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DOCUMENTS SIGNED BY DICKENS, CONAN DOYLE, AND THREE FUTURE PRIME MINISTERS PART OF TWO DAY KEYS SALE

29th Apr 2021
Letter from Charles Dickens estimate 1500 2000

Handwritten letters from Charles Dickens and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and a 1907 House of Commons ballot book containing the signatures of three future Prime Ministers, will all go under the hammer in Keys Auctioneers and Valuers two day Book & Ephemera Sale on Wednesday 9th and Thursday 10th June.

The 1869 letter from Charles Dickens is addressed to Aberdeen University, and in it the author declines the invitation for his name to be put forward for the post of Lord Rector of the university.  The lot includes the envelope, addressed in Dickens’ own hand and complete with ‘Penny Red’ stamp and ‘C.D.’ seal.  The letter has a pre-sale estimate of £1,500-£2,000.

Also in the sale is a letter from Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to his agent, suggesting a game of golf at Basingstoke.  Dated 1896, this letter also comes with its original envelope, addressed in Conan Doyle’s hand and complete with stamp.  The letter has a pre-sale estimate of £500-£600.

The House of Commons ballot book dating from 1907 contains the signatures of 234 MPs, including future Labour Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald, future Conservative Prime Minister Andrew Bonar Law, future Liberal Prime Minster Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman.  The book has a pre-sale estimate of £400-£500.

“These three lots are very collectable because they represent contemporary records of people whose names have remained in the public consciousness even today,” said Andrew Lyndsay-Bullock, head of books at Keys.

“The Dickens letter is especially interesting because much of his correspondence was created with the help of secretaries, and it is unusual to find an envelope addressed in his own hand, complete with stamp and personal seal.”

Keys two day Book & Ephemera Sale will take place on Wednesday 9th and Thursday 10th June.  Socially-distanced in-person bidding will be possible for the sale, which will also take place online at www.the-saleroom.com.