Previously Unknown Hermann Hesse Manuscript Hits the Auction Block

The manuscript includes watercolor illustrations by Hesse. Photo: Ketterer Kunst

A trove of newly rediscovered works by the Nobel Prize-winning poet, novelist, and painter Hermann Hesse is going under the hammer at a rare books auction at Ketterer Kunst Hamburg on May 18 and 19.

The previously unknown works were discovered by the granddaughter of Walter Schadow and his wife Nora, who were friends of the writer. While browsing through her grandparent’s estate, she stumbled upon the collection of signed letters and postcards, original manuscripts, and watercolor paintings.

The highlight of the extraordinary find is undoubtedly an original manuscript of Hesse’s fairytale Piktors Verwandlungen, complete with watercolor illustrations. The remarkable piece has been estimated to sell for €15,000.

Other important lots from the rare books auction include a copy of Reise in das Innere Nord-America by Maximilian zu Wied-Neuwied, with illustrations by C. Bodmer which has been estimated at €75,000.

Leo Tolstoi’s Wojna i mir has been estimated at €8,000 while Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven and Other Poems has been estimated to sell at €12,000.

Rounding off the sale is first copy of the print portfolio Siebzehn Steinzeichnungen which includes works by artists such as Erich Heckel, Käthe Kollwitz, Max Liebermann, and Max Pechstein.

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