Dickens collection to be sold

The Kenyon Starling Library of Charles Dickens is expected to fetch more than $2 million when it is sold at Christie's.

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March 2, 2008 10:12
1 minute read.
Dickens collection to be sold

Charles Dickens 88. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Rare works by Charles Dickens, including a page from the original manuscript of Pickwick Papers and an illustration of the Oliver Twist character Bill Sikes, are going on the auction block. The Kenyon Starling Library of Charles Dickens is expected to fetch more than $2 million when it is sold at Christie's in New York on April 2. Among the highlights is The Uncommercial Traveller (1861), inscribed by Dickens to novelist George Eliot. Its pre-sale estimate is $100,000 to $150,000. A page from the original manuscript of Dickens' first novel, Pickwick Papers, containing a comedic scene between Pickwick's valet, Sam Weller, and a gentleman, John Smauker, could sell for $150,000 to $250,000. The collection also includes a number of original drawings by Dickens illustrators Hablot K. Browne and George Cruikshank. An early Browne illustration is the only drawing from Pickwick to appear at auction in at least 30 years, Christie's said. It could bring $15,000 to $20,000. An original Cruikshank sketch of Sikes, the menacing criminal in Oliver Twist, and his dog could sell for $12,000 to $18,000. Kenyon Starling, who died in 1983, left his Dickens collection to the family of William E. Self, a collector of English and American literature and film industry executive.


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