Samuel Beckett letter collection auctions with 22% increase on estimate

Samuel Beckett once again proved one of the most collectible literary figures at Sotheby's last night (July 15), as a collection of his letters saw a 22% increase on estimate in London.

samuel Beckett letter
Beckett's letters trace the history of his theatrical career, as well as his personal life

The collection sold for £146,500 ($250,061), sailing past its £120,000 high estimate. The letters are mounted across four folio albums.

Autographed "Sam", the collection contains 347 writings from Beckett in French, and are addressed to his close friends Henri and Josette Hayden, a couple of painters he met while evading the Nazis in Vichy, France.

The writer shared Henri's love of painting, and their relationship is thought to have inspired that of Vladimir and Estragon in Waiting for Godot.

The collection reveals many of Beckett's thoughts on his own work, particularly his theatrical career, which he viewed with anxiety and pessimism.

They were used in part by James Knowlson for his biography, The Life of Samuel Beckett (1996), yet the vast majority remain unpublished.

Beckett has always been a highly respected author, but his work has found renewed popularity among collectors of late, following the $1.4m sale of the manuscript for his first novel, Murphy.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has a fantastic range of literary collectibles for sale - perfect for the bibliophiles among us.

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