A questionnaire filled by Oscar Wilde as a student at the Oxford university goes on sale for a little over $78,000


The wit of Oscar Wilde is known to the world. And giving us an early glimpse of it is a questionnaire filled by the Irish Poet when he was in his early twenties. His quirky answers to the survey of sorts, while he was still a student at the Oxford are now set to go under the hammer for a grand $78,390 or £60,000 at Sotheby’s.

Signed with his full name, ‘Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde’, the questionnaire includes thirty-nine personal questions that record different preferences of the now-famous writer from his favorite color, flower, season, tree and perfume, to gems, first names, painters, musicians, poets and more. The two-page document dated 1877 is part of his contribution to the album “Mental Photographs”.

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Commenting on it, Sotheby’s Dr. Philip Errington said: “Wilde’s responses sparkle with the author’s characteristic ebullience and many are perfect Wildean epigrams. Knowing what we do about Wilde’s sharp wit and lofty worldview, his replies are exactly what one would expect to see from this bold intellectual young writer, still in his early twenties but already experiencing his first taste of fame. This questionnaire – likely filled in for an admiring fan – freezes the young Oscar in a moment in time, but also provides a chilling prophecy of what was to come. His answer to the final question ‘What is your aim in life?’ reads ‘fame or even notoriety’.”

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The duly filed questionnaire is as part of a collection belonging to actor and director-Steven Berkoff being auctioned at Sotheby’s. Bids for Lot 160: ‘Oscar Wilde, ‘Confessions of tastes, habits, and convictions’, authorial manuscript, 1877 are currently open online until Tuesday, Aug 4.

[Via: The Art NewsPaper]