Cormac McCarthy’s Travel Clock, Writing Desk, and Inscribed Books to Second Wife Annie DeLisle at Bonhams


A selection of works and personal items including early photographs from the life of Cormac McCarthy and his second-wife, the English singer Annie DeLisle, are going under the hammer at Bonhams’ Fine Books and Manuscripts auction until April 10.
Among the items, which come directly from Annie DeLisle, is McCarthy’s folding Seth Thomas seven-jewel travel clock, a manual wind, in leather folding case with a contemporary label to the interior of case with ink note (in the hand of Annie McCarthy), “Property of Cormac McCarthy, 1967”. The clock accompanied them on their travels around Europe. Estimate $3,000 – $5,000.

McCarthy’s writing desk is also included in the sale. An antique cherrywood library desk, originally c.1930s from the Shelbyville Desk Co, Indiana, and restored by hand by McCarthy, c. 1969-1971, it was used by him while writing Child of God and Suttree. Having purchased 30 acres of rough, wooded land in scenic Tennessee, McCarthy set about building the couple’s dream house while continuing to write. In the process, he salvaged this antique desk. Estimate: $10,000 – $15,000.

Other lots include a 1973 first edition copy of Child of God inscribed to Delisle who helped to type it, “To my lovely Annie / With admiration and love / and thanks for your help. You deserved / so much better than / I ever gave you & / you will always be the love of my life. / Cormac.” Unfortunately, Annie and Cormac’s Plott Hound Blackie got to this copy as a note from Annie in pencil to the paste-down explains: “These are the teeth marks of Blackie, our beloved plot hound [sic]. Cormac left him as well as me. Annie.” Estimate: $3,000 – $5,000. 

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