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>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> BEETHOVEN, LUDWIG VAN. Autograph Manuscript sketch-leaf part of the score of the Scottish Songs, "Sunset" Op. 108 no 2. [Vienna, February 1818]. Inscribed by Alexander Wheelock Thayer. SOLD for $131,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. SOLD for $516,500
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> EINSTEIN, ALBERT. Autograph Letter Signed ("Papa") to his son Hans Albert, discussing his involvement with the atomic bomb, September 2, 1945. SOLD for $106,250
    <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> HAMILTON, ALEXANDER. Autograph Letter Signed, to Baron von Steuben, with extensive notes of Von Steuben's aide Benjamin Walker, June 12, 1780. SOLD for $16,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. SOLD for $275,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. SOLD for $118,750
  • <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> E.H. SHEPARD, Original drawing for A.A. Milne’s The House at Pooh Corner.<br>$40,000-60,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> BERNARD RATZER, Plan of the City of New York in North America, surveyed in the years 1766 & 1767. $80,000-100,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> THOMAS JEFFERSON, Autograph letter signed comparing Logan, Tecumseh, and Little Turtle to the Spartans. Monticello: 15 February 1821. $14,000-18,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN C. FREMONT, Narrative of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, in the Year 1842.. Abridged edition, the only one containing the folding map From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $3,000-5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ZANE GREY, Album containing 94 large format photographs of Grey and party at Catalina Island, Arizona, and fishing in the Pacific. From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $5,000-$8,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> WILLIAM COMBE, A History of Madeira ... illustrative of the Costumes, Manners, and Occupations of the Inhabitants. produced by Ackermann in 1821; From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ERIC TAVERNER, Salmon Fishing... One of 275 copies signed by Taverner, published in 1931,From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN WHITEHEAD, Exploration of Mount Kina Balu, North Borneo. Whitehead reached the high point of Kinabalu in 1888. Part of a major group of travel books from the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN LONG, Voyages and Travels of an Indian Interpreter and Trader, describing the Manners and Customs of the North American Indians... The first edition of 1791. $3,000-$5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> SAMUEL BECKETT, Stirrings Still. This, Beckett’s last work of fiction with original lithographs by Le Brocquy, limited to 200 copies signed by the author and the artist. From the Estate of Howard Kaminsky.. $1,500-$2,500
  • <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 Apr 26:</b> Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann, wallpaper sample book, circa 1919. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Archive from a late office of the Breuer & Smith architectural team, New York, 1960-70s. $3,500 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> William Morris, <i>The Story of the Glittering Plain or the Land of Living Men,</i> illustrated by Walter Crane, Kelmscott Press, Hammersmith, 1894. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustave Doré, <i>La Sainte Bible selon la Vulgate,</i> Tours, 1866. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustav Klimt & Max Eisler, <i>Eine Nachlese,</i> complete set, Vienna, 1931. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>Eric Allatini & Gerda Wegener, <i>Sur Talons Rouges,</i> with original watercolor by Wegener, Paris, 1929. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>C.P. Cavafy, <i>Fourteen Poems,</i> illustrated & signed by David Hockney, London, 1966. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jean Midolle, <i>Spécimen des Écritures Modernes...</i>, Strasbourg, 1834-35. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>E.A. Seguy, <i>Floréal: Dessins & Coloris Nouveaux,</i> Paris, 1925. $3,000 to $4,000.

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