Saturday, March 2, 2019

Friedrich Hayek’s Copy of Adam Smith’s ‘Wealth of Nations’ to Go On Sale

Hayek's typewriter that will be up for auction:
Smith Corona Model 'S' Typewriter
modified to include "*/4", "'/ü", and "ö/ä"
Friedrich Hayek’s personal copy of Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations, complete with pencilled annotations by the economist and social philosopher, is to go on sale as part of a number of personal items being sold by Hayek’s family.

Hayek’s typewriter, writing desk, photo albums, passports, a speech signed by former prime minister Margaret Thatcher and a set of cufflinks given to him by ex-US president Ronald Reagan are among the items set to go under the hammer in an online sale at Sotheby’s later this month, reports the Financial Times.

Also going up for auction will be Hayek’s Nobel memorial prize medal for economic sciences, awarded in 1974, which the auction house has estimated at £400,000 to £600,000. Also included are a Presidential Medal of Freedom and Hayek’s award as a Companion of Honour, accompanied by a letter from Thatcher concerning her recommendation that he receive the royal honour.

His copy of The Wealth of Nations — a plain 1911 Everyman edition with Hayek’s marginal notes and key passages underlined — is estimated at £3,000 to £5,000. “It’s one great economist reading another,” said  Gabriel Heaton, a Sotheby’s director.

Inside Hayek's copy of the "Wealth of Nations"

The online sale will open on March 8 and end on March 19, with all the items placed on public exhibition at Sotheby’s London salerooms from March 15.

The auction house will also host a talk on Hayek on March 17, with Philip Booth of the Institute of Economic Affairs; Eamonn Butler, director of the Adam Smith Institute and Kwasi Kwarteng MP, Conservative MP for Spelthorne.

The date of the typewriter and the shop stamp (conveniently close to the LSE campus, according to Sotheby's) strongly suggest that Hayek bought the typewriter during his tenure at the London School of Economics. Hayek was a professor at LSE from 1931 to 1950.


1 comment:

  1. It's too bad that Hayek's family needs the cash grab. I wish the Mises Institute could get their hands on these things instead; they would be treated with far more dignity.