Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - January - 2015 Issue

Signed Documents and Images from Schulson Autographs

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A selection of autographs.

Schulson Autographs has issued Catalog 163 of signed material. The signers come from all walks of life – politics, theater, film, art, science, literature, music, and more. America and Europe are both well represented. These autographs are found on letters, documents, photographs and drawings. Here are just a few samples of the material to be found in this selection.

 

Where better to start than with our youngest entrant. The words, however, are very adult. On a page titled “Book Slogan,” writer Truman Capote has written the wise words, “The foundation of a nation is built on Books.” However, this is not a reflection of wisdom based on age or experience, as it is written on a sheet of lined notebook paper. While undated, it is clearly something from his youth, as it is also headed “English, Capote,” evidently part of a school assignment. His teacher could not have imagined where this would lead. Priced at $675.

 

If you are wondering what skills it takes to be a great writer, one of the most basic is the ability to turn out words. Ernest Hemingway obviously had that skill, based on this long, chatty letter he wrote to George Brown in 1943. George Brown was a close personal friend and boxing coach of Hemingway. If you are wondering why Hemingway needed a boxing coach, well, he was Hemingway. Macho kind of guy. Hemingway provides information on what all of his children are up to. One of them no longer believes in God. He relays regards from a couple of friends. He describes a fishing trip, naturally enough (this letter was written from Cuba). There were six-foot long iguana, “thousands” of flamingos, and an ocean “full of the biggest kind of fish.” Hemingway then goes into a lengthy description of boxing John Kelly, another personal friend (this was John “Shipwreck” Kelly, a one-time professional football player who married wealth and became an investment banker). He hadn't boxed in many months, so he ended up with a cut lip, but Hemingway was plotting out a better rematch. He sends his love to Georgette, Brown's companion and lover Georgette Cohan, daughter of composer/actor/showman George M. Cohan. He also asks Brown what he thinks of the film version of his novel For Whom The Bell Tolls, which was released that year. “Papa” then signs the letter both “Ernesto” and “Ernest Hemingway.” The letter isn't great literature, but it certainly provides insight into the writer's personality. $11,500.

 

Upton Sinclair will forever be remembered as the muckraking, social crusader. He ran (unsuccessfully) for political office as a socialist. His best known book, The Jungle, was really meant to expose the poor working conditions in the meatpacking industry, but it ended up more as an exposé of its horrific sanitary conditions. Half a century later, Sinclair, now 78 years old, was taking on another cause – alcohol. The temperance movement had long since faded from prominence, with social drinking the norm, but many were way more social than they needed to be. In particular, Sinclair was concerned about the alcoholic, the one for whom alcohol was addictive and whose lives were readily destroyed by drink. He wrote a book about it, The Cup of Fury, where he pointed out the growing consumption of alcohol (this was 1956) and condemned those who pushed social drinks on those suffering from alcoholism as taking part in a murder. In this 1957 letter to a Mr. Greenfield, Sinclair refers to the writer Jack London, who shared Sinclair's political views, but also suffered severely from alcoholism, which contributed greatly to his death. Writes Sinclair of London, “To the public he is a romantic figure & has to be that to sell the book. But to me he is an alcoholic tragedy. I have made him a leading figure in The Cup of Fury...” He lists many others who suffered the same problem, including O. Henry, Sinclair Lewis, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Dylan Thomas. Sinclair says he can't get a regular publisher to sell his book, but that he brought it to a church group which sold 65,000 copies. $525.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> SMITH, CHRISTOPHER WEBB. 1793-1871. <i>Indian Ornithology.</i> [Patna, India]: 1828. $50,000 to $80,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DUPRÉ, LOUIS. 1789-1837. <i>Voyage à Athènes et à Constantinople, ou Collection de portraits, vues et costumes grecs et ottomans.</i> Paris: Dondey-Dupré, 1825. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> ADAMS, JOHN. Autograph Letter Signed ("J Adams"), [to Dr. Perkins?] while recovering from his small pox inoculation, [late-April, 1764]. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUSTEN, JANE. Autograph Letter Signed ("J. Austen"), to her sister Cassandra, 4 pp, "Thursday – after dinner," [September 16, 1813,] Henrietta St. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUDUBON, JOHN JAMES. 1785-1851. <i>The Birds of America, from Drawings Made in the United States and Their Territories.</i> New York & Philadelphia: J.J. Audubon & J.B. Chevalier, 1840-1844. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DODWELL, EDWARD. 1767-1832. <i>Views in Greece.</i> London: Rodwell and Martin, 1821. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> JAMES, JESSE. Autograph Letter Signed ("Jesse W. James"), to Mr. Flood demanding Flood retract spurious accusations, 3 pp, June 5, 1875. $200,000 to $300,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Textile of the Great White Fleet, with portraits of Theodore Roosevelt, Rear Admiral Robley D. Evans & successor Charles Stillman Sperry, 1908. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> William J. Stone, <i>Declaration of Independence,</i> Force printing, 1833. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Shugart family papers including documentation of the Underground Railroad, 63 items, 1838-81. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Records of the Dickinson & Shrewsbury salt works, over 2000 items, with extensive slave labor correspondence, legal records & receipts, bulk 1820-1865. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Gloria Steinem, typescript for her speech <i>Living the Revolution,</i> with related letters and documents, 1941-77. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> <i>Liberty Triumphant or the Downfall of Oppression,</i> depicting the aftermath of the Boston Tea Party, c. 1774. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Juan Eusebio Nieremberg, <i>Historia naturae, maxime peregrinae, libris XVI distincta,</i> Antwerp, 1635. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Antonio de Mayorga, manuscript map of Mexico City, 1779. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Thomas L. McKenney & James Hall, <i>History of the Indian Tribes of North America,</i> first edition, 3 volumes, Philadelphia, 1842-44. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Samuel Walker, diary of the entire first cruise of the USS Kineo, a gunboat on the Mississippi, 1854-69. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Scrapbook on early Stanford football, with letters from Walter Camp, 1893-95 & 1931. $8,000 to $12,000.
  • <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Roberts, David. Twenty Lithographs of the Holy Land, 19th Century. $2,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Declaration by the Reps. of the United Colonies of N.A. 1775. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Composer Jerome Kern personal Letters, Albums and Other. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Paine, Thomas. <i>Common Sense,</i> London 1776. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Stowe, Harriet Beecher. <i>Uncle Tom’s Cabin,</i> Cleveland 1852. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Hobbes, Thomas. <i>Leviathan,</i> 3rd edition, London 1651. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Anno Regni Georgii III. Intolerable Acts and other Bills, 1774. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Wilberforce, William. An Abstract of the Evidence, 5 Letters, and two books. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Nightingale, Florence. Notes on Nursing and Signed Letters, ca. 1860 $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Tolstov, Leo. <i>War and Peace,</i> 5 volumes, 1886. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Dickinson, John. Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania, 1768. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Twain, Mark. <i>Tom Sawyer,</i> 1877 [and] <i>Huckleberry Finn,</i> 1885. $4,000 to $6,000.

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