• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7590

    Valuable Manuscripts and Printed Books

    4 June 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 129

    MARX, Karl (1818-1883). Autograph letter signed ('K. Marx') to Collet Dobson Collet, 9 Grafton Terrace, Maitland Park, London, 27 July 1862, in English, one page, small 4to (laid down on paper, tear to upper left corner, general light soiling, more marked to right and lower margins).

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    MARX, Karl (1818-1883). Autograph letter signed ('K. Marx') to Collet Dobson Collet, 9 Grafton Terrace, Maitland Park, London, 27 July 1862, in English, one page, small 4to (laid down on paper, tear to upper left corner, general light soiling, more marked to right and lower margins).

    MARX VISITS PARLIAMENT. The letter is to request Collet's intercession with a member of parliament to procure him a ticket for the sitting of the House of Commons on the following Thursday, as a German friend who is visiting wishes Marx to accompany him: 'For my own part, I feel not the least desire of becoming personally acquainted with the "Low" House'.

    Marx's exigent visitor was Ferdinand Lassalle, about whom he was sending a barrage of complaints to Engels, not least that Jenny had been forced to pawn everything that was not bolted down in order to save appearances during his visit.


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Special Notice

    Buyers from within the EU: VAT payable at 17.5% on just the buyer's premium (NOT the hammer price) Buyers from outside the EU: VAT payable at 17.5% on hammer price and buyer's premium. If a buyer, having registered under a non-EU address, decides that an item is not to be exported from the EU, then he/she should advise Christie's to this effect immediately.


    Pre-Lot Text

    KARL MARX AND COLLET DOBSON COLLET

    The following lots present 13 autograph letters signed by Karl Marx to the English radical and tax reformer Collet Dobson Collet (1812-1898), as well as, in lot 140, a collection illustrating Collet's broader correspondence.

    Collet's first claim to radical prominence lay in his role as secretary of the Association for Promoting the Repeal of the Taxes on Knowledge, which aimed principally to repeal the remaining indirect taxes affecting newspapers, a goal substantially achieved by 1855. Collet's association with Karl Marx began after he became editor of David Urquhart's Free Press (and, in its subsequent guise of the Diplomatic Review, its publisher as well), and indeed a number of Marx's letters are requests for back-issues or off-prints of the two publications. Although Marx was sometimes rather dismissive of Collet in his correspondence, the two families -- and particularly their daughters -- maintained the most friendly relations from the 1860s onwards (see letters by Jenny and Eleanor Marx in lot 140).

    The relationship is discussed, with brief extracts from the letters, in Jane Miller, Relations (2003), p.165ff. Two letters from Marx to Collet, dated 10 November and 9 December 1876, were sold at Christie's, 16 October 1985, lot 72 (£12,000). This remaining group is thought to be THE LARGEST GROUP OF MARX LETTERS REMAINING IN PRIVATE HANDS.

    Provenance: Collet Dobson Collet; and by descent.