University Archives

Lot 142

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Ernest Hemingway Owned and Used Ticket for a Bullfight at Barcelona’s Plaza Toros Monumental in “The Dangerous Summer” of 1959

Bullfight ticket, 6” x 3”. Plaza Toros Monumental. Barcelona, Monday, June 29, 1959. Paper ticket with a triangular punched cancellation hole. Left and right rough edges. Fine condition.

In the introduction to Hemingway’s “The Dangerous Summer” which was written in 1959-1960 but published posthumously in 1985, James A. Michener writes, “This is a book about death written by a lusty sixty-year-old man who had reason to fear that his own death was imminent. It is also a loving account of his return to those heroic days when he was young and learning about life in the bull rings of Spain … ‘The Dangerous Summer’ focuses on bullfighting and its participants, both in the ring and in the stands … Temporada, the season. Roughly, from late March through early October. The word embraces all the fights in all the arenas of Spain … This book deals with the exciting Spanish temporadas of 1959…” Hemingway writes about the bullfights at Barcelona’s Plaza Toros Monumental in “The Dangerous Summer,” including a conversation he had with the great bullfighter Antonio Ordonez after a brilliant performance in Barcelona.

This item is from the personal property of Roberto Herrera Sotolongo, personal secretary and good friend of Ernest Hemingway. On occasion, Hemingway would buy tickets and bring Roberto to the bullfights. Herrera and Hemingway first met in 1942, when Herrera became a crew member aboard Hemingway’s boat the “Pilar” at the height of World War II, when Hemingway patrolled the Gulf Stream for German submarines for the US Government. Herrera and Hemingway became good friends while sharing their mutual interests in hunting, fishing aboard the “Pilar”, and drinking at their favorite bar, La Floridita, in Havana. They also attended bullfights together, and Herrera, an avid photographer, captured many photos and movies of all these activities. Hemingway called Herrera “El Monstruo” (the Monster), and signed much of his correspondence to Herrera “Mr. Papa”. By the mid-1940s, Hemingway was traveling extensively and for long periods of time, leaving his Cuban home, Finca La Vigia (Lookout Farm), in the hands of Herrera. After Hemingway’s 1961 suicide, Herrera was appointed to represent Hemingway’s affairs in Cuba, including the deeding of the property and contents of “Finca La Vigia” to the Cuban people “as a place of opportunity for wider education and research, to be maintained in his memory.” The property became a museum, and Herrera acted as Conservator until his death in 1970.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


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