Sly Stallone’s Book Collection Heads to Auction at Heritage

Prices range from $500 to $4,000, for Whitman's complete works.

Various volumes from Sylvester Stallone's book collection. Courtesy Heritage Auctions.

He’s reportedly declined to be considered for a post as head of the National Endowment for the Arts, but Sylvester Stallone has agreed, at least, to send his book collection to auction.

Coming to the block March 8, at Heritage Auctions New York, will be hundreds of volumes from the actor’s collection, worth north of $50,000.

The top lot, estimated at $4,000, is one of the 300 versions of the complete writings of Walt Whitman, along with an 1890 postcard handwritten by the author of Leaves of Grass. The collection consists principally of American 19th- and early 20th-century writers.

“Stallone is one of the most accomplished screenwriters of our time,” said Greg Rohan, president of Heritage Auctions, in a press release.

Stallone has to his credit the screenplays for blockbusters like the Rocky films as well as the Rambo series and, more recently, the Expendables franchise. So, says Rohan, “It is little surprise his library is filled with limited edition and rare examples of works from the giants of literature—many of which include rare signatures by the authors themselves.”

Other pricey lots include an 1886 first-edition set of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace, estimated at $2,000, and a 1902 set of Sir Walter Scott’s The Waverly Novels, accompanied by a letter autographed by the author, which bears the same estimate.

A handwritten postcard by Walt Whitman. Courtesy Heritage Auctions.

A handwritten postcard by Walt Whitman. Courtesy Heritage Auctions.

There’s also a set of the complete works of Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning in the mix, tagged at $1,200 and one of just 275 of its kind. Emile Zola’s The Rougon-Macquart, in twelve volumes, is priced at an estimated $1,000.

There are more affordable offerings, too, like bound sets of authors like Francis Bacon (the English philosopher, not the Irish-born painter), Samuel Johnson, and Plutarch, estimated at just $500.

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