KAFKA, FRANZ. 1883-1924. Czechoslovak Passport Signed ("Dr. F. Kafka František"), [Prague, June 1922].
Lot 182
KAFKA, FRANZ. 1883-1924.
Czechoslovak Passport Signed ("Dr. F. Kafka František"), [Prague, June 1922].
Sold for US$ 37,500 inc. premium

Lot Details
KAFKA, FRANZ. 1883-1924. Czechoslovak Passport Signed ("Dr. F. Kafka František"), [Prague, June 1922]. KAFKA, FRANZ. 1883-1924. Czechoslovak Passport Signed ("Dr. F. Kafka František"), [Prague, June 1922].
KAFKA, FRANZ. 1883-1924.
Czechoslovak Passport Signed ("Dr. F. Kafka František"), [Prague, June 1922]. 32-page printed booklet with manuscript notes and various stamps through page 12, in the original printed wrappers, photograph lacking, general wear from use.
WITH: Transmittal envelope from Robert Klopstock to Salman Schocken dated 1946.
Provenance: Franz Kafka; to Robert Klopstock; to Salman Schocken; to Gerda Schulz; by descent to the current owner.

KAFKA'S PASSPORT used in the last two years of his life and hitherto an unknown survival. A tremendously personal and evocative item of bureaucratic residue, this passport bears Kafka's written name five times (including his signature), specifies various locations in Germany and Austria, and gives Kafka's physical description and profession as an insurance officer.
The provenance is excellent. Robert Klopstock (1899-1972) was a close friend of Kafka. They were both being treated for lung ailments outside Vienna and Klopstock is known to have been at Kafka's side when he died. Salman Schocken (1877-1959) is best-known for being Kafka's publisher. The Nazis closed Schocken Books in 1939 and Salman Schocken moved first to Palestine and then to New York in 1945. Klopstock made it to New York in 1938 and transmitted this passport to Schocken in 1946. Schocken was an inimitable collector, he also acquired Kafka's letters to Felice Bauer (which sold at Sotheby's in 1987). However, this item he gave to his friend Gerda Schulz (1915-2013), a fellow Jewish refugee and one-time employee, whose family is the current owner. Possibly it was Schocken who removed the photograph for use in one of his Kafka publications.
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