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Lot 141

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Jack Kerouac's Famous Hermes Typewriter Manual, Used to Write "Vanity of Duluoz"

Kerouac's Original typewriter manual, and the original repair receipt, both for his Hermes 3000 Typewriter. The Hermes Typewriter had been auctioned at Christie's 10 years ago in June 2010 and realized a hammer of $22,500. However missing from that sale where these original documents for the Hermes typewriter. Christie's lot description refers to these missing documents, having noted that both the Hermes manual and the repairman's receipt were missing but survive in "The Kerouac papers". The lot offered here is for these two original documents, both coming directly from the Kerouac estate. The manual is in near fine condition with faint handling marks, 8.25" x 6", and the repairman's receipt is in fine condition showing the cost of $22.83, and having Stella Kerouac's name and the 5169 10th Avenue N. address along the top. The receipt is dated "1-21-69" with the problem diagnosed as "Dropped", 6" x 3". Additionally accompanied by a photocopy of the 2010 original Christies lot description for the Hermes typewriter.

Provenance: The piece will be accompanied by an estate certification signed by John Shen-Sampas, executor of the Kerouac Estate. John Shen-Sampas is the son of John Sampas, who was the brother-in-law of Jack Kerouac, and the brother of Stella Kerouac, Jack's wife

Today we now know that Jack Kerouac in fact bought one more typewriter, a Smith Corona in "May 19, 1967" to finish up "Vanity of Duluoz", however Christie's lot description is shown below for the Hermes, displaying the reference to these missing documents:

"Christie's Sale 2328, Lot 268
Kerouac, Jack. Hermes 3000 manual typewriter …

KEROUAC'S LAST TYPEWRITER, which he used from 1966 until his death in 1969. He announces its arrival in a 29 August 1966 letter to his agent, Sterling Lord: "How do you like my new typewriter?" The new machine "was necessary," he explains, "as the old one broke in two, but, and that's what broke my budget, and now it'll be taxes."

Lord received many letters from this machine about Kerouac's money problems: "Where are the ROAD royalties to 6/30/66," he asks on 18 January 1967, "and same royalties (6/30/66) for SUR... Great time of stress. Need money to fence-in magnificent part wooded yard." He also hoped to build a study "where I'll be writing VANITY OF DULUOZ in month of March after Greek Orthodox Church wedding in February" (to Stella Sampas). 

Vanity was published in 1968. It would be the last novel published in his lifetime. His novella Pic would appear in 1971. This typewriter had to make a visit to the repairman in January 1969. The repairman's receipt for $22.83 (which survives in the Kerouac Papers), diagnoses the problem as "Dropped." The Kerouac Papers also contain the Hermes operating manual for this typewriter."

These remaining original documents are an important component of Kerouac literary memorabilia with impeccable provenance and historic significance!

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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