Auction Catalogs

Typewriters, Notecards, Pardons

Author Cormac McCarthy's typewriter, on which he wrote for nearly 50 years, is up for auction at Christie's in New York. The machine, an Olivetti Lettera 32 is an unassuming light blue, worn on the edges. The author claims, in a typed letter of authenticity, to have never cleaned it except, "blowing out the dust with a service station air hose." The typewriter, purchased for fifty dollars in 1958 is estimated to bring fifteen to twenty thousand dollars at auction for the Santa Fe Institute, a transdisciplinary research community. In this same auction, Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts Including Americana, the index cards on which Vladimir Nabokov wrote his final novel, The Original of Laura, are also up for sale. The work finally is being published, reproduced as a set of index cards this year by Knopf. The original is estimated to garner between four hundred and six hundred thousand dollars. If you prefer your authors slightly older and taller, several letters of Abraham Lincoln are included in the auction as well. The correspondence, including two pardons, offer a fascinating glimpse at excutive order in the middle of the 19th century. The catalog is on display in the recent acquisition racks until the close of the auction.