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Friday, June 18, 2010

Unpublished Twain manuscript brings record price at Sotheby's sale of The James S. Copley Library

Yesterday at Sotheby’s New York, the second offering of rare books and manuscripts from The James S. Copley Library achieved a total of $2,783,347, bringing the total for the first four auctions of the Library to $7,146,231. The Mark Twain Collection totaled $936,012 and was led by Samuel Langhorne Clemens’ unpublished autobiographical manuscript A Family Sketch, which achieved $242,500, a world auction record for an autograph manuscript by Twain** (est. $120/160,000). The James S. Copley Library: Arts & Sciences Including the Mark Twain Collection brought $2,210,847(est. $2.2/3.3 million) and was 87% sold by value and 78% sold by lot.  A single-lot sale of The James S. Copley Library: A July 1776 Broadside Printing of the Declaration of Independence brought $572,500 (est. $600/800,000).

**The previous record was set by Sotheby’s New York on June 18, 1987, when lot 27, the autograph manuscript story, ‘The $30,000 Bequest’, 1903, sold for $110,000.

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