The Hersholt copy again


The copy of the Chaucer once owned by the Danish-born Hollywood film actor Jean Hersholt (1886–1956) (see our earlier post) has again surfaced — this time on the website of the Melbourne dealer Douglas Stewart Fine Books — with a price of $125,000 (AUD). Its provenance is as follows:

Jean Hersholt. — Hersholt sale, Parke-Bernet (New York), 23–24 March 1954, lot 541 [then in the standard quarter-linen binding] (sold for $375). — Heritage Auctions (New York), 7 April lot 2011, lot 36233 (sold for $44,812.50 including buyer’s premium). — Buddenbrooks (Boston), offered online in 2013 for $93,500. — Private collection, Australia. — Douglas Stewart Fine Books, 2017.

Thanks to Philip Bishop for calling our attention to this.

[Update, 31 January 2018: Douglas Stewart Fine Books continues to advertise the book on the Web, though the price is now given in American dollars: $100,000.]

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