Oscar Wilde’s silver cigarette case surfaces, up for auction

A silver cigarette case that belonged to poet and playwright Oscar Wilde is up for auction in the U.K. on Saturday.

The case is described as a unique reminder of Wilde’s love affair with Lord Alfred Douglas, known as “Bosie,” Andrew Aldridge of auction house Henry Aldridge and Son said in an email to Fox News. Their relationship eventually led to Wilde’s social and financial ruin.

The case is engraved with a verse from John Donne’s poem “The Canonization” and signed “Bosie,” hallmarked Birmingham 1897. The case was recovered from Wilde’s effects on his death at the Hotel d’Alsace in Paris on Nov.  30, 1900.


The cigarette case has a pre-sale estimate of $32,447 to $45,425.

Other Wilde artifacts in the auction include a 19th-century pen and watercolor portrait of the poet inscribed “yours Oscar Wilde” in black ink. The portrait has a pre-sale estimate of $2,597 to $3,895.

The auction house is also selling a piece of Elvis Presley memorabilia on Saturday. A contract signed by Elvis for a controversial August 1956 tour will be up for auction. “This was the tour when Elvis was accused of ‘a new low in spiritual degeneracy’ because of his lively performances on stage,” Aldridge explained.

The contract has a pre-sale estimate of $25,967 to $32,459.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

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