Jane Austen’s House Museum in England is hoping a crowdsourcing appeal will safeguard one of the author’s letters from being sold into private hands.
As literary artifacts go, this one evokes childlike delight: an ivory cup-and-ball toy that once belonged to Jane Austen is headed to auction at Sotheby's London on December 13, where bids are expected in the £20,000-30,000 ($25,000-37,000) range.
In this, Mount Rushmore's 75th anniversary year, an interesting auction lot has surfaced in London: a manuscript letter written by the South Dakota landmark's sculptor, Gutzon Borglum, to his collaborator, Jesse Grove Tucker. The three-page letter, dated c. 1925-26, also contains a partial sketch showing only Washington's rock face. The Rushmore project officially began in 1927, and was finally completed in 1941, shortly after Borglum's death.
Five months before John Wilkes Booth assassinated President Abraham Lincoln, he penned a letter to J. D. Burch, the son of a Maryland innkeeper, regarding something he left behind with a stagecoach driver. Booth is cryptic about what exactly the item is, writing, "You know what I had to take from my carpet-bag. It's not worth more than $15, but I will give him $20 rather than lose it, as it has saved my life two or three times."