Lot 531: James Fenimore Cooper

RR Auction

2015-12-18 17:00:15

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Lot 531: Fabulous handwritten manuscript, unsigned, one page both sides, 9.5 x 14.25, no date but circa 1832–1833. A page from Cooper's manuscript for The Headsman, or the Abbaye of Vigneron. The present manuscript, which covers the content found from pages 159 to 166 of the 1833 Paris edition, and contains a conversation between the future baroness Adelheid de Willading and the commoner Sigismund Steinbach. Encapsulated in a Mylar sleeve. Also includes an Otsego County Bank check, 5.75 x 2, filled out and signed by Cooper, "J. Fenimore Cooper," payable to self for $20, February 4, 1840. The manuscript bears heavy overall staining and soiling, several large repaired tears, and repaired paper loss to a few small areas, otherwise very good condition; the check is in fine condition, with expected bank stamps touching the first two letters of the signature.This manuscript excerpt features the novel's two leading characters: Adelheid, the beautiful daughter of Melchior, Baron de Willading, and Sigismund, secret son of the headsman Balthazar, and if discovered, heir to the dreaded position of public executioner. Cooper deftly weaves the tale of this pair, desperately in love but unable to marry because of their vastly different social stations, to provide an insightful sociopolitical critique of the gruesome hereditary position. A rare and fantastic fragment. RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 467 Wednesday, 13th January 2016 Estimate: $3000-4000
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