HERMAN MELVILLE - AUTOGRAPH - HFSID 286511
Sale Price $3,612.50
His clipped signature, with his portrait, two first day covers of stamps honoring him, and a picture of a whale. One of the rarest of all signatures!
Signature: "Herman Melville", 4½x4, with four unsigned items: a printed portrait of Melville; two first day covers of stamps honoring him; and a color illustration of a whale, presumably Moby Dick. Herman Melville (1819-1891, born in New York City) worked at a young age as a cabin boy and sailor on merchant vessels. During an unsuccessful whaling expedition, he took part in a mutiny, was jailed and escaped. His seafaring inspired many of his later works, including Typee: A Peep at Polynesian Life (1846), Omoo, a Narrative of Adventures in the South Seas (1847) and his masterpiece, Moby Dick (1851). Moby Dick, unlike his earlier works, was neither a critical or financial success. Melville's later writings, such as Pierre (1852), The Confidence Man (1857) and the short stories Bartleby the Scrivener and The Encantadas reflected his despair and contempt for society's corruption, hypocrisy and materialism. Melville took a break from writing to work as a customs inspector on the New York docks, but returned shortly before his death to publish a collection of poetry, John Marr, and Other Sailors, as well as With Some Sea-Pieces (both in 1888). He also wrote a novel, Billy Budd, which went unpublished until 1924. One of the rarest of all signatures! Lightly toned and creased. Pencil note (unknown hand) at top edge. Otherwise fine condition.
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