February 2017 | Rebecca Rego Barry

Sylvester Stallone, Book Collector

It might be hard to square Rambo with rare books, but then again, people can surprise you. It turns out that actor and director Sylvester Stallone, best known for his beefy roles in Rocky and Rambo, amassed a private library of roughly 1,000 volumes, which will be offered in 40+ lots at Heritage Auctions in New York on March 8.

James Gannon, Heritage Auction's director of rare books, told HA's house magazine, The Intelligent Collector: "The collection includes attractive and desirable library sets by the greatest authors of the 18th and 19th centuries ... Sir Walter Scott, Washington Irving, The Bronte Sisters, Jonathan Swift, Voltaire, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emile Zola, and Charles Dickens are all represented."

Stallone.jpegWalt Whitman, too. Stallone owns the Paumanok edition of The Complete Writings of Walt Whitman (1902), limited to 300 sets and bound in blazing red morocco (pictured above). The $4,000 estimate reflects the fact that an extraordinary 1890 handwritten postcard from Whitman accompanies this set.

Other highlights include a 10-volume leather-bound set of Sir Walter Scott's The Waverley Novels (c. 1910), which includes a one-page autographed letter, signed by Scott (estimate: $2,000), and a 22-volume example of the Complete Writings of Nathaniel Hawthorne (1900), signed by Hawthorne on a tipped-in Liverpool customs certificate dated 1854 (estimate: $1,500).

Image: Courtesy of Heritage Auctions