Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - April - 2011 Issue

Signed American Documents from Joe Rubinfine

Signed Americana from Joe Rubinfine.

Joe Rubinfine has issued a new collection of American Historical Documents - List 167. These autographs and signed documents mainly come from political and military leaders, though you will find an author (Twain) and a poet (Whitman) in here. There are also a few early books on autograph collecting. Items range from the era of the Revolutionary War to the beginning of the 21st century. Most are quite old. Most are American as in the United State of, but a few are Mexican in their origin. This is one of those catalogues that will appeal to everyone with a fascination for American history. Here are a few samples.

 

Among the most collectible of American signed presidential documents is anything by President William Henry Harrison. It is not that he was a great president. He wasn't. He was noted for dying only 30 days after he took office. He wasn't around long enough to sign many documents as President, so they are extremely rare. Here is something that might be even rarer. Item 59 is a letter signed by John Tyler as Vice-President. Tyler was Harrison's Vice-President, meaning he, too, served only 30 days in that office before being elevated to the presidency. However, Tyler returned home to Virginia after the inauguration. Vice-presidents had few responsibilities in those days. It is unlikely he signed many documents during the period of his vice-presidency. This letter is a recommendation for one R.N. Crittenden, "a member of a highly respectable family in the state of Virginia…amiable in his deportment, and attentive to his business." The recipient of this recommendation is unknown. The letter is dated March 10, 1841. Priced at $3,750.

 

Were you ever reluctant to contribute to a worthy cause because you knew doing so would result in a flood of solicitations for other causes? This is nothing new. On March 17, 1941, Frances Folsom Cleveland Preston sent $5 to John D'Arcy of the International Children's Relief Association. However, she requests, "I ask you not to use my name… I find that each yielding to such a tempting request but brings me more necessary refusals to help worthy causes." President Cleveland's widow adds, "I am doing what I can for needy Britain in other ways…" The letter does show the former First Lady's sympathies in the days before America entered the war, when President Franklin Roosevelt wanted to aid Britain but many Americans were sympathetic to Germany. Frances Folsom married the President while he was in the White House, the only time a president has been married in office, back in 1886. President Cleveland died in 1908, but the much younger Mrs. Cleveland, who later remarried, lived until 1947. Item 15. $450.

 

Speaking of President Cleveland, his rise to the top of the political ladder was unexpected and meteoric. In the 1870s, his only public office was a brief term as a county sheriff. Otherwise, he practiced law. There was much in the way of political machines and corruption in New York State at the time, so in 1881, he decided to run for Mayor of Buffalo. Cleveland became popular, not so much for his great leadership skills, but because he was an honest man in a cesspool of sharks. He was elected and took office in January of 1882, and by July, people were already calling on him to run for Governor. In this July 25, 1882, letter, Cleveland writes. "It looks as though quite a boom had started in favor of my candidacy for Governor." Cleveland goes on to say he is quite comfortable where he is, but, being an honest man, he does not feign disinterest in the higher job, as so many politicians do today. He adds, "…if this nomination should come in a proper shape, you may be sure I would accept." By the end of the year, the obscure former Sheriff would be Governor of New York, and two years later, President of the United States. Item 16. $850.

Rare Book Monthly

  • Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Potter (Beatrix). Complete set of four original illustrations for the nursery rhyme, 'This pig went to market', 1890s. £60,000 to £80,000.
    Forum, May 30: Dante Alighieri.- Lactantius (Lucius Coelius Firmianus). Opera, second edition, Rome, 1468. £40,000 to £60,000.
    Forum, May 30: Distilling.- Brunschwig (Hieronymus). Liber de arte Distillandi de Compositis, first edition of the so-called 'Grosses Destillierbuch', Strassburg, 1512. £22,000 to £28,000.
    Forum, May 30: Eliot (T.S.), W. H. Auden, Ted Hughes, Philip Larkin, Robert Lowell, Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, & others. A Personal Anthology for Eric Walter White, 60 autograph poems. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum, May 30: Cornerstone of French Enlightenment Philosophy.- Helvetius (Claude Adrien). De l'Esprit, true first issue "A" of the suppressed first edition, Paris, 1758. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Szyk (Arthur). The Haggadah, one of 125 copies, this out-of-series, Beaconsfield Press, 1940. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Fleming (Ian). Casino Royale, first edition, first impression, 1953. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Japan.- Ryusui (Katsuma). Umi no Sachi [Wealth of the Sea], 2 vol., Tokyo, 1762. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Computing.- Operating and maintenance manual for the BINAC binary automatic computer built for Northrop Aircraft Corporation 1949, Philadelphia, 1949. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Burmese School (probably circa 1870s). Folding manuscript, or parabaik, from the Court Workshop at the Royal Court at Manadaly, Burma, [c.1870s]. £8,000 to £12,000.
  • Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    K. Marx, Das Kapital,1867. Dedication copy. Est: € 120,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Latin and French Book of Hours, around 1380. Est: € 25,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Theodor de Bry, Indiae Orientalis, 1598-1625. Est: € 80,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Breviary, Latin manuscript, around 1450-75. Est: € 10,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    G. B. Piranesi, Vedute di Roma, 1748-69. Est: € 60,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    K. Schmidt-Rottluff, Arbeiter, 1921. Orig. watercolour on postcard. Est: € 18,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Breviarium Romanum, Latin manuscript, 1474. Est: € 20,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    C. J. Trew, Plantae selectae, 1750-73. Est: € 28,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    M. Beckmann, Apokalypse, 1943. Est: € 50,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Ulrich von Richenthal, Das Concilium, 1536. Est: € 9,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    I. Kant, Critik der reinen Vernunft, 1781. Est: €12,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Arbeiter-Illustrierte Zeitung (AIZ) / Die Volks-Illustrierte (VI), 1932-38. Est: €8,000
  • Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Winston Churchill. The Second World War. Set of First-Edition Volumes. 6,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: A.A. Milne, Ernest H. Shepard. A Collection of The Pooh Books. Set of First-Editions. 18,600 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Salvador Dalí, Lewis Carroll. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Finely Bound and Signed Limited Edition. 15,000 USD
    Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ian Fleming. Live and Let Die. First Edition. 9,500 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter Series. Finely Bound First Printing Set of Complete Series. 5,650 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ernest Hemingway. A Farewell to Arms. First Edition, First Printing. 4,200 USD
  • Manuscript Masterpieces from the Schøyen Collection
    London auction, 11 June
    BROWSE NOW
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Holkham Hebrew Bible. In Hebrew, decorated manuscript on vellum [Toledo, 2nd quarter 13th century]. £1,500,000–3,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Crosby-Schøyen Codex. In Coptic, manuscript on papyrus [Upper Egypt, middle 3rd century / 4th century]. £2,000,000–3,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Geraardsbergen Bible. In Latin, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Southern Netherlands, late 12th century]. £700,000–1,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now : Jean de Courcy (fl. 1420). The Chronique de la Bouquechardiere. In French, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Paris, c.1480]. £200,000–300,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The ‘Catherine de Medici’ Hours. In Latin and French, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Paris, c.1485]. £120,000–180,000

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