints, as well as some other surprising volumes, all set to go to auction at Bonhams on March 22. Held in collaboration with Turner Classic Movies, the "Charlton Heston Collection" offers its fair share of typical celebrity memorabilia--e.g, movie scripts, costumes, directors' chairs, Heston's 14K Screen Actors Guild membership card--as well as home furnishings and jewelry. But the Academy Award winner also had a two-story library in his Beverly Hills home, in which there resided a shelf or two of truly collectible volumes.


AUSTEN copy.jpgIt seems the five-term National Rifle Association (NRA) president favored Jane Austen. Seen here at left is lot 112, the first collected edition of Austen's novels (1833), estimated at $3,000-5,000. It is preceded in the auction by lot 110, a second edition of Austen's Sense and Sensibility (1813), estimated at $5,000-7,000, and by lot 111, a first American edition in original boards of Austen's Mansfield Park (1832), estimated at $3,000-5,000.

                                                                                                                                                 There's also quite a spectacular limited first edition (with family provenance) of Hemingway's In Our Time, Lewis & Clark's first English edition of Travels to the Source of the Missouri River..., and a first edition of Ann Radcliffe's The Mysteries of Udolpho, A Romance. Again, who knew?!

                                                                                                                                             Image courtesy of Bonhams.