Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - December - 2012 Issue

Signed Material from David Schulson Autographs

Schulson152

Catalog 152 from David Schulson Autographs.

David Schulson Autographs has released their Catalog 152. It contains, naturally enough, autographed materials, primarily personal letters, along with signed photographs and other documents. The catalogue is divided into two sections, one of new material, the other of items that have been steeply discounted. The signers come from varied walks of life – art, music, science, government, literature, acting, and more. They are people whose names you will recognize. The material, letters in particular, however, tends to deal more with personal issues than with their fame or noted accomplishments. For example, Winston Churchill, the great politician and Britain's unbending leader during its “darkest hour,” along with being a prolific history writer, orders paints from a friend. He was also a painter. These are some of the signed items you will find inside this new Schulson catalogue.

We will start with one of the more unusual signed documents. The great photographer Ansel Adams' signature appears not on a letter or photograph or even a cancelled check. It here appears on a restaurant menu. The cover of this 1939 menu for “The Ahwahnee” restaurant in Yosemite National Park featured an Adams photograph entitled The Grizzly Giant. The “Grizzly Giant” is a very large sequoia tree in the park, one of the largest trees in the world. On the back cover of the menu is a lengthy description of the image. Below the description, Adams has signed his name. Item 1518. Sale priced at $450.

Here is that letter from the painter Winston Churchill. It was written to Willy Sax, a Swiss paint manufacturer and friend to Churchill and other painters, in 1946. Churchill had been “retired” by the voters the previous year, so he would have had a little more time on his hands. Churchill has questions about the use of Sax's tempera paint, whether it can be painted on top of oils, or oils on top of it. Churchill also orders some more tubes of paint. Churchill and Sax would continue to correspond until the latter's death in 1964. Item 1532. Sale $2,200.

Mark Twain is noted for his humorous stories, but he regularly used humor in his private letters as well. Here he writes to publisher Henry Oscar Houghton in 1890 concerning a subscription to a publication he cannot recall having placed. Writes Twain, “I can't remember about this. Of course I am not denying or repudiating the subscription; I merely have no memorandum of it, & there may be some error. I can forget things; once forgot to die; when four doctors said I was going to...” Twain has signed using his actual name, “S.L. Clemens.” Item 2216. Sale $4,125.

Here is a letter from another notable writer employing humor. This time it is A.A. Milne, but in his pre-Pooh days. Indeed, it is dated May 1, 1920, three months before the birth of his son Christopher Robin, who, along with his stuffed animals, was the inspiration for the Winnie-the-Pooh stories. At the time, Milne was a playwright, his first successful play, Mr. Pim Passed By, having opened to a run of 246 performances in London earlier that year. Writes Milne, “I don't really think that I am better than Shakespeare; it is only that 'Shakespeare and Milne' would be even more deadly than pure Milne. But I am much too proud that you like any of the play to resent your finding fault with the rest of it, and I shall be grateful for your advice...” Item 2363. $2,850.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> <i>Westvaco–Inspirations for Printers,</i> 3 volumes, 1938-61. $200 to $300.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> Proef van Letteren, <i>Welk gegooten worden in de Nieuwe Haerlemsche Lettergietery,</i> 1768. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> Paul Klee, <i>Bauhaus Ausstellung Juli – Sept.,</i> Weimar, 1923. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> Michel Seuphor & Jozef Peeters, <i>Het Overzicht Nos.</i> 22-23-24, Antwerp, 1922. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> Wolfrum & Co., <i>Modern Graphik, Serie I…,</i> complete portfolio, 1909. $1,200 to $1,800.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> <i>Gravure et Fonderie deC. Derriey: Specimen-Album,</i> Paris, 1862. $5,000 to $7,500.
  • <b><center>Sotheby’s<br>Science: Books and Manuscripts<br>15-25 May 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, 15-25 May:</b> Mary Anning. Autograph letter signed, to William Buckland, 24 November 1834. £50,000 to £70,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 15-25 May:</b> Bolyai. <i>Scientiam spatii absolute veram exhibens,</i> Maros Vásárhelyi, 1832-1833, 2 volumes, half calf. £50,000 to £70,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 15-25 May:</b> Vesalius.<br><i>De humani corporis fabrica,</i> Basel, 1555, modern crushed burgundy morocco. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b><center>Sotheby’s<br>Science: Books and Manuscripts<br>15-25 May 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, 15-25 May:</b> Copernicus.<br><i>De revolutionibus orbium coelestium,</i> Nuremberg, 1543, later boards, Rostock duplicate. £70,000 to £100,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 15-25 May:</b> Payan-Dumoulin. Profusely illustrated manuscript of fossils, France, c.1875-1979. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 15-25 May:</b> Albert Einstein. Autograph letter signed, to his son Albert, 4 November [1915]. £10,000 to £15,000.
  • <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Images of Angling:<br>The David Beazley Collection<br>of Angling Prints<br>Online Sale<br>20th May 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Alken (Henry), after. Salmon Fishing; Fishing in a Punt; Pike Fishing, three works, 1820. £600 to £800.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Early Images of Angling.- Hollar (Wenceslaus) Angling; River Fishing; and Salmon Fishing, after Francis Barlow, 3 engravings, [c. 1671]. £500 to £700.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Rolfe (Henry Leonidas). <i>Studies of Fresh Water Fish,</i> 1851. £500 to £700.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Images of Angling:<br>The David Beazley Collection<br>of Angling Prints<br>Online Sale<br>20th May 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Morland (George), After. A Party Angling; The Anglers' Repast, a pair, mezzotints, 1789. £400 to £600.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Pollard (James), After. Bottom Fishing; Anglers Packing Up, etchings with aquatint, 1831. £400 to £600.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Angling's Age of Romance.- Sayer (Robert, publisher) & J. Bennett. The Angelic Angler, mezzotint, 1781; and another. £300 to £400.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Images of Angling:<br>The David Beazley Collection<br>of Angling Prints<br>Online Sale<br>20th May 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Fishing Satire.- London.- Roberts (Piercy). Patience at Paddington or angling in the Junction Canal, etching after Woodward, 1807; together with Woodward's 'Angling at Sadler's Wells', and another, 1794. £300 to £400.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Fishing Satire - Cats Fishing.- Seymour (Robert). Waltonizing or - Green-land Fisherman, [c. 1830s]; together with 3 lithographs of cats fishing, [c. 1830s]. £300 to £400.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Fishing Portraits.- Zoffany (Johan), After. Master James Sayer, at the age of 13, mezzotint by Richard Houston, 1772. £300 to £400.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Images of Angling:<br>The David Beazley Collection<br>of Angling Prints<br>Online Sale<br>20th May 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Wilkinson (Norman). Come to Britain for Fishing, lithographic poster, [c. 1947]. £300 to £400.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Scottish Fishing.- Heath (William). Sporting in the Scottish Isles no. III. Salmon Fishing, 1835; and another. £150 to £200.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Simpson (Joseph). The Border Angler, drypoint, [c. 1927]. £150 to £200.

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