It’s a Fishy Thing: Ernest Hemingway’s old bag is up for grabs

Now dedicated fans of the Nobel Prize-winning novelist Ernest Hemingway have the chance to own a peculiar piece of literary history – a fishing bag that accompanied the great American author on his adventures at sea is set to cross the auction block at Bonhams in New York next month.

In his 1951 masterpiece ‘The Old Man and the Sea’, Ernest Hemingway wrote: "Fish, I love you and respect you very much. But I will kill you dead before this day ends." Oh yes, the acclaimed author was an avid fisherman, who spent much of his time patrolling the Gulf Stream and the waters off Cuba's north shore in his legendary fishing boat, ‘Pilar’. Hemingway’s passion for deep-sea fishing is strongly reflected in his writing – throughout his illustrious career Hemingway made good use of his vast knowledge of the ocean, transforming it into fiction that forever changed American literature.

Meanwhile, the satchel-style fishing bag, along with a rare inscription from Hemingway to one of his closest friends, Charles Thompson, the owner of a marine hardware store in Key West and the inspiration for the character ‘Old Carl’ in ‘The Green Hills of Africa’, are set to be the highlights at Bonhams’ Fine Books and Manuscripts sale on 10 October.

Whoever is the successful bidder for the 'Bag of Tricks' will be taking home a small but significant piece of the colourful life of ‘Papa’ Hemingway – a dream come true for any literary buff with an appreciation of memorabilia that boasts an exceptional history. If only the fishing bag could talk: what fantastic stories it would tell…

The Hemingway items will be in good company at Bonhams. Also included in the sale are a letter signed by William Faulkner and an extra-illustrated copy of the King James Bible, as well as many other objects of interest.


Photos: Courtesy of Bonhams

Bonhams' website: www.bonhams.com

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