HCA NEWS Great interest at auctions in Hans Christian Andersen

Auction houses have a lot of items that may be linked to Hans Christian Andersen available.

By Mikkel Stjernberg - H.C. Andersen 2005 - 19 May 2003

Are you in the market for a suitcase that is a meter in height, half a meter wide, and 85 centimeters deep - and ostensibly belonged to Hans Christian Andersen?

If so, you'll have a chance to buy one next Monday, May 26, when the auction house of Bruun Rasmussen in Copenhagen will put under the hammer a slew of Hans Christian Andersen-related objects.

Among them, a cherry stone from 1841 on which a little face is carved - presumably by Hans Christian Andersen, who also enclosed a paper cut-out for the recipient of the stone in an accompanying storage box.

Not everything is Andersen's
The suitcase and the cherry stone are certainly not the only items connected to Hans Christian Andersen to go on the auction block.  Picture books, songbooks, photographs and many other things are also available.

However, not every item up for auction has a demonstrable link to Hans Christian Andersen and, therefore, a bit of leg work needs to be done to separate the wheat from the chaff. A continuous process in which Odense City Museums is also taking an active part.

"At the moment, auction houses have a healthy interest in objects that may have a connection to Hans Christian Andersen, and we follow them closely to make sure we don't miss anything. But it is clear we do not bid on everything - in part, because it is too expensive, in part because some of the things are very difficult to connect to Hans Christian Andersen with any certainty," says museum keeper for Odense City Museums, Karsten Eskildsen.

He does not hide the fact that he will be among the bidders at next Monday's auction, but says that he has no immediate plans to bid for the suitcase.

"The problem is partly its size and partly the fact that there is a number 5 written after Hans Christian Andersen's initials.This means that there must have been four others of the same size and, in our opinion, this makes it improbable that the suitcase belonged to Hans Christian Andersen. He scrimped and saved, when he travelled and would hardly have used money on porters to transport so many large trunks. But it would have been a dream, if it really were his, and you can never rule anything out," says Karsten Eskildsen.

Check this out for more information about next weeks auction!