• The William E. Self Library, I auction at Christies

    Sale 2153

    The William E. Self Library, Important English and American Literature

    4 December 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 154

    POE, Edgar Allan (1809-1849). Autograph manuscript of two poems, "In an Album To _____" and "In an Album To the River," N.p., n.d. [ca.1827].

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    POE, Edgar Allan (1809-1849). Autograph manuscript of two poems, "In an Album To _____" and "In an Album To the River," N.p., n.d. [ca.1827].

    2 pages, 4o (202 x 164mm.) Paginated "31" and "32" by Poe at upper corners, "In an Album" with his note "4 lines omitted see last page" (not present). (One corner carefully mended, several clean marginal tears neatly mended, very pale spotting). Orange morocco gilt-lettered protective case and box.

    TWO OF POE'S EARLIEST POEMS, "IN AN ALBUM TO _____," AND "IN AN ALBUM TO THE RIVER": A LEAF FROM THE WILMER MANUSCRIPT

    ONE OF THE EARLIEST POE MANUSCRIPTS IN PRIVATE HANDS. A leaf containing two early poems of Poe, from the so-called Wilmer manuscript, once owned by Poe's friend Lambert A. Wilmer, editor of the Baltimore Saturday Visitor and publisher in 1833 of Poe's tale "Ms. Found in a Bottle." The autograph compilation contained fair copies of a substantial number of the earliest verse works of Poe. Unfortunately only a few stray leaves and one 10-page segment are extant today. Surviving leaves from the Wilmer compilation include:
    1) "Tamerlane," 10pp., later part of the Stephen Wakeman Collection, now in the Pierpont Morgan Library;
    2) A leaf containing the poems "Dreams" and "The Lake," also at the Morgan Library;
    3) A leaf (pp.35 & 36) containing lines 4 to 41 of the poem, "Spirits of the Dead," formerly in the H. Bradley Martin Collection, now in the Tane Collection (Illustrated in Nevermore: The Edgar Allen Poe Collection of Susan Jaffe Tane, plate 1).

    The verses "In an Album ____ ("I saw thee on thy wedding day") were first published in Tamerlane and Other Poems (Boston, 1827) while the first publication of "To the River" was in Al Aaraaf, Tamerlane and Other Poems (Baltimore, 1829). It proved quite popular and subsequently appeared in the Gentleman's Magazine (1829), the Saturday Museum (1843) and the Broadway Journal (1845) then was collected in The Raven and Other Poems (New York, 1845). This leaf from the Wilmer manuscript was noted in Works of Edgar Allen Poe (1894-95), ed. Stedman and Woodberry, vol. x, p.250; and in T.O. Mabbott ed., Collected Works, p.66.

    Provenance: Lambert A. Wilmer, gift in 1828 from Poe -- Bishop John Fletcher Hurst (sale, Anderson Galleries, 20 March 1905, lot 3481 -- Oliver Barrett of Chicago - With John F. Fleming, New York (sold to William Self).


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