(JTA) – A children’s book in which Anne Frank signed her name is going on the auction block in New York valued at $20,000 to $30,000.
A “well-worn” copy of Grimm’s fairy tales owned by the Jewish teen diarist who died in the Holocaust will be auctioned May 5 through Swann Auction Galleries, Agence France Press reported Wednesday.
The auction house said the book is only the third document with Anne Frank’s writing on it to go on public sale and the first in nearly three decades.
In 1988, Swann sold a collection of letters and postcards that Anne and her older sister, Margot, sent to pen pals in the United States for $165,000.
Anne and Margot left behind the Grimm’s fairy tale book when they famously went into hiding in a section of an Amsterdam warehouse they dubbed the “Secret Annexe” with their parents and four other Jews in 1942. She wrote her name and Margot’s on a blank page at the front of the book, which will be displayed at Swann’s New York showroom three days before the auction.
The auction house said the handwriting matches other samples written by Frank. The book was published in 1925 in Vienna, but it is not known when Frank acquired it or wrote the names inside.
“What just infuses it with so much incredible emotion and history and potential value is the fact that it is signed by Anne Frank, it was her personal copy,” said Nicholas Lowry, president of Swann Auction Galleries, according to AFP.
Frank’s diary, first published in 1947, has sold more than 30 million copies and been translated into 67 languages. An aspiring writer, Frank wrote short stories in addition to diary entries while in hiding, before the family was found in 1944 and deported to concentration camps.
“This book, a book of Grimm’s fairy tales, was very likely the well source of all of her inspiration,” Lowry said. “This book really is the springboard from which her nascent literary career and dreams of being a writer were launched.”
The 148-page book is illustrated and has a few ink stains and dog-eared pages.
The book’s former ownership was discovered in the 1970s when individuals who purchased it in a used book store offered to return it to Otto Frank, Frank’s father and the sole survivor of the group that hid in the “Secret Annexe.”
In a 1977 letter, which will be included with the book, Otto Frank told the owners they should keep it.