Printer Friendly

Possessions linked to Oscar Wilde come up for auction.

AN IVORY-HANDLED walking cane and a brass inkwell believed to have belonged to poet and playwright Oscar Wilde will go under the hammer, it was revealed.

The cane is inscribed with the letters "O W, C33", which are his initials and his cell location - Block C, floor three, cell three, at Reading Gaol.

The Secessionist style brass inkwell is marked "c.33 - October 16, 1898'. He was born on October 16, 1854.

Both items, from the estate of a private English collector, will be auctioned by Lyon & Turnbull in Edinburgh on Wednesday. They are valued at pounds 500.

Wilde was sentenced to two years' imprisonment at Reading for homosexuality, then a crime under gross indecency laws.

During his prison sentence, first at Wands worth jail and then at Reading, Wilde underwent a transformation.

He was released on May 19, 1897, humiliated and bankrupt.

His last work, the Ballad of Reading Gaol, written in 1898, reveals how Wilde felt reduced to a mere "code" by his prison experience.

The poem was first published under the name Cell Number C33 and criticises the injustice of the death penalty and the hanging of a fellow inmate, Charles Wooldridge.

With no money and his health badly affected by his time in prison, Wilde settled in Paris and died three years later.

Wilde's tomb in the Pere Lachaise Cemetery, in Paris, has as its epitaph a verse from The Ballad of Reading Gaol.

CAPTION(S):

Oscar Wilde
COPYRIGHT 2009 MGN Ltd.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2009 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Mar 24, 2009
Words:242
Previous Article:Hung jury verdicts double in two years.
Next Article:Banksy imitator brings art to streets.
Topics:


Related Articles
Auction of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's personal papers fetches almost GBP1m.
Wilde, Woolf on Cafe Royal sale; NATIONAL.
Rare blue royal diamond sets all time auction record of Au16.3m.
Oscar Wilde and modern culture; the making of a legend.
60second guide; to your week ahead.
Campaigners want Oscar Wilde's blue plaque removed after child abuser revelation.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters