Ralph Waldo Emerson

“You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.”

At the core of the transcendentalist movement was Ralph Waldo Emerson. After finding great success with his essay, Nature, in 1836, he continued his literary career as a writer and lecturer. His contributions served as inspiration to other literary thinkers and creatives including poet Walt Whitman and philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. As a result of his indelible impact, collectors from all over the world remain hopeful that they can add Emerson pieces to their collections, and RR Auction has them covered

Emerson's letter to Thomas T. Stone.
Emerson’s letter to Thomas T. Stone.
Emerson mentions other transcendentalist pioneers in this letter including Margaret Fuller and Henry David Thoreau.
Other transcendentalist pioneers are mentioned in this letter including Margaret Fuller.
The conclusion of Emerson's letter, with his signature clipped out.
The conclusion of his letter, with his signature clipped out.

Emerson is well known for his mentorship of Henry David Thoreau, and several letters referencing their connection have crossed our auction block in the last few years. In one letter, he writes to Rev. Thomas T. Stone in East Machias, Maine about The Dial, a journal that regularly published entries relating to modernist literature. Emerson writes to Stone asking for any contributions to the journal among other things, and mentions his protege writing, “Henry D. Thoreau, a youth teaching a school in this town, has given me for her a beautiful poem.” The poem Emerson refers to is ‘Sympathy’ which appeared in The Dial’s very first issue in July 1940.

Emerson's carte-de-visite portrait.
Emerson’s carte-de-visite portrait featuring his signature.

RR has also put several portraits up for auction, including this rare photograph taken by J. E. Tilton of Boston. Emerson is seated with a book on his lap, with his signature prominently featured on the lower border, “R. W. Emerson.” His signature is very difficult to come by, even less so in signed photos. This is the first portrait of him that RR Auction has ever offered, with several others featured in recent auctions in the past few years like this PSA encapsulated photo and this original Elliot & Fry portrait.

With RR Auction at your side, your Emerson pieces will end up in the hands of eager literature lovers. You can give us a call at 800-937-3380 or hit the consign button below to get a free appraisal on your items today!

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