Published: March 9, 2017
NEW YORK CITY — Collectors pounced on a pair of historic typewriters used by Larry McMurtry to write Lonesome Dove, sending the pair to $37,500 on Wednesday, March 8, at Heritage Auctions’ $1.8-plus million public auction of rare books. The novel was a genre-defining opus and reinvigorated the western literature scene.
The Swiss-made Hermes 3000 is one of the world’s finest typewriter models and the instrument of choice for thousands of writers. It was introduced in 1958 and was noted for its simplicity and ease of maintenance. The pair offered is dated between 1963 and 1970 with pale green bodies and keys. Each has its original case and exhibits only light scuffs and handling marks.
McMurtry stationed one at his home in Archer City, Texas, and the other in Washington, D.C., while writing his 1986 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel which was adapted into a miniseries starring Robert Duvall and won seven Emmys. McMurtry still uses a Hermes 3000, writing five pages every day to avoid “the empty well.”
In terms of top-selling lots, Neal Cassady’s “The Joan Anderson Letter to Jack Kerouac” sold for $206,250; Kerouac’s original typescript for The Dharma Bums went to $137,500; and Thomas Jefferson’s own copy of The Laws of the United States of America, sold for $156,250.
All prices given include the buyer’s premium. A full review will appear in a future issue.
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