A handwritten letter from George Orwell will star in a May 9 online sale at RR Auction.
It’s valued in excess of $15,000, a significant increase on the £8,750 ($12,215) it last sold for at Bonhams in 2015.
The text dates to May 11, 1949, less than a month before the publication of his dystopian science fiction masterwork 1984 (the book had been submitted in December 1948). It’s addressed to fellow writer and friend Anthony Powell, author of A Dance to the Music of Time.
Orwell writes from Cotswold Sanatorium for Consumption in Cranham, where he is undergoing treatment for tuberculosis.
He never fully recovered from the diagnosis, living only a few short months until his death in January 1950.
Here he writes: “I have been beastly ill, on & off. I can’t make any firm plans. If I’m reasonably well this winter I shall go abroad for some months. If I’m able to walk but can’t face the journey I shall stay in somewhere like Brighton.
“If I have to continue in bed I shall try to move to some sanatorium near London where people can come & see me more easily. It looks as if I may have to spend the rest of my life, if not actually in bed, at any rate at the bath-chair level.”
A signed copy of jazz saxophonist John Coltrane’s landmark album Giant Steps (1960) is valued at more than $5,000.
The owner has annotated the date Coltrane signed above his autograph, November 22, 1960. This is a prize piece for jazz enthusiasts that could easily soar above its estimate.