Wilde Collection to be Auctioned Off

Here’s something to spend your lunch money on, boys and girls. Oscar Wilde’s collection of manuscripts, letters and other artifacts is going to be auctioned off at Sotheby’s in Manhattan this month.

According to Whiteman, the library waged a “civilized and understated war” in 1996 for the original manuscript of the “Dorian Gray” chapter but lost out to an unidentified businessman from England. The Clark library was prepared to pay $30,000; the businessman paid $70,000, Whiteman says.
What’s thought to be the same chapter is offered in the Sotheby’s auction, with officials estimating it could sell for $145,000. The auction is set for Oct. 29 in London, a little less than two weeks after Wilde’s birthday. The collection is expected to fetch more than $1 million, says Sotheby’s books and manuscripts expert Dr. Philip Errington.
Errington hand-carried 30 pieces to New York for display because of Wilde’s big following in the United States. The collection required its own passport because of its rarity and value, he says.

Books can have passports? Or is just Oscar Wilde books? What about something by Baywatch-star-cum-memoirist* Pamela Anderson? I bet she’d get at least a laissez-passer.

*TM, Maud.


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