KERNERSVILLE — Until his death earlier this year, reclusive author J.D. Salinger managed to keep his life private by shunning his fans.
But with his passing, mementos claiming ties to the literary giant’s life are trickling out. An example: the standard white porcelain toilet from a New Hampshire home where the author of “The Catcher in the Rye” once lived.
The receptacle has an asking price on the eBay auction site of $1 million, though collectibles dealer Rick Kohl says he’s willing to see what the literary giant’s home throne will fetch. The toilet’s lid is stamped with a manufacturing date of 1962, well after the 1951 publication of Salinger’s classic novel.
It’s not exactly the trove of unpublished manuscripts Salinger was rumored to have left behind after his death in January, but the commode is a curiosity that may interest his fans, Kohl said Friday.
“I knew he didn’t sit on the throne thinking about ‘The Catcher in the Rye,’” Kohl said. “But I say to myself, ‘How many of those (unpublished) stories actually came to mind sitting on the throne.’”
To vouch that the receptacle is no phony, Kohl has a letter from the homeowner attesting that she and her husband replaced the toilet while remodeling, and that they knew the workmen who installed it decades ago.