There seems always to be another dropped shoe in the Anne Frank world. Most recently, and thanks to my friend Eugene Manning’s sharp eye on auctions, a copy of a child’s book of fairy tales once shared by Anne and her sister Margot. (see above photo: Anne and Margot Frank at the seaside with their backs to the camera, pre-war, pre-adolescence, pre-German occupation, pre-exclusion of Jewish people from the beach, pre-fear for one’s life). Most likely this book of children’s stories was part of the children’s library abandoned by the family in July 1942, when they walked out of the door of their apartment leaving almost all they owned behind to go into hiding in four cramped, curtained storage rooms behind Mr. Frank’s business where they were to spend the next 25 months, never breathing fresh air until their arrest in August 1944. (For more read: Anne Frank Remembered and Memories of Anne Frank, Reflections of a Childhood Friend)
Following, an excerpt from Swann’s Gallery Auction Catalogue: (http://www.swanngalleries.com/auctions/2413-autographs for complete article)
At Auction May 5, 2016: Anne and Margot Frank’s copy of Grimm’s Fairy Tales (Aus Grimms Märchen), Signed and Inscribed by Anne Frank, with Margot Frank’s ink owner stamp, Vienna, 1925, inscription Amsterdam, circa 1940. Estimate $20,000 to $30,000.
Our May 5 Autographs auction features Anne and Margot Frank’s copy of Grimm’s Fairy Tales (Aus Grimms Märchen), signed by the young diarist herself. The book was left behind in the Frank’s Amsterdam apartment when the family’s departure to the famed secret annex was hastened after Margot was called to relocate to a work camp.
The book eventually made its way to a secondhand bookstore in Amsterdam’s Runstraat, where a Dutch couple purchased it not long after the war. In 1977, the couple’s children discovered the signature and wrote to Otto Frank, the family’s sole survivor, to let him know of the discovery. In a poignant letter, which is up for auction alongside the book, Otto expressed how deeply the discovery of the book affected him, as well as his wish that the family keep the book for their own daughter. The sale represents the first major offering of Anne Frank material at auction in over two decades. One of the last offerings was a set of letters sent by Anne and Margot to their American pen-pals sold by Swann for $165,000 in 1988.
This auction will also present a parade of historical delights, including a strong selection of presidential material, as well as Americana, scientists, writers, world leaders, entertainers and others. Among the presidential items is material from the Forbes Collection, including an archive of letters and ephemera from Theodore Roosevelt and his family to their close friend, Edwin A. Van Valkenburg.
The writer’s section will include an uncommon Oscar Wilde manuscript…also triking is an image of Einstein, executed in an etching by Hermann Struck, signed by Einstein and the artist. If you are more interested in Einstein’s words, a group of five letters signed by him to physicist Helmut Bradt will be offered, documenting Einstein’s successful effort to bring the Jewish scientist to America in the 1930s…