Grimm’s Fairytales Signed by Anne Frank Comes to Auction

Through her poignant writing and tragic story, Anne Frank has become a source of inspiration for millions. Two of our upcoming auctions feature items related to Frank, including Anne and Margot’s copy of Grimm’s Fairy Tales (Aus Grimms Märchen), signed and inscribed by the young diarist herself, which will be featured in our Autographs auction.

Anne and Margot Frank's copy of Grimm's Fairy Tales (Aus Grimms Märchen)
Lot 46: Anne and Margot Frank’s copy of Grimm’s Fairy Tales (Aus Grimms Märchen), Signed and Inscribed by Anne Frank, with Margot Frank’s ink owner stamp, Vienna, 1925, inscription Amsterdam, circa 1940. Estimate $20,000 to $30,000.

The discovery of the book is an intriguing tale. It was left behind in the Frank’s Amsterdam apartment when the family’s departure to the famed secret annex was hastened after Margot was called to relocate to a work camp. The book eventually made its way to a secondhand bookstore in Amsterdam’s Runstraat, where a Dutch couple purchased it not long after the war. In 1977, the couple’s children discovered the signature and wrote Anne’s father, Otto Frank, the family’s sole survivor, to let him know of the discovery. In a poignant letter, which will be up for auction alongside the book, Otto expressed how deeply the discovery of the book affected him, as well as his wish that the family keep the book for their own daughter.

While her copy of Grimm’s Fairy Tales reminds us of Anne’s innocence and youth prior to her time in hiding and untimely death in a concentration camp, her now-famous diary shows Anne as a young girl wise beyond her years. A copy of the true first edition of Anne Frank’s diary, Het Achterhuis: Dagboekbrieven van 12 Juni 1942 – 1 Augustus 1944 (The House Behind: Diary Entries), will come to auction two weeks after the young writer’s copy of Grimm’s in our May 18 auction of 19th & 20th Century Literature.

One of only 1500 copies printed, Het Achterhuis was assembled by Anne’s father, Otto Frank, from her diary and papers collected from the secret annex by Miep Gies after the family’s arrest. After its initial release, the book was translated and published in more than sixty languages. Upon its publication in English, Eleanor Roosevelt called the diary “one of the wisest and most moving commentaries on war.” It remains one of the most widely-read books in the world.

Anne Frank, Het Achterhuis, true first edition of the diary of Anne Frank
Lot 205: Anne Frank, Het Achterhuis, true first edition of the diary of Anne Frank, in Dutch, Amsterdam, 1947. Estimate $5,000 to $7,500.

The copy in our auction appears in the exceedingly rare second issue dust jacket. The first issue dust jacket is so rare as to be essentially unseen, the second issue, as seen above, was printed in the same year and is also incredibly scarce.