Rare Tagore notebook to be sold at NY auction

Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:17am EST
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By Chris Michaud

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A previously unknown manuscript by Bengali poet and Nobel Literature Prize winner Rabindranath Tagore is expected to fetch up to $250,000 when it is auctioned next month in New York.

Rabindranath's 1928 notebook contains 12 poems and lyrics for 12 songs in Bengali, some of which were drafts for works that were published later, according to Sotheby's.

Marsha Malinowski, the auction house's senior manuscript specialist, described the notebook, which is covered in red cloth and will be auctioned on December 13, as "in gorgeous condition."

"It has been preserved very well," she said, adding that it had been kept in a safe deposit box since the 1950s.

Tagore, who won the Nobel Prize in 1913 and became the first Asian Noble Laureate, kept the diaries when he traveled, according to Malinowski.

But in her 25 years at the auction house she said it was the first time she had come across anything connected to Tagore, who won global fame as a poet, novelist, playwright, composer and artist.

Tagore presented the 152-page notebook to a family friend who was also an early patron in the mid-1930s. Thirty four pages of the notebook contain writing.

"It really is a microcosm of what Tagore did best -- his poetry, what he loved and what he loved to do," said Malinowski.   Continued...

<p>Rabindranath Tagore, the first Asian Nobel Laureate, is seen in a handout photo from Sotheby's. REUTERS/Sotheby's Handout</p>