Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - November - 2009 Issue

Autographs from Famed Leaders, Artists, Musicians, Writers and More from David Schulson Autographs

Schulson142

All types of autographs and signed documents may be found in David Schulson's latest catalogue.


By Michael Stillman

David Schulson Autographs has issued Catalog 142 of exceptional autographs and signed documents. All types of notable people are represented here - political leaders, musicians, artists, writers, scientists, jurists, poets, even tyrants. Some signatures come on common documents, but others reveal great insights into the personality of the writer. Here are some of Schulson's latest autographs.

Item 12 is a most interesting document from the French Revolution. It is an order restoring to full "advantages" one Pierre Marie Maurice, formerly of the National Guard, dated September 7, 1792. Those advantages, it says, were "arbitrarily dismissed" in 1790 by Lafayette. The document includes an image celebrating the storming of the palace on August 10 of 1792, but also celebrates the constitutional monarch, Louis XVI. It is signed by Danton. The revolution was in full force after the storming of the palace. King Louis XVI was still recognized as a constitutional monarch, though that would end in a few more days. Five days earlier, Danton had stirred his followers into mob rampage including the massacre of opponents and various others they did not like. After four days of this, Danton signed this document restoring a man who was evidently an ally or someone with whom he sympathized. Danton would go on to support the complete removal of the King two weeks later and his execution in another four months. Meanwhile, Lafayette would be forced to flee France, where he was captured by enemy Austrian troops along the border and held prisoner for the next five years. He may have survived only because he was beloved by the United States. Danton himself would be a leader and rabble-rouser in the new government, but as the Reign of Terror became more terrible, he too would be struck down and marched off to the Guillotine in 1794. Priced at $4,500.

Item 24 is a letter from the aforementioned Lafayette to an unknown recipient, evidently a friend who was seeking some type of appointment. Lafayette explains he has already spoken to some people and will be making further efforts on the individual's behalf. The letter was written on August 4, 1823, the violent revolution long over and Lafayette safely back home and now serving in the Chamber of Deputies. The following year, Lafayette would embark on his final grand tour of America, his first visit since the days of the American Revolution, and then return to his role in the Chamber for the remainder of his life, always fighting for the rights of his people as he had done for the Americans. $2,250.

Item 43 is a brief note from a tyrannical leader on the cusp of his worst behavior. The year was 1933 when the Soviet Union put six engineers from Britain's Metro-Vickers on trial for spying and for attempting to sabotage a hydroelectric plant. It naturally caused quite a stir in England where many were still quite sympathetic to the Soviets and wanted to believe it was the workers' paradise Stalin would have them believe. Among those representing the British press at the trial was none other than a young reporter named Ian Fleming, and Arthur John Cummings of the News Chronicle. Cummings attempted to get an interview with Stalin while he was there, but Stalin was not into giving interviews other than in prearranged deals with unusually sympathetic reporters. So Stalin writes back that his "heavy burden" of work makes it impossible to grant Cummings' request, and then signs the note in red ink. This trial would be followed up two years later with the beginning of the more noted show trials where Stalin put just about all of the old guard from the revolution that he imagined might ever be a threat to him up for trial and execution. $1,450.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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>
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Caius Julius Hyginus, <i>Poeticon Astronomicon,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1482. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Giovanni Botero, <i>Le Relationi Universali... divise in Sette Parti</i>, Venice, 1618. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> <i>L'Escole des Filles</i>, likely third edition of the first work of pornographic fiction in French, 1676. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Illuminated Book of Hours in Latin on vellum, Flanders, early 16th century. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes Regiomontanus, <i>Calendarium,</i> Venice, 1485. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Pedro de Medina, <i>Libro d[e] gra[n]dezas y cosas memorables de España,</i> Alcalá de Henares, 1566. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b><br>Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> Salamanca, circa 1496-97. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Andrés Serrano, <i>Los Siete Principes de los Ángeles, válidos de Rey del Cielo,</i> Spain, 1707. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes de Sacrobosco, <i>Sphaera mundi,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1478. $15,000 to $20,000.
  • <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> A Rare 3-rotor German Enigma I Enciphering Machine. $70,000 to $90,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Important collection of correspondence between Werner Heisenberg and Bruno Rossi. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Walt Whitman Autograph manuscript containing his thoughts on death. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> David Roberts. <i>Holy Land</i>. Six volumes. 1842-1849. First edition. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Extensive collection of Ray Bradbury's primary works, most signed or inscribed. $15,000 to $20,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Peter Force. Declaration of Independence. $12,000 to $18,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Steinbeck. <i>Grapes of Wrath</i>. A fine copy of the first edition. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Lewis & Clark. <i>Travels to the Source of the Missouri River</i>... First English edition, extra-illustrated. 1814. $10,000 to 15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Manuscript document signed by Nuno de Guzman relating to Hernan Cortes, 1528. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> “Nos los inquisidores..." The first book in English printed West of the Mississippi. [1787]. $5,000 to $8,000.

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