Sotheby’s will offer A First Edition Japanese Vellum copy of Oscar Wilde’s greatest work, The Importance of Being Earnest A Trivial Comedy for Serious People in the sale of The Library of Jaques Levy, on 20 April in New York.
Mr. Levy acquired the piece in 1946 and it has remained in his collection since. The book carries an estimate of $80/120,000. This copy of The Importance Of Being Earnest was given to Robert Ross, a profoundly important figure in Wilde’s personal and professional life first as a lover, then as a close friend, ardent supporter and finally literary executor. On the half-title page the author dedicated this copy to his companion: “To the Mirror of Perfect Friendship: Robbie: whose name I have written on the portal of this little play. Oscar. Feb ’99”. The piece went on view at Sotheby’s New York on Saturday 14 April.