It's almost as if "The Catcher in the Rye" author J.D. Salinger saw this moment coming in 1953 when he retreated in growing distress about his own fame to small-town New Hampshire and became a notorious recluse.
Salinger's toilet, the ultimate symbol of privacy for a man notorious for defending his, is being auctioned on eBay.
A well-known memorabilia and collectibles dealer based in Kernersville, North Carolina, who has stalked Salinger items for years is asking the standard eBay hey-look-at-this-bizarre-thing-I've-got price of $1 million but said he's open to reasonable offers.
"I bet it's worth $100,000," said Rick Kohl of www .webuytreasure .com , invoking the author's iconic tale of teen alienation. "Come on, it's J.D. Salinger's throne! We're talking 'Catcher in the Rye' here!"
Salinger died in January after more than half a century in Cornish, N.H., where the 1,700 or so other residents quietly shielded him from an endless stream of visiting fans.
The toilet came not from his final home there but from another nearby that he moved out of in the mid-1980s. James Littlefield, who along with his wife, Joan, bought the house from Salinger and still lives there, confirmed in an interview Monday that the toilet was Salinger's. It's being auctioned with a letter of authentication from Joan Littlefield.
A simple, white Crane Oxford model, the toilet is stamped with a manufacturing date of October 1962, so Salinger didn't actually enjoy its comforts until after writing nearly all of his published work.
Kohl, though, noted that Salinger is believed to have left behind a substantial volume of unpublished writing, and that surely Salinger conceived some of it while sitting on the million-dollar thunder pot.
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