Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - January - 2012 Issue

Signed Documents from People You Know, from The Raab Collection

Raab70

Christmas stories by Charles Dickens on the cover of the latest from the Raab Collection.

The Raab Collection has issued a new catalogue, and while that cover might make you think its title was “Christmas Tales,” it is not. That's just a picture of Charles Dickens' Christmas Tales you see. The real title here is simply Catalog 70. Offered are 26 more examples of Raab's specialty – signed documents from important persons. There are presidents and prime ministers, writers and poets, and others of significant importance. There are the greats - Washington, Lincoln, both Roosevelts, Churchill, the not-so greats – Chamberlain, Fillmore, and the both - Napoleon. The pen brings us the likes of Dickens, Byron, Whitman, and Kipling. You will know everyone in this catalogue. Here are a few.

That item you see on the cover is a special collection of Christmas Tales compiled by one Russell “Pa” Browne. It is doubtful any writer is as associated with Christmas as Charles Dickens. There are few better known people who never existed than Ebenezer Scrooge. However, Dickens wrote more holiday material than just A Christmas Carol. He edited a magazine called Household Words, and at Christmas time, he would pen stories for the issue. Browne evidently liked them, and compiled the issues of the magazine and had them bound together. One of them is signed. According to a 1933 note that accompanies this item, “Pa” Browne sent it to Dickens who obliged with his signature. The collection has been in the Browne family ever since. Item 1. Priced at $13,000.

Here is a man forever associated with one of the worst words in politics – appeasement. Neville Chamberlain had a distinguished career, and eventually he led his nation in preparation for, and the initial stages of, the Second World War. However, for too long, he believed that he could preserve the peace by appeasing Hitler, an attempt that only encouraged the German dictator. Chamberlain was a well-meaning and mostly effective leader, but he is mainly remembered for his one giant miscalculation. Item 19 is a letter Chamberlain wrote to Beverley Baxter, a fellow Conservative M.P. and a strong ally of the Prime Minister. The letter is dated June 12, 1939, written after the Munich Pact Chamberlain had negotiated, and after Hitler's invasion of Czechoslovakia, but prior to Germany's invasion of Poland that led Chamberlain and Britain into war. As the letter reveals, Chamberlain was still (unrealistically) hopeful. At one point Chamberlain tells Baxter, “Generally speaking, I should say that Italy is more pacifist than Germany, but neither does Germany want to go to war unless she is obliged.” He was dead wrong about Germany not wanting to go to war. $17,000.

Item 3 is a letter from Abraham Lincoln to General George Meade that makes us realize just how hard prosecuting the war must have been for him. He demanded aggressive prosecution of the Civil War, several times dismissing his generals for proceeding too cautiously and conservatively. Caution may have saved more lives, but to Lincoln, preserving the Union was so vital that the terrible costs had to be expended. However, if anyone thinks that Lincoln's aggressive pursuit displayed even a hint of disregard for human lives, they would completely misunderstand the man. This letter concerned one Allen G. Maxson, a corporal in the Michigan Volunteers. Maxson had been condemned to death for desertion by a court martial in January of 1864, and was scheduled for execution on January 29. They didn't run through a lot of appeals, or wait long in those days. In his letter dated January 14, Lincoln orders Meade to “Suspend execution of the death sentence in the case of Allen G. Maxson...until further order.” Such further order never came. Over the next few months, Maxson's and many other's executions were commuted. Despite the fact that some of his generals did not approve of these commutations, fearing it harmed military discipline, Lincoln could not bear such a penalty for people whose fears overwhelmed them. He hated the loss of life, even though circumstances placed him in a position where he had to send so many out to war at great risk of death. $32,000.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>19th Century Shop.</b> KEY, FRANCIS SCOTT. <i>A Celebrated Patriotic Song, the Star Spangled Banner.</i> 1814.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> [COLUMBUS, CHRISTOPHER, Amerigo Vespucci ..] Bernardus Albingaunensis .. Dialogo nuperrime edito Genue in 1512.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> SHAKESPEARE, WILLIAM. <i>Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies. Published according to the true originall copies,</i> 1632.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (WATKINS, TABER &c.). <i>An album of 32 photographs of the Yosemite and American West Various places</i>, c. 1890s
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (BATTLE OF CONCORD.) <i>Powder horn used by Minuteman Oliver Buttrick at the Battle of Concord</i>, April 19, 1775.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (CIVIL WAR.) <i>An Extraordinary Confederate Photograph and Autograph Album of Dr. R. L. C. White</i>, 125 original mounted salt prints. 1859-61.
  • 20 Jul 2016, starts at 1pm EDT, NY
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Full scale vintage <i>Sputnik-1</i> EMC/EMI Lab Model, with live transmitter. US$ 10,000-15,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Flown SOYUZ-3 space navigation indicator with unflown on-ground transformer. <br>US$ 30,000-40,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Flown on SOYUZ 9<br>An exhaustive manuscript on life in space. [Trans: On-Board Flight Journal for Spacecraft Soyuz-9, 1970]. US$ 6,000-9,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> SOYUZ 18? Flown Navigation Celestial Globe. Soyuz 18 lasted from May 24-July 26, 1975. US$ 30,000-40,000
    20 Jul 2016, starts at 1pm EDT, NY
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Flown Space Suit from ISS Expidition 6. Worn by Flight Engineer Don Pettit on his dramitic return to earth. US$ 25,000-35,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Original Gemini 133P Trainer Assembly Five Part Electrical System & Attitude Maneuver ... US$ 60,000-90,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Lunar Rover Development. Collection of 11 vintage gelatin silver prints and 4 vintage NASA lithographs. <br>US$ 2,000-3,000.
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Lunar Orbiter I. The first image of the earth as seen from the moon. Gelatin silver print. August 23, 1966. US$ 2,500-3,500
    20 Jul 2016, starts at 1pm EDT, NY
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Michael Collins' Flown Crew-Signed Apollo 11 Emblem. One of the very few Armstrong signed mission artifacts. US$ 50,000-70,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Flown Apollo 11 Navigational Chart. Taken to Lunar surface mapping the start of the <br>first manned lunar descent. <br>US$ 25,000-35,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> FFlown Apollo 11 Flight Plan Sheetmission Day One. Some of the first words and data values written by Neil Armstrong. US$ 18,000-25,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Apollo 12 - Alan Bean in the Ocean of Storms. Signed and inscribed by Bean. <br>US$ 2,000-3,000
  • <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Leaves from<br>George Washington's Own Draft <br>of His first Inaugural Address. An Extraordinary Rarity!
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Declaration of Independence: Benjamin Tyler 1818 - First Print with Facsimile Signatures.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Thomas Jefferson Signed Act of Contress Authorizing Alexander Hamilton to Complete Famous Portland Maine Lighthouse.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Emanuel Leutze. Silk Flag Banner designed by Leutze, created by Tiffany & Co., and presented to Gen. John A. Dix, 1864.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> The "greatest of early American maps … a masterpiece" (Corcoran). Thomas Holme.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Lincoln Summons His Cabinet for a Historic Meeting to Discuss Compensated Emancipation.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Albert Einstein. Autograph Letter Signed. Einstein Counsels His Son ... Meaning of Life.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Normal Rockwell. Painting/Drawing Signed. Rockwell's "Barbeshop Quartet", 1936.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Frederick Douglass. Autograph Letter Signed to unknown correspondent. Washington, D.C.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Harry Truman. Autograph Manuscript Notebook for Kansas City Law School Night Class.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Robert E. Lee. Autograph Letter Signed, June 11, 1782. Hours after the Battle of Culpeper Court House, Lee Escapes Again.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> George Washington. Letter Signed, as Commander-in-Chief, Continental Army, to Elias Dayton, Headquarters, [Newburgh, N.Y.], June 11, 1782.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec,<br><i>The Chap Book</i>, 1896.<br>$20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec,<br><i>Troupe de Mlle Églantine</i>, 1896.<br>$20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Philippe Henri Noyer, <br><i>Limonade Brault</i>, 1938. <br>$4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b> <br><i>The Great Men of the World</i>,<br>designer unknown, circa 1945-46. <br>$7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>James Montgomery Flagg,<br><i>Wake Up, America!</i>, 1917.<br>$4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Alfred F. Burke, <i>Share / Jewish <br>Relief Campaign</i>, circa 1915.<br>$3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Ludwig Hohlwein, <i>Marke Pkz / <br>Burger - Kehl & Co.</i>, circa 1911. <br>$8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b> <br>Gian Emilio Malerba,<i> E.A. Mele / Modo e Novita per Signora</i>, circa 1900. $7,000 to $10,000.

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions