Auctions | January 15, 2021

Fitzgerald Fan Letter Sells for $37,987 at Auction

Courtesy of RR Auction

Boston — A 100-year-old F. Scott Fitzgerald handwritten letter sold for $37,987, according to Boston-based RR Auction.

The four-page handwritten letter, undated but, circa late 1920, to "Mr. Fitzgerald,” in Paterson, NJ, replying to commentary on This Side of Paradise, in which the protagonist 'Amory Blaine' was based upon himself, and the character 'Rosalind Connage' was based on Zelda.

The letter is paired with a signed by F. Scott Fitzgerald: a matte-finish photo of Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, boldly signed in fountain pen with reference to This Side of Paradise, "This is 'Rosalind,' don't you prefer her to Clara? F. Scott Fitzgerald".

Accompanied by a carbon copy of John J. Fitzgerald's two-page letter to F. Scott Fitzgerald that elicited this exceptional response, and an envelope marked "Fitzgerald Correspondence" in an unknown hand.

Though Fitzgerald dropped out of Princeton to join the Army in 1917, his university years permanently shaped his life and career; it was in this world of privilege that he devoted himself to finding his voice as a writer.

Drawing inspiration from the people he knew in real life, Fitzgerald drafted This Side of Paradise after a breakup with Zelda. He hoped it would make him a famous novelist and help win her back—a successful endeavor, as he notes that "that 'Amory' married 'Rosalind,' two days before the publication of the novel." He also makes reference to his favorite cousin, Cecilia Delihant Taylor, upon whom 'Clara' was based. In 1919 Scribner's accepted his manuscript for This Side of Paradise on its third submission, and the book was released to wild success the following year.

Additional highlights from the sale include, but are not limited by:

Malcolm X typed signed letter to Elijah Muhammad sold for $52,663.

Nirvana signed 'Nevermind' album sold for $38,910.

Nikola Tesla twice-signed check, paid to the Hotel New Yorker sold for $28,501.

Martin Luther King, Jr. typed signed letter sold for $27,977.

Al Capone twice-signed gold coin interest note sold for $27,500.

F. Scott Fitzgerald signed first edition of The Vegetable sold for $25,000.

Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and Harvey Firestone signed photograph sold for $21,587.

Online bidding for the Fine Autograph and Artifacts auction from RR Auction began December 18 and concluded on January 13. For more information, go to