Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - August - 2011 Issue

Signed Material from David Schulson Autographs

Catalog 148 from David Schulson Autographs.

David Schulson Autographs recently issued their Catalog 148. Schulson provides a variety of signed documents, often letters of a personal type. There is a mix of European and American items offered. Here are a few examples of the autographed material.


We will start with some very early writing from Truman Capote. This piece is undated, but it looks like a school English assignment. However, it is prescient of the career that awaited Capote in the years ahead. At the top of the sheet, he has written, "English, Capote," and in the center of the page added the heading, "Book Slogan." The slogan follows:  "The Foundation of a nation is built on books." That's appropriate for someone who would go on to be one of his nation's most notable writers. Item 8. Priced at $750.


Item 20 is an early letter from Harlem Renaissance poet and writer Langston Hughes. It comes from 1925, when the 23-year-old Hughes was living in Washington with his mother. Hughes was running a poetry reading, with an interlude for a blues musician. Hughes notes in his letter that the blues "relieves the monotony of so much reading… Poetry recitals are usually such darn dull affairs…" Hughes was just starting to make a name for himself through his poetry at the time, but still had to deal with money issues, as it did not yet provide a living. So when he was short on cash, Hughes would work as a busboy at a hotel. His letter continues, "I've gone back to bussing dishes again. Had to. Rent day came, passed, and has been long gone and I haven't yet paid the lady." However, he adds that he has offers now to read in Baltimore, Cleveland, and New York. $1,500.


Item 23 is a signed document in Russian promoting better libraries in the Soviet Union. The author is Nadezhda Krupskaya, and if that name doesn't ring a bell, she was Mrs. Lenin. She and the future Soviet leader were married in 1898, perhaps more for revolutionary ideals that personal passion. She would follow him both to imprisonment in Siberia and exile in England. She would be appointed to various educational posts after the revolution, the last as Deputy Minister of Education from 1929 until her death in 1939. She would also hold various positions in the Communist Party, and her support of Stalin over Trotsky after her husband died enabled her to avoid the fate of so many other party officials who either crossed Stalin, or whom Stalin believed might pose some sort of threat to him. This letter speaks of ways of improving libraries, adding more books, and teaching people how to make use of libraries. It is all good stuff, but Krupskaya must have kept a blind eye to the horrible things going on around her in Stalin's Russia while she wrote of these nobler ideals. $2,000.


Item 4 is a signed transcript of Face the Nation from March 25, 1979. The signer is the interviewee, Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin. This interview came at a historic moment. Begin was preparing to sign a peace treaty with President Anwar Sadat of Egypt, a treaty still in effect today, which greatly reduced the threat of war in the Middle East. Unfortunately, not a great deal else has been achieved on the Middle Eastern peace front since then. Begin answers questions of the time, some eerily similar to the issues still faced today. Begin responds to whether he wants the PLO to recognize Israel's right to exist, saying he doesn't want it. "We have had the right to exist for the last 4,000 years," he explains. On the issue of abandoning settlements in Sinai, Begin responds that it is more important to have peace than for settlers to remain in their Sinai homes. $850.

Rare Book Monthly

  • Sotheby’s, July 11: Galileo, Document annotated and signed by Galileo, dated Padua, 1595. £500,000 to £700,000.
  • Bonhams, July 15-25: THE AUTOGRAPH COLLECTION OF ISRAEL WITKOWER. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: GEORGE WASHINGTON SIGNED DISCHARGE. June 9, 1783. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: "Shhhhh!" A DAVID SHANNON ILLUSTRATION FROM DAVID GETS IN TROUBLE. $2,500 - $3,500
    Bonhams, July 15-25: PICASSO, PABLO. Le Carmen des Carmen. Paris, 1964. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: KARA WALKER SILHOUETTES FOR TONI MORRISON'S FIVE POEMS. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: FIRST APPEARANCE OF PINOCCHIO IN ENGLISH. COLLODI, CARLO.New York, 1892. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: BONAPARTE, JOSEPHINE. Autograph Note (unsigned) in French. $1,000 - $1,500
    Bonhams, July 15-25: FROST ON MATTHEW ARNOLD.Autograph Letter Signed to Adams, July 27, 1934. $800 - $1,200
    Bonhams, July 15-25: ELIAS BOUDINOT'S COPY OF BARLOW'S COLUMBIAN EPIC. $800 - $1,200
  • Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    18th July 2024
    Forum, July 18: Rowling (J.K.) Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, first hardback edition, 1997. £40,000 to £60,000.
    Forum, July 18: Binding.- Lucian of Samosata Opuscula Erasmo Roterodamo interprete, first Aldine edition, Venice, Heirs of Aldus Manutius and A, 1516. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, July 18: Bacon (Sir Francis). De Dignitate et Augmentis Scientiarum Libri IX, Pierre Gassendi's copy gifted him by Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc, Paris, Typis Petri Mettayer, 1624. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    18th July 2024
    Forum, July 18: Shakespeare (William). The First Part of Henry the Fourth, with the Life and Death of Henry, Sirnamed Hot-Spurre…, Printed by Isaac Jaggard, and Ed. Blount, 1623. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, July 18: Darwin (Charles). On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, third edition, presentation inscription 'From the Author' in a secretary's hand, John Murray, 1861. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, July 18: Teague (Violet). Geraldine Rede. Night Fall in the Ti-Tree, first edition, Melbourne, Sign of the Rabbit, 1905; and another. £10,000 to £15,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    18th July 2024
    Forum, July 18: India.- Primrose (Gen. James Maurice). Collection of 24 original drawings from his time in India with the 43rd Regiment of Foot, circa 1855 to 1864. £10,000 to £15,000.
    Forum, July 18: Manet (Édouard). Trente Eaux-fortes originales, the complete portfolio, Paris, A. Stroelin, 1905. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, July 18: Bible, English. [The Holy Bible], first edition of the King James Bible, the Great 'He' Bible, [Robert Barker], [1611]. £6,000 to £8,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    18th July 2024
    Forum, July 18: America.- Mathews (Alfred E.) Pencil Sketches of Montana, first edition, New York, Published by the Author, 1868. £6,000 to £8,000.
    Forum, July 18: Bawden (Edward). Original dust-jacket artwork for 'The Outsider' by Albert Camus, [c.1946]. £4,000 to £6,000.
    Forum, July 18: World.- Fries (Laurent). Tabula Nova Totius Orbis, woodcut map, [c.1541]. £3,000 to £5,000.

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