March 2013 | Rebecca Rego Barry

Hemingway’s Family Photo Album for Sale

PBA Galleries

Hemingway family photograph and memorabilia album

In San Francisco later this week, a remarkable 100-page photo and memorabilia album belonging to the Hemingway family will go to auction for an estimated $10,000-15,000. The album contains 121 sepia-silverprint photographs, nearly all of which are identified in the handwriting of Ursula Hemingway, Ernest's younger sister. The flyleaf proclaims the album to be hers, "Book IV from July 1st 1913 to July 1 1916, Eleven years 2 months to Fourteen years and 2 months old." 

The Hemingway family's photos aren't so different from a modern family's vacation shots—images of children playing, family dinners, group portraits. Many of these were taken at the Walloon Lake summer house in Northern Michigan, a haven for the Hemingway family. Young Ernest features in 21 of the images. In the page seen here, the top photo shows "July 21, 1913—Ernest's birthday," and he is seen fishing at bottom left. Other memorabilia, including a printed birth announcement for Leicester Hemingway, recital programs, postcards, letters to Ursula, and about thirty pieces of original art drawn by Ursula, are contained within in the flexible morocco binding.

The album has survived with the Hemingway family until now, descending from Ursula, who died in 1966, to her daughter and family. It's hard to imagine a Hemingway collector who wouldn't jump at the chance to own this very personal piece of his history. A later photo album, family copies of Ernest's books, inscribed copies, and other related items (lots 64-77) are also on offer at PBA Galleries on Thursday.