Anne Frank’s personal copy of Grimm’s Fairy Tales, bearing the ownership signatures of Anne and her sister Margot, was scheduled for the auction block on May 5 at Swann Galleries. The otherwise unremarkable 1925 German edition of Grimm’s Fairy Tales (Aus Grimms Märchen) is expected to fetch $20,000-30,000.
When the Frank family fled their Amsterdam apartment for the secret annex on Prinsengacht street, the book was left behind. The book found its way into a secondhand bookshop where a Dutch couple purchased the book shortly after the conclusion of the war.
In 1977, the children of the Dutch couple discovered Anne’s signature in the book and wrote a letter to Otto Frank, Anne’s father, and the only family member who survived the Holocaust. Otto wrote a moving letter in response, expressing his desire that the family keep the book for their own children. That letter will be sold alongside the copy of Grimm’s Fairy Tales at auction.
Anne Frank material is, of course, exceedingly scarce on the ground. A set of letters between Anne and Margot Frank and their American penpals was sold at auction by Swann in 1988 for $165,000.
Other auction highlights include a portrait of Einstein bearing his signature and an unsigned manuscript from Oscar Wilde. The Wilde manuscript consists of notes for a pending book review of a book on book collecting entitled The Book Fancier. Wilde wasn’t impressed.
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Reprinted with permission from Fine Books & Collections, Nate Pedersen, author