Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - February - 2007 Issue

European and American Autographs from David Schulson

Schulson2

David Schuslon Autographs' January Sale catalogue.


By Michael Stillman

This review may be a day late for a January Sale Catalog, but for those who collect autographs, and aren't too proud to beg for an extension, it is worth a look. The catalogue comes from David Schulson Autographs, Ltd., and the signers come from a variety of fields – arts, music, literature, poetry, science, politics and more. While Schulson describes the business as "autographs," few are just autographs and nothing more. The great majority are complete documents, primarily letters, but also contracts and signed photographs. And, though Schulson Autographs is located in New York, more of this group comes from the pens of Europeans than Americans. Here are a few samples from this latest collection.

Here is a humorous letter, though a shocking one would have been more appropriate for this writer. The letter comes from French physicist Andre Ampere. Ampere engaged in pioneering work on electromagnetism and electrical currents. The measure of electric current, the ampere, more commonly known as the "amp," is named for him. The letter relays an invitation to M. Lemoir, deputy office manager at the Ministry of Interior, from Pierre Ballanche, a philosopher. "His majesty Balanche," writes Ampere (in French), "orders you there or face death..." Had these words been written during the French Revolution, they probably would have scared poor Lemoir out of his skin, but by 1828, a sense of humor had returned to France. Item 1. Priced at $1,325.

Item 90 is a most striking letter from famed playwright George Bernard Shaw. Written in 1908, the 50-something year-old Shaw rebukes the flirtatious, Shaw-obsessed Erica Cotterill, several decades his junior. She practically stalked Shaw, but for whatever reason, he was friendly and communicative (perhaps encouraging) with her, while apparently managing to withstand her advances. Writes Shaw, "Now that I have taught you some respect for business and the law, let me assure you that marriage is more sacred then either, and that unless you are prepared to treat my wife with absolute loyalty, you will be hurled into outer darkness for ever. The privilege of pawing me, such as it is, is hers exclusively." Shaw continues, "You are a luxurious young devil, with the ethics, and something of the figure, of an anteater; and I have no doubt you can coax your mother & your Rupert [Brooke] by crawling all over them; but if you dare to try those tactics with me in my wife's house you will be very startlingly awakened to the iron laws of domestic honor. Also, it is not sensible nor decent to write about such demonstrations except to men of your own time of life..." He concludes, "Remember that your best behavior will not be too good for me, as you hardly yet know how to behave yourself at all, being the very worst brought-up young woman I have ever met in the course of my half century of 'taking notice.'" Shaw has been noted for having unusual relationships with women, and this letter certainly fits that image. $2,760.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Carlerius. <i>Sporta fragmentorum, Sportula fragmentorum</i>. Brussels, 1478-79.
    <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.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
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    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28: Printed & Manuscript Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 5: African-American Fine Art</b>
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    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 2:<br>Old Master Through Modern Prints</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 7: Autographs</b>
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  • <b>Announcing a new Books for Sale platform hosted by Biblio</b>
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  • <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…

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