A J.D. Salinger Autograph Price Guide Because We Have Sold the Most at Auction
FREE APPRAISAL. We have sold over $100,000 worth of JD Salinger autograph items. If you are looking to appraise, auction, buy, consign or sell a JD Salinger autograph or letter, a J.D. Salinger autograph or 1st edition or any other autographs, books or memorabilia, please email Nate@NateDSanders.com or call (310) 440-2982.
J.D. Salinger Autograph
Read the following quote and most likely, you will immediately be able to identify the author —
“If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. In the first place, that stuff bores me, and in the second place, my parents would have about two hemorrhages apiece if I told anything pretty personal about them.”
As one of the most famous American novelists, J.D. Salinger’s “Catcher in the Rye” is taught in classrooms around the world to this day.
Yet the man behind the book remains to his loyal readers, even after his death, ever the mystery. Known for his fierce stance on staying out of the limelight, Salinger lived in relative secrecy in New Hampshire for most of his life after 1953.
The public remains fascinated by the man behind the book, and even a new biography, “The Private War of J.D. Salinger” was published by Simon & Schuster. People continue to try and get some insight, so we here at Nate D. Sanders say,
Well, look no further.
We had the great pleasure to be auction an incredibly rare JD Salinger autograph; a typed letter signed by Salinger in 1966, while on vacation in Bermuda. When you read one of his personal letters, you hear the same voice that penned some of literature’s favorite sentences. You get a sense of his dry humor and sharp wit.
Written a year after publication of his last-ever published story, “Hapworth 16, 1924” which ran in 1965, the letter is extensive, running three pages long. Addressed to a Carrol Roderick in Hampshire, England,
It’s loaded with tongue-in-cheek content, beginning with a clever list of made up headlines about local town goings-on in Bermuda. He then begins to discuss his personal opinions on Vietnam and politics, which is incredibly rare for the author to voice:
“…They asked me to justify American policy in Vietnam and were rather shocked when I told them this I could not do because our VN policy stinks…”
Read more about the JD Salinger autograph letter here , which sold for $9,424.
And, here are a ton of other JD Salinger autographs and JD Salinger autograph letters signed that we have sold with their prices realized:
Amazing J.D. Salinger autograph letter signed dated 8 September 1951 thanking Frances (Terry) Thierolf and her husband Tom for their positive review of his new novel “Catcher in the Rye” and Terry’s comparison of Salinger to Holden Caufield. Thierolf was a former Ursinus College classmate of Salinger and inspiration for his literary character Franny Glass in “Franny & Zooey.” Written when he was 32, shortly after the publication of “Catcher in the Rye.” In part, “…I’m so glad you like the book…I think it’s delightful that you identify me with Holden, Terry…Yrs, Je[rry].” Includes original New York stamped 6″ x 4.5″ envelope dated 8 September 1951 with back flap signed in pen “Salinger / 300 E. 57th St. / N.Y., N.Y.” Envelope was addressed by Salinger to “Mr. & Mrs. T. Glassmoyer / North Hills Ave., R.F.D. / Willow Grove, Pa.” Overall very good condition. Single page letter on JDS stationery measures 5.75″ x 8.75″ and has torn upper right and lower right corner eliminating two letters of a word and the “rry” in Salinger’s signature. Incredibly scarce handwritten item connecting Salinger to his famous protaganist Holden. J.D. Salinger autograph cut off. Sold for $10,000.
Virtually unheard of six-page J.D. Salinger autograph letter signed “Jerry” and, at head of first page, “Cpl. J.D. Salinger.” Written from France while Salinger served in WWII to Terry (Mrs. Frances Thierolf “Terry” Glassmoyer), Salinger’s friend from Ursinus College and inspiration for his literary character Franny Glass in “Franny and Zooey.” Headed by Salinger “August 7  / Cpl. J.D. Salinger, 3232520 / C.I.C. [Counter Intelligence Corps] Section, 4th Inf. Div. / APO #4, c/o PM, N.Y.C.”, just a few months after D-Day where Salinger stormed Utah Beach and fought continually for nearly a month. By July his regiment would lose almost 2,000 men out of 3,080. Letter is in near fine condition on six separate pages measuring 6″ x 9″. In this letter, Salinger reminisces about their school days, meeting Ernest Hemingway (who’s “extremely nice and completely unpatronizing”), his upcoming stories to be published and war. In small part, “Dear Terry…I’ve been in France since D-Day…Am scared stiff constantly and can’t remember ever having been a civilian…Jerry”. Also in this letter, Salinger reacts to Terry telling him how Mary Helen Stoudt, a fellow classmate, felt about him; in the 12 December 1938 issue of his college newspaper, “The Ursinus Weekly,” freshman Jerome Salinger reviewed the Senior Play, mentioning M.H. Stoudt’s performance: “On the evening of December tenth, the Senior Class, under the direction of Dr. and Mrs. Reginald S. Sibbald, offered ‘Lady Of Letters,’ a three-act farce by Turner Bullock Mary Helen Stoudt filled the insignificant role of Daughter Susie to its scant capacity”. Regarding the stories that Salinger mentions, his short story “Elaine” appeared in the March-April 1945 issue of “Story” magazine, not in late 1944 as he expected. “Boy Standing in Tennessee” was never published and its existence is unknown. It is said to be the original version of “This Sandwich Has No Mayonnaise” which was published in the October 1945 issue of “Esquire.” In it, a character named Vincent Caulfield mentions his brother Holden and his sister Phoebe. “I’m Crazy” was in “Colliers” on 22 December 1945, not S.E.P., (“Saturday Evening Post”) as Salinger had thought. In “I’m Crazy,” Salinger used Holden Caulfield as the narrator. The story included an early draft of portions of chapters 1, 2, and 22 of “The Catcher in the Rye.” “Two Lonely Men” and “The Children’s Echelon” were never published. “The Children’s Echelon” is a story told by an 18-year-old girl, Bernice Herndon, through her diary. In one entry, she mentions that she loves to watch children at the merry-go-round just like Holden Caulfield in “The Catcher in the Rye.” Accompanied by copy of original envelope postmarked 9 August 1944. Long J.D. Salinger autograph letter signed. Sold for $14,500.
Insightful and scarce J.D. Salinger autograph letter signed, dated 7 July 1950 on embossed JDS stationery hinting at “The Catcher in the Rye” release. Signed “Jerry” at the bottom, letter is addressed to Frances (Terry) Thierolf Glassmoyer, his former Ursinus College classmate and inspiration for his literary character Franny Glass in “Franny & Zooey.” Envelope signed at the upper left “J.D. Salinger” and addressed in black ink with his New York Park Avenue resident and his friend’s address. The letter reads in part,”…I’d just as soon people stopped connecting me with that Foolish Heart-Sam Goldwyn-Epstein Brothers deal…There’s nothing radically new with me, except that I’ve just finished a novel, which is scheduled for Spring publication…” Salinger’s epic novel, “The Catcher in the Rye” was published the following summer. The Goldwyn-Epstein brothers reference indicated Salinger’s distain for the film adaptation of his short story, “Uncle Wiggley in Connecticut,” that he sold to producer Samuel Goldwyn and was written by twins Julius and Philip Epstein. It ultimately became the lone authorized Salinger story to be adapted to film. Original 6″ x 4.5″ envelope has light creasing and toning and is near fine. 5.75″ x 8.75″ letter has single fold and light toning; near fine. Very personal J.D. Salinger autograph. Sold for $6,000.
Wonderful J.D. Salinger autograph letter signed “Jerry” written 19 October 1961, just after the publication of “Franny & Zooey.” Salinger writes to his college friend Frances Terry Glassmoyer, who was incidentally his literary inspiration for the character Franny Glass in “Franny & Zooey.” In this letter, he writes about newfound fame: “…Luce [“Time” magazine publisher Henry Luce] employees and other gossip hounds patrolling our rural road, annoying my parents and friends almost to tears, over-alerting the children, thrilling a series of dopey baby-sitters…” He also writes sweetly about his children, “…They give so much joy and pleasure, it almost hurts…” Single page measures 8.5″ x 11″. With original envelope as well as drafts of Terry’s 6 October and 2 March 1962 letters to him, with her reaction to “Franny & Zooey.” Near fine. Sold for $6,500.
J.D. Salinger autograph letter signed, dated 18 October 1989 from his hometown in Cornish, New Hampshire. Letter is addressed to author Nardie Reeder Campion, who was the sister of celebrated WWII Colonel Russell Reeder, commander of the 12th Regiment of the 4th Infantry division, which Salinger served with during the D-Day invasion. Here, Salinger thanks Campion for lending him a tape of her brother’s D-Day speech at West Point. Reads in part: “Dear Mrs. Campion…the cadets actually present during the Colonel’s address were entirely aware that something altogether exceptional was going on, that somebody of rank unmistakably fine and modest, as well as informed, was addressing them. It isn’t the way things usually go in the world…Sincerely, J.D. Salinger”. Letter measures 8.5″ x 11″ and is in near fine condition. Sold for $5,910.
J.D. Salinger autograph letter signed, dated 24 November 1989 from his residence in Cornish, New Hampshire. Here, Salinger writes to Nardi Reeder Campion, sister of Colonel Russell “Red” Reeder Jr., whom Salinger served with in WWII. In the letter, Salinger returns a book as unread because enjoying himself by reading it would be too much for him to bear. Signed “JDS” in pen. He also references “the tail-end of old legal matters”, which probably concerns his 1986 lawsuit to prevent publication of his private letters in an unauthorized biography. Letter is accompanied by a transcript of an undated, but earlier November 1989 letter from Mrs. Campion to Salinger which reads in part, “I thought you might like to see Red’s autobiography. It has long been out of print but, wonder of wonders, North River Press in Croton-on-Hudson is planning to reissue it this winter. We are off to California for a week. Will celebrate Thanksgiving, with ‘our son the chiropractor’ and his family…” Salinger’s single page typed letter signed measures 4.25″ x 5.5″ and is in near fine condition. Sold for $4,440.
J.D. Salinger autograph letter signed, dated 31 October 1989 from his home in Cornish, New Hampshire. Letter is addressed to author and sister of Colonel Russell “Red” Reeder Jr., whom Salinger served with in WWII. Salinger writes to Nardi Reeder Campion after seeing a movie based upon the life of her brother, “The Long Gray Line”, noting “two cheers, more or less, for old movies. Regards and thanks, JDS” with “JDS” signed in pen by Salinger. Single page letter measures 5.5″ x 8.5″ and includes original envelope. Fine condition. Sold for $3,058.
Rare typed letter signed “J.D. Salinger”, dated 15 September 1989 from his home in Cornish, New Hampshire. Salinger writes to Nardi Reeder Campion, the sister of a soldier with whom Salinger served during WWII in the midst of writing “Catcher in the Rye.” With original typed envelope. In part, “…It was a ready and hard-used regiment, the 12th [Infantry], as accomplished, surely, as any in either Army, and I think your brother’s leadership, and his gallantry, was a conscious and vital part of it right on through…Sincerely, J.D. Salinger”. Accompanied by photocopies of Mrs. Campion’s letters to Salinger. 8.5″ x 11″ letter in near fine condition. Sold for $6,800.
J.D. Salinger autograph letter signed “Jerry” inside a “Season’s Greetings” note card. With original envelope postmarked New York, 23 December 1947. Addressed by Salinger to “Mr. & Mrs. Glassmoyer / & Family / North Hills Avenue / Willow Grove, Pa.”, Salinger refers to his story “The Inverted Forest,” published in the December 1947 issue of “Cosmopolitan.” One of his longer magazine stories (pages 73-109), called a novella by some, Salinger had worked on it from August to November. It was written for Nancy, Terry and Tom’s infant daughter. A “Rev. Sheeder” is mentioned in one of Salinger’s later letters to Terry. Card measures 5″ x 4″ as does envelope. Near fine condition. Sold for $4,320.
J.D. Salinger autograph letter signed “Jerry” to his friend Frances Terry Glassmoyer, inspiration for the literary character Franny Glass in “Franny & Zooey.” Penned on a card which reads “Greetings” in red type. Salinger writes from Windsor, Vermont on 1 October 1954, telling his friend that he moved to Cornish, New Hampshire, a place where he would reside until his death. In part, “…I bought a house last year literally on the side of a mountain and have been here pretty much ever since, working, reading, even doing a little farming, by God…Ever, Jerry.” Sudden celebrity following the publication of “The Catcher in the Rye” on 16 July 1951 resulted in Salinger buying 90 acres of hillside property and a cottage in Cornish, New Hampshire in 1953 and officially moving there on 1 January 1954. Card measures 4.5″ x 3.5″, 4.5″ x 7″ when opened. Written on the interior of the card and the back. Near fine. Sold for $5,243.40.
Scarce and insightful J.D. Salinger autograph letter dated 19 January 1941 written when he was 22 years old. Addressed to Frances (Terry) Thierolf, his former Ursinus College classmate and inspiration for his literary character Franny Glass in “Franny & Zooey.” Salinger mentions that Joe DiMaggio enjoys his stories and “…I put up with so many jerks and phoneys who provide copy but not peace of mind…Write me a letter, Terry. Tell all to the werewolf boy. Love and kisses, Young Salinger.” Includes 8.75″ x 4″ envelope handwritten by Salinger that has light ink smears and a torn flap, otherwise very good. Letter measuring 8.5″ x 11″ has folds and light toning, else in near fine condition. Sold for $2,756.
J.D. Salinger typed autograph signed “Jerry” to his Ursinus College friend Frances Terry Glassmoyer telling her that he declined a Doctor of Literature degree from the College. Dated 11 May 1964, letter mentions a book, “…A bad book, the work of hustlers and worse. I’d say that, I think, even if I hadn’t been the victim, the patsy…” Two pages on two separate sheets measuring 8.5… x 11…. Near fine. With original envelope addressed by Salinger to …Mrs. Thomas P. Glassmoyer / 12648 North Hills Avenue / Willow Grove, Pa.… and postmarked Windsor, VT, 11 May 1964. Also included in the lot are five related letters, three of which are from Donald L. Helfferich, the President of Ursinus College. In one letter, stamped “COPY,” Salinger declines the invitation for an honorary degree by Helfferich. He writes, “…I wish I could say why without burdening you with many or all my unregenerate and thoroughly tiresome convictions on the subject of the practicing fiction writer, his care, feeding, comportment, and so on…” Sold for $2,958.
Excellent J.D. Salinger autograph letter signed in type “Fotheringay Salinger,” along with 8.75″ x 3.75″ handwritten envelope signed in upper left “Pvt. J.D. Salinger / A.A.F. B.F.S. / 675th S.S. / Bainbridge, Ga.” Postmarked 12 October 1942. Salinger has typed x’s, obliterating the printed portions of the envelope and writes “Free” in the upper right. Addressed by Salinger to “Miss Frances Thierolf / 42 Roslyn Avenue / Glenside, Pa.” Somewhat melancholy letter reads in part, “…I think I passed up my chance for happiness on the night of my eighth birthday. Someone stepped on my teddy bear and its eye popped out. I never could understand that any more than I can understand this war and people…” He also mentions the publication of several of his short stories including “The Broken Children”, which interestingly, no copy of which is known to exist. It is said to be Salinger’s first serious piece since he joined the army but the title is known only from letters in which it is mentioned by Salinger. Letter in near fine condition. Envelope lightly soiled and torn at top, not affecting signature, in very good condition. Sold for $5,417.
J.D. Salinger autograph letter signed “Alf” in type. To Frances Terry Glassmoyer, Salinger writes of short stories he’s writing, “Last Day of the Last Furlough,” “Wake Me When It Thunders,” “Death of a Dogface” and “Elaine.” Single page letter measures 7.25″ x 10.5″. With original envelope postmarked Chicago, IL, 4 January 1944 but with Salinger’s New York return address. Pencil military sketches on verso of envelope probably by Salinger because they mock the expanding waistline as a soldier’s rank increases. Very good condition. Sold for $4,488.
J.D. Salinger autograph letter signed in type, “Kenneth Seagrave.” Composed on Christmas Eve, 1941 to his friend Frances Terry Glassmoyer, Salinger writes about his short story “Slight Rebellion Off Madison” — the first Holden Caulfield story to be accepted for publication — which eventually ran in “The New Yorker” in December 1946. Single page letter on Salinger’s 1133 Park Avenue, New York, letterhead measures 7.25″ x 10.25″. Near fine. With original envelope postmarked New York, 25 December 1941. Sold for $4,488.
Scarce signed copy of J.D. Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye” with extraordinary provenance. New York: Bantam Books. Later paperback edition. Measures 4″ x 6.75″. Signed to front free endpaper “To Ruth Rogers, / in friendship / J.D. Salinger / Daytona Beach / March 1973.” Dr. Ruth Rogers was a homeopathic physician in active practice in Daytona Beach, Florida when she was visited by Salinger and his young girlfriend, Joyce Maynard in March 1973. It is believed that the notoriously reclusive Salinger signed Dr. Roger’s personal copy of “Catcher” on this visit. In her 1998 memoir, “At Home in the World” Joyce Maynard discusses her relationship with Salinger and dedicates an entire chapter to their trip to Daytona Beach and this doctor’s visit, which coincidentally took place on the day Salinger ended their relationship and sent Maynard home to clear her things out of his house. Excerpt: “…Jerry…told this doctor…that he is a student of homeopathy…I wait for Jerry to begin describing the particular reason why we are here…’My friend here, Joyce, is anxious to consult you about a problem she’s experiencing that I have been trying to assist her with’…when we get back to the hotel…Jerry…rests his forehead in his hand…I’m finished with this…You’d better go home now…You need to clear your things out of my house’…” Lot accompanied by copy of “At Home in the World” and recent email correspondence with Maynard regarding the visit during which this book was signed. “Catcher” copy shows only minor toning and wear and is in overall excellent condition. A rare gem and must-have for Salinger enthusiasts. Sold for $5,372.
J.D. Salinger autograph letter signed, J.D. Salinger to Mr. Cornfield; October 7, 1953; 1p., one leaf of notepaper, ca. 3.25 x 4.75; slightly darkened at the top edge. A letter to the aspiring film director Hubert Cornfield, regarding making a film about Catcher in the Rye. Salinger firmly but politely denies Cornfields request; the letter reads in small part: “…I see my novel as a novel and only as a novel. Should I change my mind in the future which is extremely doubtful I very probably would take on any casting and directing chores myself…” Cornfield (1929-2006) had not directed any films when he approached Salinger in 1953. The films he did make were usually low-budget, and boasted only a cult following, like his 1957 movie, Lure of the Swamp. Only one of Salinger’s stories, Uncle Wiggly in Connecticut, was reinterpreted in celluloid; it was renamed My Foolish Heart and starred Susan Hayward and Dana Andrews. Salinger did not approve of the film and vowed never to allow any of his books to be adapted into film. In spite of Salinger’s doubt that a film would ever be made of Catcher, there were short-lived rumors that Jerry Lewis attempted to purchase the film rights, with the idea that he (at the time nearly forty years old) would play Holden; and, later, another rumor that the director Terrence Malick would be granted the rights. Salinger letters are exceedingly scarce, and a letter like this one with a direct reference to his most iconic work makes this letter particularly significant. Dark J.D. Salinger autograph. Sold for $15,000.
J.D. Salinger autograph letter signed, J.D. Salinger to Miss Linton; January 23, 1967; 2pp., one leaf of New Yorker letterhead, recto and verso. Together with original envelope. A genuinely affectionate letter to Linton, responding to her friendly letter; it is possible that Salinger and Linton were loosely acquainted, and she thought he might like to hear about her experiences abroad. It reads in small part: “…How lucky you are to live in Saudi Arabia! I love the Middle East, and have never been there. I love Islamic literature, medicine, mysticism…” Usually, with the uncommon autograph letters, Salinger was writing to a close friend or confidant and signed simply “Jerry” or “JS” or “JDS.” The full signature here makes this letter even more desirable. Considering the rarity of Salinger letters on the market, his brief disclosure about his interest in the Middle East is revealing and remarkable. Nice J.D. Salinger autograph. Sold for $10,000.
If you are looking to auction, buy, consign or sell a JD Salinger autograph or letter, a J.D. Salinger autograph or 1st edition or any other autographs, books or memorabilia, please email Nate@NateDSanders.com or call (310) 440-2982.