Friend of presidents and billionaires, nemesis of Hitlerism, and helicopter skiing enthusiast, Kenneth Rendell is an antiquer who needs no introduction for many. But listeners hankering for more had best apply to Safeguarding History: Trailblazing Adventures Inside the Worlds of Collecting and Forging History, Rendell’s recently published memoir and the occasion for his conversation with our Curious Objects podcast host Benjamin Miller. On the docket in this episode is the role Rendell played in cracking the case of the forged Hitler Diaries, how he amassed twenty-five thousand rare books and manuscripts in just eleven months for Bill Gates’s personal library, and tips for determining the value and authenticity of precious objects, for collectors new and old.
Kenneth W. Rendell is a collector of and dealer in historic documents. In business since the 1950s, his eponymous gallery specializes in autographs, letters, and manuscripts, and has built definitive collections on Winston Churchill, Ronald Reagan, Audrey Hepburn, World War II, and many other famous figures and historical periods.