Autographed Letters and Photographs from David Schulson Autographs
By Michael Stillman
David Schulson Autographs has issued their Catalog 143, a collection of 50 autographed documents, mainly letters and photographs. They come from American and European leaders in politics, war, music, art, literature, film, and science. These are people you know well, even if most died before you were born! Here are some of these signatures.
Winston Churchill is surely England's most notable leader of the last century, perhaps of any. He led his nation to victory in a war that seemed hopeless at the outset. He persevered, and taught his countrymen to persevere, until help finally arrived. However, all political careers have beginnings, usually small. In 1901, Churchill was serving his first term as a Member of Parliament, still 40 years away from greatness. On July 17 of that year, he wrote a friend that he heard the Chairmanship of the London Municipal Society had just opened up, and as a friend/politician, Churchill provided a heads-up to his correspondent. Churchill invites his friend to visit and points to various connections that might help him out. Item 6. Priced at $5,500.
Here is a letter from another great war leader, though this one was the instigator, not a defender. On August 22, 1810, Napoleon wrote his Secretary of War with plans for the Peninsular Campaign against Spain and Portugal. The French Emperor writes of creating a new regiment, and instructs his Secretary, "...you will gather a foot regiment in Turin put together in the following way: 120 men from the 13th regiment of riflemen, 40 men from the 14th, 150 men from the 19th, 130 men from the 23. A total of 440 men, whom you will march from Turin to Perpignan, where they will be incorporated into the new regiment (the 29th regiment of light cavalry). In Milan, gather together another squadron of foot troops made up of 100 men from the 8th regiment of riflemen, 100 men from the 25th, and 100 men from the 6th." Add another 300 from Perpignan, and Napoleon calculated he would have 1,040 men in the new 29th. Talk about micromanaging. Isn't this what you hire generals for? Item 32. $4,500.
Item 10 is an angry postcard from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of the famed detective Sherlock Holmes. Doyle became a dedicated spiritualist later in life, absolutely convinced there was a world of departed spirits and that the right medium could contact them. Even questioning this certainty upset Doyle, who whipped off this postcard to H.S. Hodges, a writer for the Western Chronicle. Evidently Hodges must have challenged Doyle's beliefs, as the mystery writer pens that the "article seems to be the usual ignorant abuse. What is the gentleman's opinion worth compared to... (Doyle cites four "experts" who shared his views)." Hodges evidently further infuriated Doyle by referring to the spirits as "spooks," as Doyle adds, "The mere use of the word 'spooks' for the spirits of our beloved dead is offensive and odious..." $975.
Item 22 is a first day cover honoring the 25th anniversary of Admiral Robert Peary's expedition that is usually cited as the first to reach the North Pole. It is signed by Matthew Henson. The final assault on the Pole was accomplished by Peary, a couple of Eskimos, and Matthew Henson. Though Henson was one of the two Americans to first reach the North Pole, he got little credit back home. The year was 1909 and Matthew Henson was black. Some 35 years after the event, Congress finally awarded Henson the same medal given Peary, and he lived long enough to receive additional honors from Presidents Truman and Eisenhower. $600.
Item 31 is a letter from the pioneering French Impressionist painter Claude Monet. Written on March 21, 1883, Monet thanks Gustave Geffroy for a kind article he wrote about the artist's show. $7,500.
David Schulson Autographs may be reached at 973-379-3800 or email@example.com. Their website is www.schulsonautographs.com.
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