Receipt signed by Chopin when he sold compositions is up for sale

A one-page document signed by Polish composer and pianist Frederic Chopin is on the auction block through Wednesday and has proved more popular with bidders than anticipated.

The document, a receipt dated March 1840, is for the sale of the copyrights to his compositions Grande Valse brillante Opus 42 and Quatre Mazurkas, Op. 41, sold for 16 pounds to a music publishing company in London.

The document, being sold by a private collector, was expected to fetch $10,000 to $15,000. As of Monday morning, the highest bid was $25,000.


“Anything from Chopin is extremely rare to see, and then to have it mention significant works makes it extremely valuable,” said Bobby Livingston, vice president of RR Auction, the New-Hampshire based company holding the auction.

Waltz in A-flat major, Op. 42, was written in 1840 and is considered one of the finest -- and most difficult to play -- of Chopin’s many waltzes. Chopin composed Op. 41 between 1838 and 1840 when he was recovering from a tubercular infection and in the company of his famous lover, French novelist George Sand.

Other signed items available in the auction include a letter from J. D. Salinger mentioning his 1951 novel “Catcher in the Rye” and an original blueprint of Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterwork Fallingwater, accompanied by a letter in which the architect threatens to quit during construction.


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