Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2014 Issue

Signed Material from Schulson Autographs

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Autographed documents.

Schulson Autographs has issued their Catalog 159 Spring 2014. This is, naturally enough, a collection of autographed material. However, they are not simply autographs, but primarily documents that tell a story. Many are personal letters, others contracts, some manuscript writings, a few inscribed photographs. The personalities are leaders in their field, and you will know most of the names. This is a great way to get up close and personal with some noted people from the past. Here are a few.

 

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, is probably the most notable writer of detective fiction. In real life, he investigated a much deeper sort of mystery – spiritualism. Doyle deeply believed it was possible to contact spirits from the other world. His belief was undoubtedly spurred on by personal tragedies in his life, the death of his first wife, son, brother, and other family members. Spiritualism gave him hope. At least some of the spiritual contacts in which he believed were later proved to be faked. Doyle believed that Harry Houdini could perform miracles, despite Houdini protesting that all he did was tricks. It led to a split between the two. Around 1928, he was given a book to review, Communications with the Next World, by W. T. Stead. It was a posthumous work, Stead having died many years before (he went down with the Titanic in 1912), but Stead was a fellow spiritualist, and he and Doyle had been good friends. Not surprisingly, Doyle gave the book a good review, but as this accompanying letter to the Editor of the New York Times Book Review shows, he was quite annoyed by the task. Writes Doyle, “This has taken a whole day of my time when a day could very ill be spared. Here it is – the best I could do.” Priced at $17,000.

 

Here is another notable detective/mystery writer whose comments make Doyle’s annoyance seem tame. At least in private, Raymond Chandler was a bit acerbic in his opinions, as written in this 1956 letter to fellow mystery writer William Gault. Speaking of another detective writer, Chandler says, “As for Mickey Spillane, I have no opinion on any point because I never got beyond page 4 in any book of his I tried to read.” He continues, “The same, I might say, goes for Agatha Christie and several others of the Sacred Sisterhood of Ladylike English mystery writers.” Neither Mike Hammer nor Hercule Poirot would be amused. Chandler laments, “One of my girlfriends just got herself married to a lunkhead whom I found quite repulsive, and I’m afraid the poor girl has made a mistake.” Indeed, marrying a repulsive lunkhead generally is a mistake. He is also unhappy that his secretary has “abandoned” him for school teaching, then recalls a favored secretary from when he lived in London. “She had more brains in one finger than most girls in that line have in both legs…” We’ll leave it to the reader to decipher that one. $4,750.

 

This next letter ties two of the greatest French impressionist painters of the turn of the last century, though the unifying event was very sad. Claude Monet’s stepdaughter had died two days prior to the writing of this letter on February 8, 1899. Monet’s longtime friend, Pierre Auguste Renoir, expresses his condolences, writing, “I am truly sad that I may not come to console you myself. I can only pray that this sorrow will be the last one…” $8,300.

 

Why would the inimitable Dr. Seuss’ manuscript and original artwork for The Lorax be in the LBJ library? This letter, signed “Ted” (Theodor Geisel), explains this oddity. Seuss/Geisel writes to explain his “mystifying presence” at a party held by Lyndon Johnson in 1970 or 1971 by noting that the original artwork is in Johnson’s presidential library “at his request.” It seems that Lady Bird Johnson, who was devoted to cleaning up the environment, noted the environmental message in The Lorax and asked Seuss if he would contribute it to the library. Seuss called LBJ who said yes, he would like the material at his library. $2,800.

 

Next is a printed document signed by the first man in space, Soviet Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. Gagarin was shot into space on April 12, 1961, orbiting the Earth and returning 108 minutes later. It followed the Soviets’ other first in space four years earlier – the first unmanned vehicle to orbit the Earth. This second pioneering mission by America’s archrival was too much of an embarrassment for President Kennedy, who a few weeks later authorized the program to send a man to the moon by the end of the decade. This document, celebrating May Day 1967 in the Soviet Union, is also signed by several other Soviet Cosmonauts who followed Gagarin. $650.

 

Schulson Autographs may be reached at 973-379-3800 or info@schulsonautographs.com.  Their website is www.schulsonautographs.com

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Caius Julius Hyginus, <i>Poeticon Astronomicon,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1482. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Giovanni Botero, <i>Le Relationi Universali... divise in Sette Parti</i>, Venice, 1618. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> <i>L'Escole des Filles</i>, likely third edition of the first work of pornographic fiction in French, 1676. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Illuminated Book of Hours in Latin on vellum, Flanders, early 16th century. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes Regiomontanus, <i>Calendarium,</i> Venice, 1485. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Pedro de Medina, <i>Libro d[e] gra[n]dezas y cosas memorables de España,</i> Alcalá de Henares, 1566. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b><br>Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> Salamanca, circa 1496-97. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Andrés Serrano, <i>Los Siete Principes de los Ángeles, válidos de Rey del Cielo,</i> Spain, 1707. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes de Sacrobosco, <i>Sphaera mundi,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1478. $15,000 to $20,000.
  • <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> A Rare 3-rotor German Enigma I Enciphering Machine. $70,000 to $90,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Important collection of correspondence between Werner Heisenberg and Bruno Rossi. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Walt Whitman Autograph manuscript containing his thoughts on death. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> David Roberts. <i>Holy Land</i>. Six volumes. 1842-1849. First edition. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Extensive collection of Ray Bradbury's primary works, most signed or inscribed. $15,000 to $20,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Peter Force. Declaration of Independence. $12,000 to $18,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Steinbeck. <i>Grapes of Wrath</i>. A fine copy of the first edition. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Lewis & Clark. <i>Travels to the Source of the Missouri River</i>... First English edition, extra-illustrated. 1814. $10,000 to 15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Manuscript document signed by Nuno de Guzman relating to Hernan Cortes, 1528. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> “Nos los inquisidores..." The first book in English printed West of the Mississippi. [1787]. $5,000 to $8,000.

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