10 April 2017

Look for this in your attic

Or in your grandmother's attic.
Tamerlane and Other Poems is the first published work by American writer Edgar Allan Poe. The short collection of poems was first published in 1827... The 40-page collection was called Tamerlane and Other Poems and did not include Poe's name...

It is believed only a dozen copies of the original printing of Tamerlane and Other Poems remain, making it one of the rarest of first editions in American literature. Ironically, the value of one copy today is more money than Poe ever made in his lifetime. Its rarity was recognized in 1925, when the Saturday Evening Post ran an article titled "Have You A Tamerlane in Your Attic"? After the article ran, a woman in Worcester, Massachusetts named Ada S. Dodd searched and found a copy, prompting others to search as well. Today, most of the surviving copies are owned by libraries and museums. Two copies, for example, were purchased by The Huntington Library in New York in 1915. One copy is on display as part of the collection at the Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Richmond, Virginia. Though copies do not circulate often, they command high prices when they do. One sold at auction for $125,000 and, later, another sold for $198,000. In December 2009, a copy from the William E. Self collection sold at Christie's, New York for $662,500, a record price paid for a work of American literature.

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