Many Autographed Documents from David Schulson
By Michael Stillman
We recently received Catalogue 135 from David Schulson Autographs. Offered are autographs from a diverse group of well-known personalities - artists, musicians, actors, political leaders, scientists, physicians, humanitarians, and others. Some are just signatures with perhaps a short inscription, often on a photograph. Others are longer documents or letters which provide some insight to the thoughts of the noted person. There is a good mix of Europeans and Americans represented, along with a few Asians. Here are a few of the signed items available in this latest catalogue from David Schulson.
Item 9 is a sheet of paper with four signatures from Nobel Prize winning Danish physicist Niels Bohr. Bohr was one of the major contributors to the theory of the structure of the atom and quantum mechanics. But, why would someone sign his name four times on a sheet of paper, one on top of the next? The answer is simple. Bohr was testing out a new fountain pen. Priced at $1,800.
From four signatures we go to three drawings. On a page from a screenplay, famed actor Marlon Brando has drawn three faces. While the drawings are not signed, they come with a letter of authenticity from Brando's assistant and one-time girlfriend Pat Quinn. Item 11. $1,500.
Item 41 is another drawing from a giant of film, and in this case, a very familiar image. It is the famed profile self-portrait of Alfred Hitchcock. Anyone who has ever seen a rerun of his classic 1960s television series will instantly recognize the Hitchcock profile. This drawing is signed by the master. $1,375.
"The Sargasso Sea is one of the unexplored mysteries of the world. Though discovered as soon as North America no one has ever yet explained its unfathomable depths for the weed is so thick that niether [sic] stream nor sail can find its way to the center..." Indeed, the Sargasso Sea is a large dead area in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by swift moving currents, but calm and inhospitable to most life, save for the thick seaweed floating on the surface. The quoted text comes from a school essay by a 13-year-old boy in 1899, and you might think with such interests he would grow up to be a famous naval commander. Wrong. The young writer was none other than George S. Patton, Old Blood and Guts himself, brilliant and independent-minded U.S. Army General from World War II. The essay is boldly signed by Patton (would he do it any other way) and contains several corrections made in ink by his teacher. I'm not sure Patton appreciated being corrected. Item 69. $3,850.