Sotheby’s is honored to once again offer for sale fine and important music manuscripts and letters following on the heels of last October’s sale from the same distinguished private collection. In addition to music, in this second installment we are featuring a remarkable range of letters, representing some of the world’s most renowned figures in the fields of art, literature, science, and government. This exceptional collection of highly important material was amassed in the first half of the twentieth century, and remained unknown and inaccessible until now. It contains a significant number of unpublished letters by Oscar Wilde, including one in which Wilde describes his time in Salt Lake City amongst the Mormons. There is also a letter from Charles Darwin to his one-time mentor, Adam Sedgwick, presenting him with a first edition of On the Origin of Species (Sedgwick famously and vehemently opposed Darwin’s theory of evolutions by means of natural selection). In a sale highlighting the international genius of the past three centuries, we are also pleased to offer a selection of highly important letters by Leo Tolstoy, regarding matters of censorship, violence, and the universal appeal of art. Among the many treasures of this collection, there is also a group of fourteen largely unpublished letters from Giuseppe Verdi to Alessandro Lanari, the “Napoleon of Impresarios,” along with material from Beethoven, Brahms, Puccini, and a host of others.
There will be a public view from 9-12 December, alongside Fine Books & Manuscripts Online.