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HAYEK, Friedrich August von.

Leather briefcase owned by Friedrich Hayek.

c.1965 Stock Code: 134840
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His briefcase from his most fertile period

A briefcase owned and used by Friedrich Hayek, dating from the time of his professorship at the University of Freiburg (1962-1968), and showing all the signs of sustained use. Hayek has mounted his business card to the inner lid, as an identificatory label in the event of loss. The briefcase remained in Hayek's possession until his death in 1992, thereafter being kept by his family, and dispersed as part of the family's recent estate sales of Hayek's possessions.

Hayek took up his professorship at the University of Freiburg (in Baden-Württemberg, Germany) in 1962, holding the position for the next six years. He had "a pretty free reign" (ODNB) in his teaching there and was happy in the position. It was also arguably his most fertile period: "his work during the 1960s in Freiburg was highly productive. Law, Legislation and Liberty, one of his two greatest works, along with The Constitution of Liberty, was mainly written in Freiburg" (Alan Ebenstein, Freidrich Hayek: A Biography, p. 217). After his tenure at Freiburg he moved to a professorship at the University of Salzburg, which he held from 1969 to 1977, "a less happy period" (ODNB). He afterwards returned to Freiburg, and remained there until his death in the city in March 1992.

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Leather briefcase (28 x 40 x 8 cm), brass clasps with lock, key present.


Heavily rubbed and worn from use, stitching working loose, but all holding without loss. Business card mounted to the inner lid, sometime reinforced with tape which has now discoloured and peeled.


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