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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 June 2007, 08:06 GMT 09:06 UK
'My Left Foot' typewriter on sale
Daniel Day Lewis played Christy Brown in the film
Daniel Day Lewis played Christy Brown in the film
The typewriter famously used by disabled Irish author Christy Brown to write his autobiography, 'My Left Foot', is to be auctioned in Dublin.

Brown used his foot to tap out his inspiring life story in 1954.

Daniel Day-Lewis played Christy in an Oscar-winning film that brought the story to an international audience.

The Olympia Splendide 99 typewriter used by the author, who died in 1981, is expected to be sold for up to 15,000.

"We're delighted to have this unique opportunity to auction such an exciting yet very personal piece of Ireland's modern-day literary history," said Kieran O'Boyle of James Adam and Sons auctioneers.

"Christy Brown is internationally-renowned for his literature and art, with My Left Foot being one of his most celebrated and distinguished works.

"We therefore anticipate a great level of interest from Irish collectors as well as international literary and film enthusiasts for this very special typewriter when it goes under the hammer on Tuesday evening."

When Christy Brown was born in the Crumlin area of Dublin in 1932 he was nearly institutionalised as a result of his severe physical disability and the mistaken belief he was also mentally disabled.

But his mother insisted on raising her son among his siblings in the family home.

Thanks to her tenacity he was later able to confound doctors with his ability.


His triumph over adversity was given a world audience in the 1989 Jim Sheridan movie which depicted a young Christy grabbing a piece of chalk in his left foot to write on the floor of his family's house.

Daniel Day Lewis won an Oscar for his portrayal of Brown, while Brenda Fricker was also awarded an Oscar for her role as the author's dedicated mother.

Brown went on to enjoy a career as an author, poet and painter, living with his wife Mary in Ballyheigue, County Kerry and Parbrook, Somerset in England where he died.

The Dublin man was renowned for an artistic temperament and a fondness for shocking others with his use of strong language.

The typewriter, so closely associated with his life story, is being sold in its original case by a close friend of the Brown family. It was a gift from Christy to him, given in the 1970s.

The auctioneers say his wife has verified the typewriter for sale was the one he used to write 'My Left Foot'.

It is being sold with a signed copy of Brown's 1976 novel, Wild Grow the Lilies, carrying the inscription: "And wilder may they grow, to Larry, Bridie, Marian and Jackie and Declan and Brian, Greatest Love, Christy and Mary, March 1977."

The auction is due to take place at the St Stephen's Green auction rooms next Tuesday, 3 July.

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