Raymond Chandler's Collection To Appear At Sotheby's Auction

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2015-06-26 10:45:30

Raymond Chandler's Collection To Appear At Sotheby's Auction

Sotheby's forthcoming sale of Fine Books and Manuscripts in December will offer rare items from the worlds of art, literature and politics. Headlining the sale will be a collection of books and documents formerly belonging to the celebrated crime author Raymond Chandler, along with personal letters written by George Washington and Vincent van Gough.

The Chandler collection includes his personal copies of all his own novels, along with a number of other books dedicated to him from his contemporaries including Ian Fleming and James M. Cain. Leading the collection will be a first-edition copy of the 1939 novel 'The Big Sleep', the first copy of the book inscribed by Chandler to appear on the market for 30 years. Even more importantly, it is inscribed to his wife Cissy (to whom he never dedicated a book as he felt nothing he wrote was good enough for her).

The first inscription reads "For my Cissy, who wants something much better, but was pleased even with this", and is followed by a second when Chandler re-gifted the book after Cissy's death to Vincent Vounder-Davis, the son of his secretary and fiancée Jean Vounder-Davis. The second inscription reads "Dear Vincent, originally this was for my wife. Now it is for you. Ray"

The rarity and importance of the books means it will appear at the auction with a pre-sale estimate of $80,000 - $120,000. It will be joined by other notable lots including a letter to the House of Representatives hand-written by George Washington in 1789, valued at $300,000 - $500,000, and a copy of 'A Christmas Carol' inscribed by Charles Dickens valued at $65,000 - $70,000.

The sale will take place in New York on December 13.

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