Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2008 Issue

Autographs and Signed Documents from David Schulson

Schulson136

136 from David Schulson Autographs.



By Michael Stillman

The latest collection from David Schulson Autographs has arrived, simply titled 136. It contains signatures of notable figures from all walks of life - politics, music, art, architecture, science, literature, film, aviation, military and law. Some are simple signatures, others signed photographs, and many are letters and other documents written by their notable signers. There are both American and European autographs offered, and they range from the 18th through the 20th centuries. Here are a few from this latest collection.

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known to most as Lewis Carroll of "Alice in Wonderland" fame, always had his distinctive sense of humor. On May 1, 1888, Dodgson replied to a party invitation by noting, "...I can but return to my now-stereotyped answer that I gave up going out to parties some years ago - Life is getting too short, & too busy, to spend one's time so; & besides, I have talked all my small talk - haven't any more left." The letter is signed "C.L. Dodgson." Item 32. Priced at $4,500.

Many of Ernest Hemingway's letters similarly reflect his personality, over-the-top macho, filled with references to partying and drinking. However, Hemingway could be all business too. Item 46 is a most fascinating letter as it was written to Barbara Cohen (Holdridge) from Cuba on July 20, 1952. The 22-year-old Cohen and a fellow recent college graduate were just forming Caedmon Records, which would grow to be the major recorder of the spoken word (the label is now owned by Harper Collins). The young entrepreneurs had just signed their first act, convincing Dylan Thomas to read his poetry before their microphones. Hemingway responds to Cohen with a series of business questions that imply he expected Caedmon to be something more than a start-up. "What books has the Caedmon publishers published? Who are the officers and directors of the firm? What references will you give me? With your present distribution how many recordings can you expect to sell at $4.95?" Cohen had proposed Thomas' deal, a $500 advance and 10% royalties. Hemingway responds that his terms are a $5,000 advance and 16% royalties. Hemingway concludes, "You are dealing with the disposal of a part of my life's work. I hope you did not think I would be so stupid as to give it to you to play with or batten on." He then adds a postscript, "Do you have any idea of the value of the property you are negotiating for?" Certainly, Hemingway did not suffer from a shrunken ego, but for all his bluster, he did sign on and record for Caedmon (we don't know the terms). $7,750.

Thomas DeQuincey was a British writer who veered into the world of drugs in an earlier time. He is best remembered for writing about it in 1822 in Confessions of an English Opium-Eater. One Sunday morning, he wrote to a Miss Craig, "From the confusion of my room, and the malarrangements I have hitherto made for the purpose of applying some remedy to this confusion, I find this morning that, partly from absence in Edinb. yesterday, have fallen into arrears of 4 pages, all of which however shall this day go off to Tipperary; and henceforward, by means of a new and angelic method which commence this day, no such accumulation shall take place." In other words, he is cleaning up his act and will get his pages out in a timely manner in the future. One can only wonder what he was smoking when he wrote that explanation. Item 30. $1,650.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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.
  • <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>

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