Rare Book Week: Twain’s Stagecoach Trunk Arrives at Auction


On Wednesday of this week (Rare Book Week in NYC), Heritage Auctions will offer for sale a traveling trunk once owned by Mark Twain. Not only is it, as the catalogue copy puts it, “an astounding artifact from arguably the most important author in American literature,” but for us at FB&C, it is particularly gratifying, as we “broke the story,” so to speak, of its recent discovery and its owner’s efforts to research and authenticate it:

The story seems as far-fetched as Mark Twain’s tall tales. A man, who by day crafts and restores stained glass, happened by an old trunk at an auction in Kansas City, Missouri, in early 2015. The words ‘Property of Samuel L. Clemens’ applied in black paint caught his eye. A lifelong fan of the American author born Samuel L. Clemens but better known as Mark Twain, the browser’s interest was piqued. He purchased the tatty antique and began a yearlong quest to verify its authenticity. (Read the full article here.)

The bidding opens at $25,000, and we’ll be watching!

Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

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Books & Ephemera from Mark Twain

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Amber is the current marketing coordinator at Biblio. A lifelong love of the written word brought her to Biblio and she happily spends her days talking about books and delving into the wide world of antiquarian books.

You can also find her in the garden or writing about brewing and plant adventures at Pixie’s Pocket.

This entry was written by and posted on March 6, 2017 at 5:27 pm, filed under Rare Finds and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink

3 Responses to “Rare Book Week: Twain’s Stagecoach Trunk Arrives at Auction”

  1. CLL

    I have not seen any articles that describe actual provenance, only allusions. Can you share the details of proof of ownership? After all, you can paint anyone’s name on an old trunk.

    • Amber

      I’m afraid that we here at Biblio have no input into such – this was an article shared by the kind folks at Fine Books & Collections. Here is their original post on the trunk…it does look like there is more anecdotal than concrete provenance, but there’s interesting bits near the end of the article: https://www.finebooksmagazine.com/issue/1402/twains-trunk-1.phtml

  2. judith salmon

    Thank you for this great information on the traveling trunk…I love him…


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