Adam Smith handwritten letter leads at RR Auction

A handwritten letter from economist Adam Smith is leading the January 14 sale at RR Auction with a bid of $38,224.

The March 10, 1759 dated letter concerns the education of Thomas Fitzmaurice, son of English politician John Fitzmaurice, who studied under Smith at the University of Glasgow.

Adam Smith Wealth
Adam Smith taught at the University of Glasgow

Smith is best known for his pioneering treatise The Wealth of Nations (1776), a key text in classical economic theory. At the time this letter was written he was teaching Moral Philosophy.

He describes Thomas in terms that would be hard to ascribe to students today: "He is perfectly sober, eats no supper, or what is next to none, a roasted apple or some such trifle & drinks scarce anything but water."

Earlier this year another letter by Adam Smith sold for �37,500 ($63,852) at Bonhams London.  

A carte de visite signed by Charles Darwin is also likely to perform well, with bidding standing at $7,423.

It was printed by Elliot & Fry and displays a particularly rare pose. Darwin signed few of these cards, with the result that those that do exist are highly prized.

The present lot dates to 1874, the year he published the second edition of The Descent of Man - his follow-up to On the Origin of Species.

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