Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - August - 2006 Issue

Signed Documents from Stuart Lutz

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Stuart Lutz latest catalogue, with photos of Amelia Earhart and Orville Wright on the cover.


By Michael Stillman

Stuart Lutz Historic Documents
has issued a new catalogue of over 200 manuscripts and other signed documents and photographs. The catalogue does not appear to have a title, and perhaps that is because it covers more ground than can readily be described in a few words. These are primarily American, as in United States, items, though there is an occasional Canadian, English (often American Revolution related), French, and even Chinese, Peruvian, Sri Lankan articles. Dates range from an early 17th century Peruvian manuscript to late 20th century signed pieces by people still with us (and still signing) today. While everything in this catalogue will be of interest to some autograph collector, there are many that pertain to specific events which will be of interest to other collectors. Certainly some are of less than consequential matters, such as Warren Harding trying to collect his speaking fees, William McKinley appointing a postmaster, or Louis Armstrong's order for lip salve (okay, this one is important -- he couldn't have played without it). However, William Tecumseh Sherman's comments on the handling of President Garfield's assassin is fascinating, and the signed photograph of Martin Luther King with his associates at St. Paul's in London is notable as it was taken while he was on his way to Oslo to pick up the Nobel Peace Prize. Let's take a look at a few the items here offered.

The aforementioned General Sherman expressed his strong beliefs in the process of fair trial after the assassination of President Garfield, although he seems to have already made up his mind without waiting for an unbiased verdict. Writing to Mrs. C. Augusta Hooper, he states, "Because Guiteau committed the greatest crime of modern times and deserves to be tortured, torn limb to limb yet the soldier's duty is to protect him till trial, convicted and executed in the manner prescribed by law." He notes that "Guiteau will be punished with death by hanging after a full & fair trial." Don't you have to have that "full and fair trial" first before you decide what, if any, punishment is appropriate? The circumstance of this letter was an apparent attempt on assassin Guiteau's life by a soldier named Mason assigned to guard him. Sherman says he will not be involved in any charges against Mason because he considers the soldier's action, though wrong, something to be handled by his subordinates. In other words, he bows out of the case by saying he does not want to imply that an attempt on the assassin's life is worthy of much concern. Having said that the assassin deserves be torn from limb to limb, but will be tried instead, Sherman says, "This may seem too merciful -- nonetheless it is the fact and this distinguishes civilization from Barbarism." Then, in an addition that might make Sherman as popular with women today as he was with Georgians in 1865, the old soldier tells Mrs. Hooper, "We know of course that women act from feeling and not Reason -- but the experience of centuries is that Reason is the better friend." Item 171. Priced at $1,250.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Exodus 10:10 to 16:15. Complete Biblical scroll sheet in Hebrew, a Torah scroll panel. Middle East, ca. 10th or 11th century.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Copernicus Refuted. (Astronomy.). Scientific manuscript of a course of studies at Collège de la Trinité, Lyon. 1660s.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Israel’s War of Independence and the Early Days of the IDF. 58 photographs presented to Israel Ber, IDF officer and later convicted spy.
    <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Early Unpublished Darwin letter on the races of man. Autograph Letter Signed [to Henry Denny]. Down, Kent, June 1, [1844].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Classic Image of American Slavery. Kimball, M. H. <i>Emancipated Slaves</i>. New York: George Hanks, 1863.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> (Underground Railroad.) Scaggs, Isaac. Important Runaway Slave Poster: $500 Reward Ran away, or decoyed from the subscriber…
  • <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Newton. <i>Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica</i>. London, 1687.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Josephus. <i>De antiquitate Judaica.</i> Lubeck, 1475-76.
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    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Fridolin. <i>Der Schatzbehalter</i>. Nuremberg, 1491.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Pinder. <i>Der beschlossen gart des rosenkrantz marie</i>. Nuremberg, 1505.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Isidorus Hispalensis. <i>Synonyma de Homine</i>. Nuremberg, 1470-71.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Durer. Sammelband including <i>Underweysung der messing</i>. Nuremberg, 1525-29.
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  • <b>Announcing a new Books for Sale platform hosted by Biblio</b>
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