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    Hans Christian Andersen. Signed First Edition of Kunstens Dannevirke (The Bulwark of Art). Copenhagen: C.A. Reitzel, 1848.
    First edition. Presentation copy signed and inscribed by the author to the wife of noted Danish physicist and chemist Hans Christian ├śrsted. Twelvemo. 22 pages with marbled boards and a leather gilt-inscribed label on the cover.

    A short play concerning the relationship between art and politics, written as a prelude at the centenary celebration of the Royal Danish Theatre in 1848, with music by H. Rung. The play was first performed on December 18 of that year and received "almost three rounds of thunderous applause." Small tear on title page; occasional light foxing. Moderate wear to spine and corners of covers. Housed in a custom half-leather case with gilt lettering and raised bands at spine. Extremely rare!

    This copy once belonged to noted Danish-American actor and Andersen enthusiast Jean Hersholt, and was in fact purchased from the estate of Hersholt's daughter. Hersholt assembled a large collection of Andersen books, and books relating to him, most of which are now in the Library of Congress. Hersholt translated over 160 of Andersen's fairy tales into English, published in 1949 as "The Complete Andersen." In 1939 Hersholt helped to form the Motion Picture Relief Fund, and for this, and his many charitable efforts, the Academy of Motion Pictures created the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, given annually to the "individual in the motion picture industry whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry."

    A note accompanying the book, dated July 31, 1935, confirms that it was given by Jean Hersholt and his wife "To Ebba With a lot of birthday greetings from Via and Jean." Inside the card, ever the Andersen scholar, Hersholt explains the history behind this particular copy of Andersen's work, and even provides a translation of the inscription. A truly fascinating and unique presentation copy of a scarce Andersen work, made even more desirable by the fact that it was once owned by a Hollywood legend. From the Robert and Diane Yaspan Collection.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2008
    21st-22nd Thursday-Friday
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