A Wilde letter, offered for sale by RR Auction, 9th August 2017
ALS, four pages on two adjoining sheets, 4.5 x 7, no date but postmarked January 4, 1893. Letter to Gerald Maxwell, in full: “Thank you so much for your letter. I am greatly distressed to hear you are no longer Lord Darlington—what has really happened? I fear the tour was horribly mismanaged—I wish I had seen you in the part, I feel sure you were admirable. The amateur performance here I have not yet seen, as an East-Wind, not knowing, I suppose, who I was, has given me a cold…What are you going to do now in acting?” In fine condition. Accompanied by the original mailing envelope addressed in Wilde’s hand. According to a review in The Artist, Maxwell had returned to the Lord Darlington role for performances of Lady Windermere’s Fan by December 1893; in this role, he would have uttered the famous line, ‘We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.’ A four-act comedy by Wilde, Lady Windermere’s Fan had premiered in 1892 at St. James’s Theatre in London. A significant letter associated with his work.
Estimated Price: USD 3,000.00 – 5,000.00
Actual Price: USD 6,487.60
We thank Dr Maureen E. Mulvihill for this information.
A vast range of Wilde merchandise can be found at
from the New York auctioneers Swann:
May 16, 2017 Sale 2448 Lot 285
WILDE, OSCAR. The Birthday of the Infanta. Title printed in brown and black. Color-printed frontispiece, 8 plates and 2 illustrations after ‘Alastair’. Erratum slip tipped onto colophon. 4to, contemporary 1/2 morocco by Whitman Bennett, spine gilt, small scuffs to spine tips and joints. Paris: Roger Lescaret for The Black Sun Press/Éditions Narcisse, 1928
Estimate $500 – 750
first edition illustrated by ‘alastair’, limited to 133 copies, this number 39 of 100 copies on Hollande Van Gelder Zonen. Minkoff A13.
from the New York auctioneers Swann:
WILDE, OSCAR. Autograph Note Signed, to theater manager and playwright Wilson Barrett (“Dear Mr. Barrett”):Estimate $2,000 – $3,000
The parfumier Serge Lutens has produced a scent called De Profundis. The 75ml flacon costs 800 €.
La Belle Epoque: 19th & 20th Century Pictures
Click here for details.
Some Tite Street furnishings?
Drouot is the leading Paris auction house. Its Gazette has published a list of Wilde items sold, with links to further information. Please click here.
[Posted 24.iii.2015; revised 01.iv.2015]
AN OBLONG PHOTOGRAPH ALBUM, c.1870’s, the red morocco cover stamped ”LADY ARDILAUN”, within gilt-ruled borders, bookplate of Lady Ardilaun, St. Anne’s, containing numerous cartes-de-visite portraits, groups, houses and scenery, mostly annotated (Macroom Castle, Birr Castle, Muckross, Bantry, Ashford, Ross Hill, Lough Cutra, Castle Macgarrett, St. Anne’s, Howth) Twenty nine leaves, each 280 x 340mm, scuffed, covers detached. The most significant of the group photographs showing the house party at Ashford 4th – 12th October 1878, has the young Oscar Wilde wearing tweed plus-fours, seated on the balustrading on the front steps, 210 x 290mm
With an estimate of €5,000.00 – €8,000.00, the hammer came down at €7,000.00
[Posted 21.v.2014; with thanks to Dr Maureen Mulvihill]
Doyle New York held a successful auction of Rare Books & Autographs on April 9, 2014. Selling for a record price was an 1891 first trade edition of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, London: Ward, Lock & Co., consigned by a Titled English Lady. Complete with its excessively rare paper dust jacket, the book sold for $40,625—a world auction record for an uninscribed copy.
[Posted 21.v.2014; with thanks to Danielle Guérin]
18th June 2014
light pencil note (dated 1930) about Nelson on front paste-down, publisher’s mauve cloth gilt, age soiled, 2 corners slightly bumped, preserved in cloth chemise and morocco-backed slipcase [Mason 382].
£40,000 – 60,000
€49,000 – 74,000