Ann Dinsdale from the Parsonage is looking carefully at the Christies catalogue for the auction in London on July 3. One of the items is a letter from Charlotte Brontë. The recent book auction in Haworth is now well and truly eclipsed.
Albin Schram appears to have been a secret collector of mythical proportions. Perhaps Emily’s lost novel will one day be found in the attic (or laundry room) of someone like him.
A conscripted Wehrmacht soldier, he escaped from a Russian POW camp in Königsberg, East Prussia, just after the end of World War Two, walked home to Vienna to join his family, became a banker, then settled down in Switzerland.
His collection also includes a letter from Napoleon to Josephine, a letter of condolence from John Donne to Lady Kingsmill the day after the death of her husband dated 1624 and one from John Calvin about a friend’s suicide dated 1545. The charming, white-haired Herr Schram was known to auctioneers simply as ‘Henry” and was famous for his stubborn bidding style.
The full story can be found at the Telegraph site - www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/06/04/nlets04.xml and on Bronte Blog - bronteblog.blogspot.com/2007/06/letter-by-charlotte-bront-found-in.html and on Swiss Info - www.swissinfo.org/eng/front/detail/Filing_cabinet_in_Lausanne_opens_its_secrets.html?siteSect=105&sid=7892336&cKey=1180974178000
Below – Albin Schram