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For Auction: Shaw’s Shovel, Bradbury’s Poem About Same


George Bernard Shaw's garden spadeThis is the second bit of good bloggery we’ve had as a result of George Bernard Shaw objects. Longtime Reading Copy readers may remember that we once had George Bernard Shaw’s typewriter for sale on the site. This time around, the item of interest is George Bernard Shaw’s garden spade, with which he apparently planted a mulberry tree in 1936, on the occasion of his 80th birthday. There is a plaque on the handle of the spade, which reads: “‘With this spade Bernard Shaw planted a mulberry tree in the public garden in Great Malvern on his 80th birthday, the 26 July 1936. He then presented it to Harry Batchelor Higgs, his gardener and faithful friend for 34 years.'”

The spade was later gifted to Ray Bradbury, who was a tremendous fan of the playwright’s work. Bradbury (who dabbled in much more, writing-wise, than just science fiction and fantasy, you see) was so moved by owning such a powerful object that he wrote a poem, appropriately titled “G.B.S. and the Spade”. The poem, rumored to be quite lengthy, imagines the spade imbued with powers to facilitate a conversation between Bradbury and the Nobel Prize-winner, who Bradbury once named as the one person he would choose to meet, if he could. Bradbury himself passed away in 2012 at the age of 91, and the garden spade, along with the accompanying poem, are now up for auction by Nate D. Sanders Fine Autographs & Memorabilia, and will come complete with a Certificate of Authenticity from the Ray Bradbury estate for the winning bidder. As of the writing of this post, there is one bid at $5,000, and just over three days left in which to bid.

If you’re here for the Ray Bradbury more than the George Bernard Shaw, you may also be interested in Nate D. Sanders’ other Ray Bradbury memorabilia auctions, which include much art – lithographs, book cover art, drawings, a suit jacket and projection slides, and much more. One more item worthy of note is this 16 X 20″ painting of Ray Bradbury himself by L.J. Dopp. Good lord I want to own this.Ray Bradbury painting by L.J. Dopp

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