Washington, Van Gogh Letters Go Under Hammer in U.S.


Hundreds of letters penned by a host of historic figures including Vincent Van Gogh, George Washington, Ludwig van Beethoven and Marilyn Monroe will go under the hammer this month in New York.

The December 18 sale will also include correspondence written by John Lennon, Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens, Sigmund Freud, and Albert Einstein, auctioneer Profiles in History said Monday.

In one letter written less than seven months before his death in July 1870, Van Gogh detailed his health woes.

"I often told myself that I would prefer that ... this would be over," reads an excerpt of the letter to his friends, Mr and Mrs Ginoux, estimated at between $200,000 and $300,000.

Other highlights include a rare letter by Beethoven in which he writes of his Ninth Symphony; ten letters by Washington, the first U.S. president; an 1800 letter by John Adams, the second U.S. president, that evokes his succession; as well as others by Jefferson, also a U.S. president.

"I am still lost," wrote Monroe, the U.S. actress who died in 1962 from a drug overdose, in a note also to go on the auction block.

The historic documents, 300 in total, could fetch between $5 million to $8 million, according to the auction house.

They are part of a collection of some 3,000 manuscripts owned by a private American collector that will gradually be broken up over the next two years.

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