For the first time in over 20 years, one of Anne Frank’s personal effects will be offered at auction.
On May 5, Frank’s inscribed copy of the children’s anthology Grimm’s Fairy Tales will be featured in a sale of autographed materials at Swann Galleries in New York. The book features the hand written signature of the famous diarist, as well as the name and owner’s stamp of her sister Margot.
The young Jewish girl is known across the world as the author of a compelling diary penned while hiding from Nazi forces during World War II in a house in Amsterdam. After the war, her diary was widely published, and in the years since it has become a best seller and Frank a widely recognized and studied historical figure.
According to the auction house, after Frank and her family left their hiding place inside the hidden annex of Amsterdam apartment, the book was traced to a secondhand store in the city. It was purchased by a Dutch family after the war, whose children discovered the historically significant inscriptions on the book’s pages in 1977.
The family later contacted Frank’s father Otto, the only member of the Frank family to survive the war, who wrote back with wises that the children keep the book and allow him to see it when he visited the city.
The autographed copy of Grimm’s is estimated to fetch between $20,000 and $30,000 at auction, and includes Otto Frank’s typed and signed letter to the book’s owners.
The last time a signed object of Frank’s came to auction was in 1988, also offered by Swann. That year, letters exchanged between Anne and Margot and their pen pals in Iowa (dated to April 1940) sold for $165,000 to an anonymous buyer who gifted the artifacts to the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles.