Fine Books and Manuscripts, Including Americana

Fine Books and Manuscripts, Including Americana

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 96. Huxley, Aldous | Rare autograph manuscript of "Leda" and signed material.

Huxley, Aldous | Rare autograph manuscript of "Leda" and signed material

Lot Closed

January 25, 08:33 PM GMT


18,000 - 24,000 USD

Lot Details


Huxley, Aldous

Leda. Autograph manuscript, signed. [1920]

Autograph manuscript signed of "Leda." 24 pp. including autograph title-leaf, on ruled paper, rectos only (240 x 191 mm), bound with brass clasps; title-leaf with some foxing, paper loss at lower left corner of final leaf (with no loss of text) repaired with cellotape and paper. [With]: Leda. London: Chatto & Windus, 1920. 8vo (178 x 223 mm, uncut and largely unopened). Frontispiece after Michaelangelo with tissue guard, copy 72 out of 150 numbered copies, signed by Huxley below the limitation statement; edges foxed. Quarter yellow cloth, drab boards, spine with printed label; endpapers browned. [With]: Autograph postcard signed (140 x 90 mm) on Huxley's letterhead, postcard with photographic portrait of Huxley signed (135 x 80 mm), autograph note (175 x 114 mm), [and] ephemera. All housed in a blue quarter morocco slipcase with folding chemises.

A fine archive, including the manuscript of the long poem "Leda," and the limited edition of the book, signed by Huxley, which includes other poems. 

It appears the manuscript was bought from Huxley by a Mr. Eddie Auerbach, proprietor of the Auerbach Bathrobe Company of New York City, in 1936. Given that Huxley's home later burned down in 1961, taking with it his entire library and archive of manuscripts and letters, the survival of this manuscript is remarkable. At the time of the fire, Huxley managed only to save Island, his work in progress; had this manuscript of "Leda" not been bought by Auerbach, it would have likely been destroyed, as well. Rare.

Included with the manuscript and printed edition is an autograph postcard and an autograph note with envelope from Huxley to Auerbach, spring 1936. There is also a photographic portrait postcard of Huxley signed, a leaf inscribed "With the author's good wishes. Aldous Huxley," and a typed list of variations in the printed text when compared with the manuscript.


Manuscript: Eddie Auerbach (ancillary material). Book: Dennis Wheatley (bookplate to pastedown)