Sylvia Plath auction shows the comparative value of author typewriters

Somewhere in a Guardian article about a recent auction of Sylvia Plath miscellany there’s a comparative mention of the value of author typewriters, and Updike’s name comes up:

“. . . a proof of The Bell Jar, complete with her corrections, sold for £60,000; her own first edition of the novel, poignantly signed and dated “Christmas 1962”, a few weeks before her death, went for £70,000; and the typewriter on which she wrote it, a mint green Hermes 3000, for £26,000. This puts Plath’s typewriter comfortably above Jack Kerouac’s, also a green Hermes, which pulled in $22,500 (£16,000), and John Updike’s $4,375 (£3,110) — but below the £56,250 paid for Ian Fleming’s gold-plated Royal and the stunning $254,500 (£181,000) for Cormac McCarthy’s humdrum Olivetti.”

According to the unsigned Books Blog article, Plath is so hot right now that “Even Wordsworth and Napoleon couldn’t compete with Plathinalia going under the hammer this week—including clothes, a typewriter and her thesaurus.”

The positive takeaway for Updike collectors and, more importantly, those inclined to purchase and donate items to The John Updike Childhood Home, John Updike items remain affordable.

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