Specialty Auction on Dec. 3 Features 40-year Collection of Ernest Hemingway First Editions
NEW YORK - On December 3, Jasper52 will auction a remarkable single-owner collection of Ernest Hemingway books - some of them first editions - together with rare Hemingway family-autographed ephemera. Absentee and Internet live bidding on all items in the 113-lot online-only sale is being facilitated exclusively through LiveAuctioneers.com. All lots will open for bidding at $1. Some have a reserve price.
Like Hemingway, the owner of the collection is an award-winning writer and world traveler. Enamored with Hemingway’s writing style from a young age, he set about collecting the author’s “really important books” around 40 years ago.
Whether on assignment in Europe, taking a leisurely drive up the California coast, or combing through bookstores near Hemingway’s last home in Idaho, the collector says he always watched out for rare editions and signed material.
“I keep my eyes open every minute, because you never know where you’ll find a gem,” the collector said. “I’ve found books in Germany, Norway, all sorts of places.”
He also became acquainted with members of the Hemingway family, noting, “I’ve met two of Hemingway’s daughters and interviewed his youngest son, Jack, in Sun Valley (Idaho).”
The collector’s thorough knowledge of Hemingway’s career helped him to identify what was genuinely rare. “Some of the early books aren’t flashy, but they’re so hard to come by,” he said.
Of the first editions in the auction, the top-estimated lot is A Farewell to Arms. Published in 1929 by Grosset & Dunlap, this classic has a pre-sale estimate of $800-$1,000.
Another prized first edition is Lot 104, a 1926 first edition of The Sun Also Rises published by Scribners. It is expected to make $800-$1,000.
Bidders will have an unusual opportunity to acquire an instant Hemingway library in Lot 111, a complete collection of 20 handsome leatherbound volumes accented with 22K gold. Published in the 1990s by Easton Press, this collection is top quality throughout and is still sealed in its original packaging. The set is estimated at $1,000-$1,500
The top-estimated item in the sale is Lot 113, a 1943 War Department publication titled Basic Field Manual - First Aid For Soldiers, issued to and signed by Hemingway in black ink. This one-of-a-kind article has been exhaustively researched and will convey to the winning bidder with supportive background information. It is estimated at $8,000-$12,000.
All Hemingway family signatures are desirable to collectors, but the most elusive of all is the signature of Ernest Hemingway’s mother, Grace Hall Hemingway. The auction contains a first-edition copy of a 1940 book titled Sunnyside Children, by Helen Clark Wentworth, which has been inscribed and signed by Grace Hemingway. Entered as Lot 112, the book could reach $1,500-$2,500.
Bidding has opened on all lots in Jasper52’s Dec. 3 Ernest Hemingway Book Auction.
Image: 1943 War Department publication titled ‘Basic Field Manual - First Aid For Soldiers,’ issued to and signed by Hemingway in black ink. One-of-a-kind item. Est. $8,000-$12,000