Larry McMurtry’s auction will feature typewriters, books

DALLAS — About 400 personal belongings of legendary Archer City Texas writer Larry McMurtry are up for auction, and it promises to be no ordinary estate sale.

Fans can bid on one or more of McMurtry’s 14 typewriters, a large collection of animal skulls, a Steinway grand piano, four-poster bed, his desk and chair, a 1901 Colt .45 pistol, Hollywood memorabilia and two pairs of cowboy boots, including number patched with electrical tape.

Vogt Auction Galleries in San Antonio plans to hold an auction at 1:00 PM on May 29, with bids accepted in person and via online simulcast. Thousands are expected to bid or view McMurtry’s eclectic collections.

“This was the most exciting thing that happened to the Vogt Auction,” said Rob Vogt, its director. “It is certainly an incredible honor to be alongside such an iconic personality and voice of Texas.

“It builds on our 48 years of working with other prominent Texas estates. But nothing like that.”

McMurtry, a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, essayist and screenwriter, died in March 2021 at the age of 84. He wrote 46 books, including novels The Last Session and Terms of Endearment, which were turned into Oscar-winning films. addition to “Broken Mountain,” for which McMurtry and Diana Ossana won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. McMurtry’s most famous novel, Lonesome Dove, won the 1986 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

McMurtry also enjoyed collecting books. Archer City, his hometown, became the headquarters of his famous collection, which at one time occupied several storefronts and numbered about half a million titles.

This isn’t McMurtry’s first treasure auction. In 2017, Heritage House Auctions sold two typewriters on which McMurtry wrote Lonesome Dove for $37,500.

Vogt’s auction house was chosen after the appraiser introduced Vogt to McMurtry’s son, James, a musician and actor. Vogt said an appraiser was hired to appraise the collection of books remaining at McMurtry’s Bookstores in Archer City.

The auction house will release a 60-page catalog with photos and estimated prices on May 5. No minimums will be set, and everything must be sold, regardless of bid, Vogt said.

In an interview, Vogt discussed some of the most attractive items at the auction.

Surely the Swiss-made Hermes 3000 portable typewriters are a showpiece, right?

Typewriters were probably the most remarkable object of interest, as might be expected. After all, a paintbrush is to an artist what a typewriter is to Larry McMurtry. And I should clarify, we actually have 14 typewriters, about half of which are in good condition, and about half of which are maybe only for parts. Mr. McMurtry bought them whenever he came across them.

They are outside his house, outside his desk. But if I’m being completely honest, I can’t say, “Hey, that’s a typewriter that had Lonesome Pigeon written on it, if you know what I mean.

What is the next most sought after item?

Of course, we have unique books – his famous works that appear right from the shelves of his bedroom. These are his personal copies of his famous works with his (personal) bookplate (a line drawing of a stirrup) inside, and there is only one of each. Many books from Booked Up went to (Powell’s City of Books) in Portland as part of a bulk deal. It didn’t include many things that were in Larry’s house in Archer City. We have books from his house.

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