Among the exquisite treasures on the block next week at Freeman's Auction are the last experimental work in the career of Thomas Alva Edison, America's quintessential inventor--a scientific journal, penned and illustrated in his own hand; and among the most fascinating of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's manuscripts--his Final Farewell to Sherlock Holmes.
The notebooks of history's greatest inventors are highly prized. Edison is especially desirable. While he produced many in his prodigious career, few remain in private hands. In this, among the final of his career, he documents his search for an alternative to rubber. "Edison's secretary frequently wrote and signed documents for the famous inventor," according to Freeman's specialist David Bloom, "The document is remarkable because it is one of the few entirely in Edison's handwriting. This notebook will provide a rare opportunity to acquire a tangible piece of scientific history by a great American who changed history."
For lovers of Sherlock Holmes, his ultimate final chapter is no less hard to beat. Featured in the auction will be the manuscript in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's own hand of his famous Final Farewell to one of the most famous characters in all of literature. First appearing in The Strand Magazine, it would later serve as the preface to The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes. The Best of Sherlock Holmes blog looks into the intriguing history of this manuscript.
Other strong areas of the sale include a collection from a Virginia estate with a nearly complete collection of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Scarce signers such as George Taylor and Thomas Lynch are among those featured in the sale.
The Freeman's auction of Fine Books, Maps & Manuscripts takes place September 20th, 10am. These featured items and others may be viewed at the preview exhibition at Freeman's Chestnut Street Gallery, running from Sept. 17-19.
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