Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - January - 2006 Issue

Famed Manuscripts and Autographs from The Raab Collection

Raab51

Queen Elizabeth document on the cover of Raab Collection catalogue 51.


By Michael Stillman

The Raab Collection
has just issued its 51st catalogue of autographs, manuscripts and other signed material. Raab items are always from the first tier of collecting. The signers are virtually all household names, and many of the documents relate to some important historical event. Most of the people represented are Americans, but then again, some are as un-American as, say, Queen Elizabeth. Yes, she is in here, as is Peter The Great, Winston Churchill, and David Ben-Gurion. This catalogue is a marvelous piece of history itself, filled with historical vignettes written in the letters of those who were important participants. Here are few of the documents you will find.

In September of 1901, President William McKinley was assassinated while attending the Pan American Exhibition in Buffalo. His killer was a deranged anarchist, but his action would lead another man of similar mental state to have a dream. In it, McKinley, lying in state, would rise from his coffin, point to Theodore Roosevelt as his murderer, and tell John Schrank to avenge his death. Schrank did not follow the request, but in 1912, as Roosevelt sought to regain the presidency on the "Bull Moose' ticket, McKinley would tap Schrank on the shoulder and again instruct the latter to avenge his death. This time, Schrank attempted to comply. He would meet up with Roosevelt on campaign in Wisconsin in mid-October. On his way to a rally, Roosevelt rose on the floorboard of his car to acknowledge the crowd. From a few feet away, Schrank aimed his gun at Roosevelt and fired. The bullet struck the former President in the chest, but not until passing through a thick, wadded prepared speech and a metal glasses case in his pocket. The paper and metal slowed the bullet enough to prevent the wound from being fatal. Roosevelt, being the bull moose he was, refused medical attention, insisting on going ahead and delivering his speech, despite the bullet lodged inside of him. He raised the copy of his speech in front of the crowd and showed where the bullet had passed through. Roosevelt spoke for an hour and a half before briefly visiting a Milwaukee hospital and then traveling to Chicago, where he was hospitalized for over a week. T.R. was a great man, but was as crazy as Schrank that day for not seeking immediate medical attention. Item 27 is page 6 of that very speech Roosevelt waved above the crowd that day, in fine shape except for the bullet hole which pierces it. Priced at $30,000.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> first edition of the earliest extant manual on modern chess, Salamanca, circa 1496-97. Sold for $68,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Carte-de-visite album with 83 images of prominent African Americans & abolitionists, circa 1860s. Sold for $47,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Gustav Klimt, <i>Das Werk,</i> Vienna & Leipzig, 1918. Sold for $106,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Man Ray, <i>[London Transport] – Keeps London Going,</i> 1938. Sold for $149,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Thomas Jefferson, Letter Signed, to Major-General Nathanael Greene, promising reinforcements against Cornwallis, 1781. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Nicolas de Fer, <i>L’Amerique Divisee Selon Letendue de ses Principales Parties,</i> Paris, 1713. Sold for $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Russell H. Tandy, <i>The Secret in the Old Attic,</i> watercolor, pencil & ink, 1944. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ernest Hemingway, <i>Three Stories & Ten Poems,</i> first edition of the author's first book, Paris, 1923. Sold for $23,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Walker Evans, <i>River Rouge Plant,</i> silver print, 1947. Sold for $57,500.
  • <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Ernst, Max. <i>Mr. Knife and Miss Fork</i>. Paris, 1932. DELUXE EDITION. Sold for $15,625
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Cage, John. Autograph musical leaf from his Concert for Piano and Orchestra, NY, 1958. Sold for $18,750
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Cage, John. Autograph musical leaf from his Concert for Piano and Orchestra, NY, 1958. Sold for $18,750
    <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Einstein, Albert. Signed Passport Photo for his US citizenship application. Bermuda, 1935. Sold for $17,500
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Verard, Antoine. Illuminated printed Book of Hours. Paris, 1507. Sold for $7,500
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Wetterkurzschlussel. German Weather Report Codebook - for Enigma use. Berlin, 1942. Sold for $225,000
    <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Morelos y Pavon, Jose Maria. Autograph letter signed to El Virrey Venegas, February 5, 1812. Sold for $6,250
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Milne, A.A. Complete set of <i>Winnie-the-Pooh</i> books. 4 volumes. All first issue points. London, 1924-1928. Sold for $5,250
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> A 48-star American Flag, battle worn flown at Guadalcanal and Peleliu, 1942-1944. Sold for $35,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Locke, John. Autograph Letter Signed mourning the death of his friend, William Molyneaux, 2 pp, October 27, 1698. Sold for $20,000
  • <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>

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions