Nabokov's handwritten last work to sell for up to $600k

Christie's sale of books and manuscripts has a clear top lot today in the form of the $2.5m letter by George Washington in which he backs the idea of the US having a constitution.

However, there are other very notable lots in the sale, including Cormac McCarthy's typewriter on which he typed all his books to date - including three which haven't even been published yet.

The No Country for Old Men and Border Trilogy author bought the typewriter in 1963, and it has served him well until this autumn, despite having only been cleaned by having some dust blown out of it with an air hose.

In the past few months it has started to deteriorate badly, however, and the author - who won a Pullitzer prize for his 2007 book The Road - liked the suggestion by a friend of auctioning it for the Santa Fe Institute. It is expected to sell for $15,000-20,000.

Vladimir Nabokov took a fall on a hillside in 1975 whilst following his hobby of studying insects and this was noted by his family as the time his final illness started setting in. He had recently started what was to be his final work, The Original of Laura, then titled Dying is Fun.

The Original of Laura handwritten cards Nabokov
The Original of Laura

 Nabokov never finished his work, but he left a great deal of work on it behind on 138 of his favoured lined index cards. His widow and son finally decided to disobey his order to destroy it if it was unfinished and have released the original Original at Christie's.


The work is estimated at $400,000-600,000 and will appear alongside first editions of the author's works - an unmissable opportunity for fans of the author's insights and witticisms.



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