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    Hemingway's Goatskin Shooting Vest, With His Handwritten Initials

    [Ernest Hemingway]. Hemingway's Custom-Made Goatskin Shooting Vest, With His Initials and "Ketchum, I." Written in His Hand on the Inside.

    This soft butterscotch-colored leather hunting vest was one of many that Hemingway had custom made for him over the years. It is sleeveless, with a center front zipper, and with two divided pockets for shells, one of which is inside another pocket that closes with a button fashioned from a mountain goat horn. The vest has been worn, and it has several moisture or perspiration stains, as well as several reddish-brown spots, likely blood stains left behind by some unfortunate quarry. "E. H. / Ketchum, I." has been written on the inside right front panel in a black marker; this appears to be in Hemingway's hand.

    Ernest Hemingway presented this vest to his close friend, the writer A. E. Hotchner, in 1955 when Hotchner was visiting Ketchum. The two had gone out to shoot and Hemingway gave him the vest, concerned that "Hotch" was not dressed warmly enough. Included with this vest is a letter of authentication from Mr. Hotchner, the author of several books, including the biography Papa Hemingway, A Personal Memoir (Random House, 1966), a very good copy of which is also included in this lot.

    More Information:

    Provenance. Letter from A. E. Hotchner, dated June 8, 2000:

    "To Whom It May Concern:

    This is to authenticate a leather vest that was given to me by Ernest Hemingway. In or around 1955, Hemingway and I were hunting in Ketchum, Idaho and I was not dressed appropriately for the weather. The coat he let me use and which accompanies this letter is butterscotch in color Hemingway told me that he had a woman specially make these vests for him out of mountain goat and that she used the horns for the buttons. It is identified inside the coat 'E. H. Ketchum', presumably in Hemingway's hand.

    [Signed] A. E. Hotchner."

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2009
    16th-17th Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,062

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