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A lock of hair from Emily Dickinson - James Merrill, J.D. McClatchy provenance For Sale
A lock of hair from Emily Dickinson - James Merrill, J.D. McClatchy provenance:
One lock of Emily Dickinson's hair (auburn), framed with another lock (blonde) perhaps belonging to her nephew, Gib Dickinson.
From the appraiser: "It appears that the only known locks of hair belonging to Emily Dickinson are those that were gifted to Amherst College in 1983 by descendants of Dickinson's friend Emily Fowler (later Emily Ford). Those locks were sent in a letter to Fowler that read, "I said when the Barber came, I would save you a little ringlet, and fulfilling my promise, I send you one today. I shall never give you anything again that will be half so full of sunshine as this wee lock of hair, but I wish no hue more sombre might ever fall to you." (The Letters of Emily Dickinson. Thomas Johnson, ed. Letter #99). The auburn lock in the present lot appears to be consistent in color with those at Amherst, though we have been unable to track the provenance any further than the American poet James Merrill, who owned them before gifting them to his friend J.D. McClatchy."
Framed (5" x. 3-3/4")
Please note that the auburn lock is darker than appears in the first photograph, and more reddish than it appears in the second. Additional photographs available upon request.
Note also that the lock of hair at Amherst College dates to 1853. Earlier in her life, Dickinson's hair was more red. It darkened as she got older. Dickinson would have been approximately 23 years old in 1853. If the color of this lock of hair is consistent with a lock taken later in her life. (Dickinson died in 1886 at the age of 55.)
Provenance: James Merrill (1926-1995), American poet, recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for poetry (1977);
The estate of J.D. McClatchy (1945-2018), American poet, librettist, literary critic, and former president of The American Academy of Arts and Letters, Stonington, Connecticut. Purchased at sale by a private collector, 2019.
Interested parties should contact us with any questions about this item.
This item will not be shipped. Upon purchase, buyer and seller will make arrangements for the personal delivery of the item, either near the UCLA campus or at the purchaser's home or business.
A lock of hair from Emily Dickinson - James Merrill, J.D. McClatchy provenance
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