Rare find in banana box sells for $67k at auction

The son found the rare discovery in his late father's possessions.

A man discovered a rare and very valuable item at the bottom of a banana box while clearing out his late dad’s house.

The find, a version of a work by legendary novelist, Julio Cortázar, found in a banana crate, went under the hammer this week. The original typescript of the Argentine author’s short story collection ‘Cronopios and Famas’ sold for a whopping $66,702.71.

The son, who chose to remain anonymous, found the stack of banana crates in the corner of a room three years ago and had begun rummaging through the dust-covered collectables his dad had kept stored in them.

The rare find in the banana box was worth a fortune. Source: Jam Press
The rare find in the banana box was worth a fortune. Source: Jam Press

He said his eyes lit up when he saw the seven-decade-old typescript. It includes 46 stories by Cortázar, of which 35 were published “almost without changes” in the book’s first edition in 1962.

Four were published later and seven were never published, according to the Zorrilla Subastas auction house in Montevideo.

The work, made on a piece by the Royal Typewriter Company, has been verified by two Cortázar experts.

“From a literary point of view, taking into account especially the time and context of composition, the style, the author’s idiolect, and the themes, there is no solid reason to believe that these pages are not authentic,” said Academic, Aldo Mazzucchelli.

The typescript went under the hammer this week in a joint auction by Zorrilla Subastas and the Hilario auction house in Argentina.

The item was described as being “in very good condition” and its starting price was around $20,000, which means it sold for three times the starting price.

A “cronopio” is a type of fictional person appearing in works by Cortázar. “Famas”, on the other hand, are exact, pedantic, well-organised, and always know what is right and wrong.

On Cortázar’s marble gravestone at the Montparnasse Cemetery in Paris, there is a sculpture representing various cronopios.

- Jam Press

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