RR Auction Home
Current Auction Is Open For Bidding
Home |Sitemap|Contact Us| Past Auctions  
 How to Bid   Register to Bid   Auctions   Consign   About Us   Featured Lots   Reviews 
Bidder Login
Show Password

New Bidder Registration
Forgot your password?

The Current Auction
Ends November 11th
Marvels of Modern Music Auction Preview
Begins Nov 12
Advanced Search
By Item Number
Gallery Search
Past Auction Search
How Do I Bid?
What is BidTracker™?
New Bidder Registration
The 30-Minute Rule
Terms and Conditions
New to RR Auction?
About Us
Register to Bid
Jobs at RR Auction
Press Releases
Consign to RR Auction
How to Consign
2019-2020 Auction Calendar
Jan 8
Jan 16
Jan 23
Feb 5
Feb 13
Feb 21
Mar 4
Mar 12
Apr 8
Apr 16
May 13
May 21
Jun 10
Jun 18
Jul 8
Jul 16
Jul 23
Aug 12
Aug 20
Sep 9
Sep 11
Oct 7
Oct 15
Nov 11
Nov 19
Dec 9
Dec 17
  View All Dates & Deadlines

Item 469 - Walt Whitman Catalog 543 (Jan 2019)

Back To Previous Page
(we are no longer accepting bids on this item)
Minimum Bid: $1,000.00
Sold Price: $9,181.25 (includes buyer's premium)


Definitive autographed first edition of Complete Poems & Prose of Walt Whitman, 1855...1888, limited to 600 copies printed for the author's use, published in Philadelphia by Ferguson Bros. & Co., 1888-89. Hardcover with dark-green morocco and marbled boards and a gilt-lettered spine, 6.75 x 10.5, approximately 892 pages. The volume consists of Leaves of Grass, November Boughs, and Specimen Days and Collect. Signed at the base of the Leaves of Grass title page in black ink, and also signed and inscribed on a tipped-in free end page in black ink, "Gabriel Sarrazin, France, from the author Walt Whitman, America, Jan: 28, 1889."

Affixed to the reverse of the tipped-in page is an ALS, signed "Walt Whitman," one page, measuring 8.5 x 11 unfolded, dated September 5, 1890, from Camden, New Jersey. Addressed to Sarrazin, the letter reads, in full: "Your letter from Noumea [South Pacific] came this forenoon & has quite surprised me—no doubt it will all be better for you—any mark'd move by a man, (we call it in English 'a change of base') will be something of a gain. Still, here, laid up in my old chair & room, waning slightly but surely, pretty fair in physical conditions (had some oysters, ryebread & coffee for breakfast) maintain good spirits—am propelled in wheel chair out door & to the river side nearly every day—& in other respects 'hold the fort' sort o as we might call it—& as I believe I have told you in letters before—y'r letter to H. L. Traubel comes here & that to Morris is doubtless rec'd...

We will see if this gets through as well to you—& I must be sure to send you a paper now and then, & see if they reach you all right—I told you I had y'r essay ab't L of G English'd, (& it has done me more comfort than you can know)—& it shall be printed here one of these days (It and our Col. Ingersoll's speech lately are my grand panaceas)—I have also a copy of the London Universal Review that prints it in French. I am collecting a little final annex (2d annex) to be added to L of G. When printed I will send you the sheets—Also an appendix to November Boughs—What can I send you hence? Write to me and tell—I am sitting here alone in comfort & the fifth sunny perfect day outside as I glance from the window." Affixed to the upper edge of the tipped free end page is the original mailing envelope panel, addressed in Whitman's own hand, "M Gabriel Sarrazin Magistrate Nouméa Nouvelle Caledonie (Colonies Francaises)." Autographic condition: very good, with the tipped-in inscribed page exhibiting foxing, tape to edges, and evidence of letter affixed to the reverse; apart from both being permanently affixed and the ALS folded, the letter and corresponding envelope present nicely. Book condition: G+/None.

Gabriel Sarrazin, a noted translator and poet, was the recipient of this remarkable book and letter pairing. Sarrazin's translation of Rosetti's 'Blessed Damozel' was fittingly set to music by Claude Debussy, with 'La demoiselle élue': what some scholars consider the young composer's first masterpiece. Sarrazin praised Whitman extravagantly in an essay in his book: La Renaissance de la Poésie Anglaise, 1798-1889, which the Leaves of Grass author had translated. Whitman scholar Ed Folsom says of the relationship between Whitman and Sarrazin: it was 'one of the warmest and most satisfying relationships of Whitman's last years.' Whitman wrote that Sarrazin's article on him was 'a great steady trade wind hurrying the ship into port.' As a triple autographic scarcity—two signatures in the uncommon Leaves of Grass-related book and a handwritten letter—this is an exquisite literary offering.

Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.


Click image to enlarge Click image to enlarge Click image to enlarge Click image to enlarge Click image to enlarge Click image to enlarge

Important Information

Tips For Consignors


For a complete list of auction beginning and ending dates, check our dates and deadlines page.