Auctions | May 26, 2020

Fitzgerald First Editions at Auction Closing June 10

Courtesy of RR Auction

A signed first edition of F. Scott Fitzgerald's Tender Is the Night, first printing, in first printing dust jacket (estimate: $20,000+).

Boston — With over 1,100 lots up for bidding, RR Auction's June Fine Autographs and Artifacts sale is set to be a record-breaker.

Top lots include first edition books signed by F. Scott Fitzgerald, letters by George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, contracts signed by Mickey Mantle and Lou Gehrig, and a wide variety of entertainment autographs including Marylin Monroe, Walt Disney, and the Beatles.

Literature highlights include; a signed first edition of F. Scott Fitzgerald's masterpiece, Tender Is the Night, first printing, in first printing dust jacket. Hardcover bound in navy blue cloth with spine lettered in gilt, with pictorial first printing dust jacket including critical blurbs by Eliot, Mencken and Rosenfeld, 408 pages. Signed on the first free end page in fountain pen, "F. Scott Fitzgerald." Affixed on inside back paste-down is a "Hochschild Kohn & Co., Baltimore" label, which was Maryland's largest department store in 1934. Fitzgerald was living in Baltimore at the time Tender Is the Night was published— first printing just 7,600 copies—and may have held a book signing event or distributed signed books through the Hochschild Kohn store. (Estimate: $20,000+)

The sale also includes a first edition of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Beautiful and Damned, First edition, first printing, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1922. Hardcover bound in green cloth, lettered in gilt and blind, with first printing pictorial dust jacket, 449 pages. Signed on a free end page in fountain pen, "F. Scott Fitzgerald." Fitzgerald's second novel, The Beautiful and Damned is a classic Jazz Age tale of elite American society, generally considered to be based on his own relationship with his wife Zelda. Following his best-selling debut novel This Side of Paradise, Scribner's prepared an initial print run of 20,000 copies, and mounted a publicity campaign. It sold well enough to put 50,000 copies into print with later runs. As a highly desirable first edition of the work boasting a large signature, complete with its uncommon in first printing dust jacket, this is an extraordinary piece. (Estimate: $20,000+)

A Charles L. Dodgson four-page handwritten letter signed "Charles L. Dodgson, alias 'Lewis Carroll'," bordered sheets, November 13, 1874. Written from Christ Church, Oxford, a letter to an Australian man whose children are enjoying Dodgson's books, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There, in part: "It is too much to hope that you have an 'Alice' among your children." (Estimate: $12,000+)

Walt Whitman signed book: Complete Poems & Prose of Walt Whitman. First edition, unnumbered but limited to 600 copies printed for the author's use. Philadelphia: Ferguson Bros., 1888. Original hardcover binding with paper spine label, 898 pages. Signed at the foot of the "Leaves of Grass" title page in extremely bold ink, "Walt Whitman." A scarce edition that includes "Leaves Grass," "Specimen Days," and "November Boughs." An exceptionally desirable, boldly signed edition of Whitman's complete works. (Estimate: $5,000+)

Samuel L. Clemens signed book: The Love Letters of Mark Twain. First edition, limited issue, numbered 110/155. NY: Harper & Brothers, 1949. Hardcover with dust jacket and slipcase, 374 pages. Signed on the colophon in ink, "S. L. Clemens, Mark Twain." Printed above is a notice: "These signatures of Mark Twain have been in the possession of Harper & Brothers for fifty years. There are no more." An exemplary edition released long after the great American author's death, boasting Twain's sought-after double signature. (Estimate: $3,000+)

The Fine Autographs and Artifacts auction from RR Auction began on May 22 and will conclude on June 10 at 7:00 PM ET. For more information, go to