I had an opportunity to visit the Library Company of Philadelphia in May. Among their many wonderful first-rate collections they own two copies of Whitman’s first edition of Leaves of Grass from 1855! This was my very first up close and personal view of this very special work of art!
But wait! If this isn’t awesome enough, it gets better! Just last week Christie’s sold an original 1855 Leaves of Grass. The pre-sale estimate was $100-150,000. You might be surprised to learn what the record-setting final sale price was for this Holiest-of-Holy piece of art!?!
From the June 19, 2014 press release:
He may not be topping the best-seller list, but the great American poet and humanist Walt Whitman set a sales record Wednesday at Christie’s.
A first edition of “Leaves of Grass,” printed for the author, sold for $305,000. That was more than twice Christie’s estimate of $100,000 to $150,000, and it marked a world auction record for Whitman.
You can read the entire article about the Christie’s sale here.