Karl Marx Letter Sold for More Than $53,000 at RR Auction

RR Marx.jpgAn extremely rare letter written by Karl Marx sold for $53,509 according to Boston-based RR Auction. 

The one-page letter written by Marx from 41 Maitland Park Road in London, dated October 1, 1879, to Collet Dobson Collet. In full: “On my return from the seaside I found your letter d’d 23 September. You will much oblige me by being so kind as to forward me some of the copies of the ‘Revelations,’ as I have none left.” 

The sheet is bright, the writing dark, precise, and easily legible in spite of Marx’s distinctive tiny hand, according to the auction house. 

Marx was a close friend of the Collet family, which included pioneering feminist activist Sophia Dobson Collet, social reformer Clara Collet, and the recipient of this letter, Collet Dobson Collet, the editor of The Free Press: A Diplomatic Review, to which Marx contributed a number of articles. 

The men became good friends and soon held weekly meetings at each other's houses to recite Shakespeare. 

The assembled group, which was formally coined as the Dogberry Club, included Marx's daughter Eleanor and Collet's daughter Clara, as well as Edward Rose, Dollie Radford, Sir Henry Juta, and Frederic Engels. 

The publication to which Marx evidently alludes, ‘Revelations of the Diplomatic History of the 18th Century,’ was originally serialized in the Free Press from August 1856 to April 1857.

"Marx letters are extraordinarily rare and virtually nonexistent outside of institutions—in almost forty years of business, this is the only one we have ever encountered." said Bobby Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction. 

Highlights from the sale include, but are not limited by:

Mahatma Gandhi signed photograph sold for $41,806.

Leo Tolstoy letter written in 1903 offering editorial advice sold for $21,450.

Claud Monet letter describing the intensity of his artistic process sold for $21,128.

John F. Kennedy signed copy of As We Remember Joe, privately printed. Cambridge, Massachusetts: University Press, 1945 sold for $15,926.

Wolfgang Pauli letter written in 1949 to an eminent American physicist sold for $14,700.

Jean-Paul Sartre portion of a handwritten draft for his autobiographical work Les Motes sold $12,105.

The Fine Autographs and Artifacts auction from RR Auction began on February 17 and concluded on March 7. More details can be found online at www.rrauction.com.

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