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Howard Carter's Tutankhamun papers to go under the hammer

The remaining papers of Howard Carter, principally relating to his discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb, are to be sold at a Bonhams auction on June 12.  

Howard Carter is arguably the most famous archeologist of all time [Credit: BNPS CO UK]
The vast collection has been retained by the Carter family since the archaeologist's death in 1939. Among the more notable items in the single lot is a series of autographed typed drafts from Carter's book The Tomb of Tutankhamun. 

The three-volume book stands as Carter's most definitive work on the subject, having never published a full scientific report. Despite discovering one of the world's most important archaeological finds, Bonhams describes Carter as writing with "brusqueness, impatience and off-putting manner". Nonetheless, the drafts offer a fascinating insight into the excavation and variations on the published text. 

Some of Howard's equipment set for auction [Credit: BNPS CO UK]
Carter's personal photographs from the unearthing will comprise a substantial part of the lot, including those sent to his mother during the excavation. Also featuring is Carter's personal correspondence case, a pair of Thermos flasks believed to have been used during the Tutankhamun discovery and a 100 foot leather-cased measuring tape. 

Letter received by Carter from someone claiming to be only one to know 'secret' of the 'vengeance' [Credit: BNPS CO UK]
Among the huge array of correspondence included in the lot are letters from "a fair number of eccentric or deranged correspondents" who were inspired by the tomb's supposed curse. Incidentally, Carter died naturally from lymphoma aged 64. 

The collection will also offer papers from Carter's funeral service and the original tags that accompanied the floral tributes at his grave. The magnificent lot will go to auction with an estimate of £100,000-150,000. 

Source: Paul Fraser Collectibles [May 29, 2012]

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