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View full screen - View 1 of Lot 375. Sylvia Plath | 11 letters and cards addressed to her, with others, preserved as part of her childhood stamp collection.

Property of Frieda Hughes

Sylvia Plath | 11 letters and cards addressed to her, with others, preserved as part of her childhood stamp collection

Lot Closed

July 19, 04:10 PM GMT


2,000 - 3,000 GBP

Lot Details


Sylvia Plath

Letters and cards addressed to her, as well as to others, preserved as part of her childhood stamp collection:

i) 9 letters (6 with envelopes, one incomplete) and 2 postcards to Sylvia Plath, chiefly from pen-friends, including Hans-Joachim Neupert in Germany (wishing Sylvia the "best greatings for easter [sic]", 9 April 1949), Jan Kral in Prague ("...I am a student of medecin [sic], 24 years old...", 12 April 1950), Olivia Marques in Hong Kong ("...In your letter you sounded quite distressed about getting old...", 30 May 1952), Claudine Dufranc in La Louviere (15 July 1946 and n.d.), Marianne in Paris (13 April 1950), Richardo Pascual in the Philippines, on her story in Seventeen (23 November 1952), Nelly Omagtang also in the Philippines ("...I took your address from a magazine which I like best. You have a very nice poem...", 4 April 1953), Alicia Rojas Fuentes in Chile (10 May 1953), and Alison (n.d.)

ii) Five photographs sent to Plath by Hans-Joachim Neupert, in an envelope addressed to 26 Elmwood Road, redirected to Smith College

iii) 20 empty envelopes addressed to Sylvia Plath, from Hans-Joachim Neupert and others

iv) postcard signed "MLR" of The Nation, to Ted Hughes ("Suite 61 | 9 Willow Street | Boston 8, Mass."), offering "what help I can", 9 September 1958

v) one letter, two postcards, and an empty envelope addressed to Aurelia Plath, from various correspondents; also two empty envelopes addressed to the Schober family at 26 Elmwood Road  

vi) 16 envelopes and postcards addressed to Madeline Redmond (1905-2006), friend of Aurelia Plath, 1920s

vii) 2 postcards addressed to Messres Lowe and Goldschmidt with UK halfpenny stamps, 1904

viii) envelope containing 69 stamps, comprising 68 American stamps and 1 French.

the collection housed in a "Goblin Chocolates" box, 140 x 190 x 50mm., 2 lid flaps inscribed ("Sylvia" and "168/WARREN [Plath], please examine"), with the young Sylvia's doodles over the inside of the lid, wear to box with lid in several pieces

Like countless other children, Sylvia Plath made a collection of stamps, chiefly comprising those found on overseas letters that she received (although she evidently also exchanged stamps with friends). Several of the envelopes still have the original letters inside, meaning that her stamp collection also preserves some of Plath's very earliest correspondence. The young Plath was an enthusiast for penfriends. One pen pal, Hans-Joachim Neupert, became a true friend (he is represented here by one postcard and, tantalisingly, several empty envelopes) and this group includes a letter from an ongoing correspondence with a girl in Hong Kong as well as letters from penfriends in France, Belgium, and the Czech Republic. She seems to have added to the collection even after leaving home for university, for the group also includes very early letters from readers of her earliest published works: it is striking both that readers as far afield as Chile and the Philippines had access to Seventeen magazine, and also that they responded strongly enough to Plath's early stories and poems to write to the young author.