Rare Tagore notebook to be sold at NY auction
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. Tagore, who won the Nobel Prize in 1913 and became the first Asian Noble Laureate, kept the diaries when he travelled, according to Malinowski. “It really is a microcosm of what Tagore did best — his poetry, what he loved and what he loved to do,” said Malinowski. “To have bits of art with corrections, to have songs with lyrics, and emendations all done in such an artistic form makes for an amazing package and speaks to what he was all about.” Sotheby’s said it expects the notebook, which will be exhibited in New York before the sale, to appeal strongly to members of the Indian community, for whom Tagore is a hero. Tagore campaigned for the Indian nationalist movement, wrote the national anthems for both India and Bangladesh and was a close friend of Mahatma Gandhi. Other potential bidders are expected to include collectors of rare literature or those who feel a special connection with Tagore. The owner, a descendant of one of Tagore’s patrons, was motivated to sell the manuscript by a combination of strong prices drawn by Tagore paintings in London last year and the 150th anniversary of his birth.