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Booker T Washington came Up from Slavery

19 September 2022

In 1902 the author Booker T Washington sent a typed and handwritten letter to the Scottish-American industrialist and philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie regarding his recently published work.

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To TS Eliot from Virginia Woolf

15 August 2022

“Dear Tom, I should like to write a story called ‘Mrs Dalloway in Bond Street’ (the title, I suppose, could be changed if necessary). I should certainly expect to let you have it by Oct. 1st.”

Handwritten letter by J.R.R.Tolkien

Handwritten and signed Tolkien letter comes to US auction

16 July 2022

A handwritten autograph letter signed by J.R.R. Tolkien is to be one of the centrepiece offerings in Heritage Auctions’ Rare Books Signature Auction in Dallas, Texas, July 27-28, estimated at $10,000+.

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Deadly demand by ‘Bloody Mary’

11 July 2022

The queen’s menacing message to Protestant courtiers makes an auction appearance

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Truman defends atom bombing

20 June 2022

Treasures from the Melvin ‘Pete’ Mark Jnr Collection, a Heritage (25/20/12.5% buyer’s premium) auction in Dallas that ended on May 7, presented a remarkable range of material.

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Elizabeth I displays her lion heart in letter sold at Sotheby's

09 May 2022

Letter to adviser in 1592 underlines her frustration at the French king’s policies

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Album reveals hidden Tibet and letter unveils polar expedition

04 April 2022

Polar material in a travel and exploration themed sale held on March 2 by Bonhams (27.5/25/20/14.5% buyer’s premium) produced a bid of £24,000 for a letter that Robert Falcon Scott wrote to a friend, Lady Goodrich, about his planned British Antarctic Expedition of 1910.

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Pick of the week: Pioneering rail trio took a trip to the US

28 February 2022

Sometimes it pays to look a little further afield.

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Poignant message by Sir Walter Scott

07 February 2022

Three letters in the hand of Sir Walter Scott emerged from an old suitcase full of documents found in the attic of an Edinburgh home.

Jobs letter is only one in his hand

03 January 2022

A single-page letter sent on the day before Steve Jobs’ 19th birthday to a close school friend, Tim Brown, sold for $400,000 (£292,825) in New York.

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Alan Turing’s letter on the likelihood of success in a casino strikes big win at Bonhams

01 November 2021

Letter from cryptology expert describes his analysis of a Monte Carlo betting system

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Sherlock Holmes on the comeback trail

18 October 2021

This handwritten page from the manuscript of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles will feature at Heritage Auctions.

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Alexander Hamilton fascination

11 October 2021

On October 25 Philadelphia firm Freeman’s will offer the Alexander Hamilton collection of John E Herzog.

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Napoleon tries his English skills

11 October 2021

According to the memoir Le Mémorial de Sainte- Hélène by Count Emmanuel de Las Cases published in 1823, Napoleon first expressed an interest to learn the English language during the two-month voyage from Europe to the island in 1815 aboard the Northumberland.

A copy of the Declaration of Independence

Pick of the week: Philadelphia to Scotland and back again at $3.7m

05 July 2021

Charles Carroll’s printed copy of the Declaration of Independence – discovered earlier this year in a Scottish family home – sold at auction in Philadelphia for $3.7m (£2.85m) plus premium.

Constable watercolour

‘Elegy’ from 1836 reveals original John Constable watercolours

07 June 2021

Discovered lying unrecognised on a bookcase in a Sussex cottage, a unique edition of Thomas Gray’s Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard will be offered at Gorringe’s this month with a £100,000-150,000 estimate.

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‘Living saint’ Einstein proves he is not always deadly serious

07 June 2021

Sold for $42,500 (£30,795) was a very appealing Einstein lot that offered a short but amusing letter dating from November 1928 and a signed photo-portrait.

Professor Stephen Hawking in his office

Archive of Stephen Hawking acquired by Cambridge University Library and the Science Museum after tax deal

26 May 2021

Archive papers and personal objects belonging to the late Professor Stephen Hawking (1944-2018) have been acquired by two institutions.

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The call of bigger premises

24 May 2021

Albert Einstein letter on Communism is one of the stand-out performers in a Chicago auction

Cuddled up with a good read

17 May 2021

A couple of Winston Churchill letters were among the more successful lots in a second selection from a History in Manuscript collection* formed over the last 20 years and offered at Sotheby’s (26/20/13.9% buyer’s premium).