Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - December - 2010 Issue

Signed Items from David Schulson Autographs

Signed items from David Schulson Autographs.


By Michael Stillman

David Schulson Autographs recently released their Catalog 146. It contains a variety of inscribed and signed documents, along with more detailed material, such as letters and even a few signed drawings. The signers are all familiar names, people of significance in their chosen fields. They may come from science, literature, art, film, music, politics, or other fields. The common thread is their importance. Here are a few of the items we found in this latest catalogue.

Item 24 is a letter from playwright George Bernard Shaw to Erica Cotterill in 1908. Cotterill was a young lady, half the age of the 50-year-old Shaw, who became overly infatuated with the notable man. Shaw's thoughts about her are less clear. They could perhaps be described as some combination of condescension and irritation, accompanied by the pleasure of having your ego stroked and carrying on an illicit relationship that requires no intimacy, it being limited to the intimacy experienced in sending letters. The relationship went on longer than Shaw cared for, not as long as Ms. Cotterill would have liked. Cotterill was also a playwright, though generally considered a bad one, little remembered but for her relationship of sorts with Shaw. It is unclear to what this particular letter pertains, as Shaw is brief and terse in an evident reply to Ms. Cotterill. Writes Shaw, "Yes, yes; but oh! So unimportant. Dreadfully dull." Shaw undoubtedly felt this way about Ms. Cotterill, but the letter is probably about a subject, not her personally. Perhaps it relates to her play, or some aspect of it, as 1908 was the year she published her most notable play, if that can be said of any of her works, A Professional Socialist. Priced at $500.

Edward Everett Horton appeared in every film released from the 1920s-1940s, or at least it must have seemed that way. He didn't get the leading role, but he was a very popular character actor, often being the lead's best friend, or some bumbling clerk type of personality. He would later be a regular on television, or doing voice-overs on cartoons, right up until he died in 1970. Along the way, Horton purchased some real estate with his earnings, and one of his tenants was writer F. Scott Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald came to Hollywood in the late 1930s to be a screenwriter (he needed the money). Item 9 is a typed, signed letter, dated October 27, 1939, addressed to Mrs. Horton: "May I add my congratulations to the many you will receive today." Edward Everett Horton never married, but he lived with his mother, who was just celebrating her 80th birthday, which seems the logical explanation for this letter. $3,500.

Item 15 is a 1950 letter from filmmaker Fritz Lang to an unknown respondent. Evidently, the respondent was writing an article, and Lang sent him/her some photos from his most famous movie, 1926's Metropolis. It was a terrifying view of a city 100 years in the future (we're getting close now) where the elite lived high in the skyscrapers, while everyone else toiled mercilessly below. It was written by his then wife, Thea von Harbou. When the Nazis came to power, von Harbou warmly supported them, while Lang divorced and got out, emigrating to America. $3,000.

Rare Book Monthly

  • Freeman’s | Hindman, June 25: [Keats, John] Spenser, Edmund: The Works of that Famous English Poet, Mr. Edmond Spenser. $50,000 - $80,000.
    Freeman’s | Hindman, June 25: (Walton, Izaak): The Compleat Angler or the Contemplative man's Recreation. Being a Discourse of Fish and Fishing. $30,000 - $50,000.
    Freeman’s | Hindman, June 25: Thomas, Gabriel: An Historical and Geographical Account of the Province and Country of Pensilvania; and of West-New-Jersey in America. $25,000 - $35,000.
    Freeman’s | Hindman, June 25: [Carroll, Lewis]: The Game of Alice in Wonderland. $2,000 - $3,000.
    Freeman’s | Hindman, June 25: Athias, Joseph, et al.: Biblia Hebraica. $7,000 - $10,000.
    Freeman’s | Hindman, June 25: [Warhol, Andy, and Jens Quistgaard] Dansk Designs Salesman's Presentation Catalogue. $2,500 - $3,500.
  • Sotheby’s, June 26: Poe, Edgar Allan. Tamerlane — the most poignant rarity in American literature. 400,000 - 600,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, June 26: The Declaration of Independence. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal..." 2,500,000 - 5,000,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, June 26: William Blake. “Poems with very wild and interesting pictures” 1,200,000 - 1,800,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, June 26: Thomas Taylor [artist]. The original cover art for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. 400,000 - 600,000 USD
  • Bonhams, June 15-25: 18th Century American Sea Captain's Journals of Voyages to Hawaii, China, and South America. $35,000 - $45,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Admiral Richard E. Byrd's Autograph Diary from Bolling Advance Base, Winter 1934. $40,000 - $60,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Thoreau, Henry David. Walden; Or, Life in the Woods. Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1854. $4,000 - $6,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Cellarius, Andreas. Harmonia macrocosmica seu atlas universalis et novus, totius universi creati cosmographiam generalem, et novam exhibens. $20,000 - $30,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Nobelist George Stigler's Copy of Ricardo's Classic on the Science of Economics. $20,000 - $30,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Histoire charmante de l'adolescente sucre d'amour. Paris: F. L. Schmied, 1927. $15,000 - $20,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Fine Copy of Walras's Classic on the Theory of Marginal Utility. $12,000 - $18,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Arion Press Moby Dick. Melville, Herman. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Venegas, Miguel. Noticia de la California, y desu conquista temporal, y espiritual hasta el tiempo presente. $7,000 - $9,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Carelton Watkins, Yosemite and the West. Portfolio of 21 imperial albumen prints. $6,000 - $9,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: An Unpublished Archive of Thornton Wilder Correspondence to F.J. O'Neil. $6,000 - $9,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Vesalius, Andreas. 1514-1564. Suorum de humani corporis fabrica librorum epitome. $100,000 - $150,000
  • Bonhams, June 25: Vesalius, Andreas. 1514-1564. De humani corporis fabrica libri septem. $200,000 - $300,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Gersdorff, Hans Von. 1455-1529. Feldtbuch der wundartzney. $40,000 - $60,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Pare, Ambroise. C.1509-1590. La Methode Curative des Playes, et Fractures de la Teste humaine. Avec les pourtraits des Instruments necessaires pour la curation d'icelles. $25,000 - $30,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Reisch, Gregor. 1470-1525. Margarita Philosophica. $20,000 - $30,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Bright, Richard. 1789-1858. Reports of Medical Cases, Selected with a View of Illustrating the Symptoms and Cure of Diseases by a Reference to Morbid Anatomy. $12,000 - $18,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Berengario da Carpi, Giacomo. C. 1460-1530. Tractatus de fractura calve sive cranei. $10,000 - $15,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Vicq D'Azyr, Felix. 1748-1794. Traite d'antomie et de physiologie. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Croce, Giovanni Andrea Della. 1509?-1775. Chirurgia libri septem... $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Bruno Da Longburgo. 1200-1286. La cyrogia di Maistro Bruno: Expertissimo in quella. Tradutta in vulgare. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Schwann, Theodor. 1810-1882. Mikroskopische Untersuchungen uber die Ubereinstimmung in der Struktur und dem Wachsthum der Thiere und Pflanzen. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Cowper, William. 1666-1709. The Anatomy of Humane Bodies, with Figures Drawn after the Life… $6,000 - $9,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Bidloo, Govard. 1649-1713. Anatomia humani corporis, centum & quinque tabulis, per artificiossis. G. de Lairesse ad vivum delineatis. $6,000 - $9,000

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