Halls Auctioneers in Shrewsbury are thrilled to announce that a rare letter signed by Samuel Johnson has been sold at auction for an impressive £13,200 + BP (plus buyer’s premium)
The Halls auction house in Shrewsbury is thrilled to announce that a rare letter signed by Samuel Johnson has been sold at auction for an impressive £13,200 + BP (plus buyer’s premium)
The two-sided letter was written on March 17, 1783, to an unnamed correspondent, and is a testament to the enduring legacy of one of English literature's greatest figures.
This particular piece of Johnson memorabilia has a fascinating provenance, having been purchased by the current vendor at Sotheby's around 1966 to prevent it from leaving the country. The late Donald F. Hyde and his wife Mary were passionate collectors of Johnson material for more than six decades.
Their collection, which contains no less than 746 Johnson letters (over half of the known total), was bequeathed to the Houghton Library at Harvard University following Mary's death in 2003.
Gerry Berwyn-Jones, the head of fine art at Halls explained. ‘As a result of the Hyde's dedication to collecting Johnson's letters, these items are now quite scarce on the market. It is a testament to the significance of Samuel Johnson that this letter signed by him has sold for such a considerable sum. The buyer of this extraordinary letter resides outside London and so the letter, in the short term at least, will stay in England and remain a part of Britain's cultural heritage. Where ever it will end up, the anglosphere will have the opportunity to glimpse into the mind of a man who made a lasting impact on the way we speak and write today. We are all delighted to have facilitated the sale of this exceptional piece of history and look forward to offering more unique items for sale in the future.’
For more info visit https://fineart.hallsgb.com/ or call +44 (0)1743 450 700