Lot 31
Sold for £1,440 (US$ 2,418) inc. premium
Lot Details
Two autograph cheques signed ("Robert Louis Stevenson"), made out to H.J. Moors and as payable to William Johnston, for $1572.50, 185 days after date, and $1000, both payable in Peruvian or Chilean currency and both docketed on receipt by Johnston, 2 pagers, printed with manuscript insertions, with harvest sheaf vignette, spindle-hole, small tape-stain, slight creasing and fraying, narrow oblong 8vo, Apia, 3 February 1890


  • RLS BUYS VAILIMA IN SAMOA, where he was to spend the last four years of his life, and where he was to die. The contract for the estate had been signed on 10 January, and the total purchase price was about £400, at ten dollars an acre; with a further £2000 being spent on development. Both of our cheques are made out to H.J. Moors, the American trader who advised him to buy the estate, and are made payable to William Johnston, from whom the 300 acre estate was purchased. Later that February, having arranged for the estate to be cleared ready for building, Stevenson left for Sydney, where he was taken seriously ill. He did not get back to Vailima until September, when work in earnest began on his house; this being finally ready the following April. He celebrated the purchase in a letter to Charles Baxter when on his way to Sydney: "I have bought 314½ acres of beautiful land in the bush behind Apia; when we get the house built, the garden laid, and cattle in place, it will be something to fall back on...We range from 600 to 1500 feet, have five streams, waterfalls, precipices, profound ravines, rich tablelands...a great view of forest, sea, mountains, the warships in the haven: really a noble place".
Similar items
Samuel Bough, RSA (British, 1822-1878) 156 x 125 cm. (61 7/16 x 49 3/16 in.) STEVENSON, ROBERT LOUIS. 1850-1894. Arthur Melville, ARSA RSW ARS (British, 1855-1904) A Normandy Shepherd 55 x 33 cm. (21 1/8 x 13 in.) Will Sparks (American, 1862-1937) Robert Louis Stevenson's house, Monterey, 1915 10 x 12in SHAW (GEORGE BERNARD) STEVENSON, ROBERT LOUIS. 1850-1894.