Mark Twain Complete Works, ca. 1900
My grandfather originally acquired them, I don't know where or under what circumstances. He passed them down to my father, who then passed them down to me. He acquired a set of 25, which is supposed to be the complete works at that point. They were passed to me as just miscellaneous books and papers with no particular value or understanding attached.
It is the complete set, as you say, of 25. What distinguishes this autograph edition, number 90 of 512, is the signature of Clemens, i.e. Mark Twain. But as a bonus, another volume at the back, or rather, a slipcase, has a complete manuscript short story. And if you can just help me, I think you've brought the volume in with the printed version of the story. The original short story was first published in 1893 in the "Cosmopolitan" magazine, like so many of the stories Twain wrote as a short story writer, after his major novels. And his work was so popular that numerable sets were made, but this autograph edition is a particularly good one, and it was made more valuable by the inclusion of a piece of manuscript. These colorful vignettes-- there's one here of "The Eskimo Maiden," the title of the short story, and there's another one here of a military-looking gentleman. The binding itself is a very fine specimen of American binding. Have you any idea what these are worth?
Not a clue.
We'd probably sell the set with an estimate at auction of about $35,000 to $50,000.
That's quite something. Thank you.
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