British born Laurel, who alongside Hardy became one of the icons of early Hollywood, wrote 41 letters to Nellie Bushby, his cousin in Cumbria, England, and they are going under the hammer along with another note from the star's widow Lucille.

In one letter, penned shortly after Hardy's death on 7 August, 1957, Laurel writes, "Deeply appreciated your kind sympathy over the death of my dear pal, it was a great shock to me even though I had been notified the day before that the end was near. I miss him terribly and feel quite lost - can't realise that he has gone. He suffered a great deal these last few weeks due to a cancer condition, so I feel it was a blessing he was taken out of his misery and pain. A sad end to a wonderful career, God bless him."

The 42 letters are go on sale in Newcastle, England later this month (Sep15) and are expected to sell for up to $19,200 (£12,000).