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Press Release - November 9, 2021

A Handwritten Page from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's 'The Hound of the Baskervilles' Sells for World Record $423,000 at Heritage Auctions

The rare leaf from the popular Sherlock Holmes novel leads Historical Manuscripts event past $1.4 million

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Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Autograph Manuscript Leaf from The Hound of the Baskervilles
DALLAS, Texas (November 9, 2021) — More than 900 bidders were on the case at Heritage Auctions' Nov. 6 Historical Manuscripts Signature® Auction.

But the day's biggest mystery was solved when the final price for a handwritten page from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's original manuscript of his beloved Sherlock Holmes book The Hound of the Baskervilles turned out to be a record-shattering $423,000.

The last time a leaf from the legendary manuscript was sold at auction, the year was 2012, and the price was a mere $158,500.

"This extraordinary rare page from The Hound of the Baskervilles shows the strength of the manuscript market around the world as Heritage continues to source the best examples for our clients," said Joe Maddalena, Heritage Auctions Executive Vice President.

Published in 1902, The Hound of the Baskervilles is the novel in which Doyle brought back his most famous character, after killing off the fictional detective in 1894, and remains one of the most popular among Doyle's Sherlock Holmes books.

To promote Hound's release, as well as Holmes' much anticipated return, the book's publisher broke up the pages of Doyle's manuscript and offered them individually to dealers who purchased copies of the book.

"Unfortunately, the manuscript was written on paper that was popular at the time ... but also was very acidic, so it deteriorated more quickly than many other varieties," said Sandra Palomino, Heritage Auctions Historical Manuscripts Director. "Therefore, not many pages have survived, and of those, few are in this condition. We knew that the manuscript would do well, in that it mentioned Sherlock Holmes, but we were thrilled that it sold for more than twice the estimate."

Other must-have rarities in the Saturday sale, which soared to $1,435,939, included a Mark Twain signed copy of A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, which sold for $68,750; a signed letter John Brown wrote on Feb. 20, 1856, which went for $42,500; a 1795 ship's passport signed by George Washington, which realized $23,750; and a 1793 letter of introduction also signed by Washington, which sold for $23,750.

For all of the auction's results, visit HA.com/6243

Heritage Auctions is the largest fine art and collectibles auction house founded in the United States, and the world's largest collectibles auctioneer. Heritage maintains offices in New York, Dallas, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Chicago, Palm Beach, London, Paris, Geneva, Amsterdam and Hong Kong.

Heritage also enjoys the highest online traffic and dollar volume of any auction house on earth (source: SimilarWeb and Hiscox Report). The Internet's most popular auction-house website, HA.com, has more than 1,400,000 registered bidder-members and searchable free archives of five million past auction records with prices realized, descriptions and enlargeable photos. Reproduction rights routinely granted to media for photo credit.

For breaking stories, follow us: HA.com/Facebook and HA.com/Twitter. Link to this release or view prior press releases.

Steve Lansdale, Public Relations Specialist
214-409-1699; SteveL@HA.com

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