Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - October - 2006 Issue

Letters and Signatures from Lion Heart Autographs

Lheart44

Autographs from Lion Heart.


By Michael Stillman

This month we received our first catalogue from Lion Heart Autographs. What is offered, naturally, is one-of-a-kind material, autographed, usually with an inscription. The autographs come from the pens of various famous people. Artists, writers, musicians, political leaders, scientists, businessmen are among those who put their names to paper, and all are notable within their fields. Often, the pieces are lengthy and complex letters, revealing interesting insights into the minds of the writers. Lion Heart has presented a most thorough catalogue. They quote extensively from the longer letters, and provide backgrounds into the life of the artist or other person who signed the piece. This catalogue is an education, as well as a source of some wonderful material.

There are very many letters and other signed documents from famed musicians. Not to be a namedropper, but here are a few: Stravinksy, Caruso, Armstrong, Strauss, Gershwin and Gershwin, Brahms, Ravel, Rachmaninoff, Wagner, Mendessohn, Schumann and Puccini. Representing literature there are Dickens, Wordsworth, Wilder, Le Carre, Christie, Shaw, Tennessee Williams and Henry Miller. A separate section of the catalogue is devoted to F.C. Schang's collection of artists' letters, including names such as Picasso, Dali, Chagall, Cezanne, Toulouse-Lautrec, Whistler, Remington, Pissarro, Monet, Manet, Renoir, Matisse, O'Keeffe, and Mount Rushmore sculptor Gutzon Borglum. There are political leaders, Napoleon and Josephine, Napoleon III, George III and George IV, Danton and Robespierre from the French Reign of Terror (the latter represented by a drinking poem he wrote!), Franklin Roosevelt, Truman, Clemenceau, Rochambeau, and Zapata. From science and medicine there is Marie Curie and the Mayo Brothers. Psychology is represented by Freud and Jung. Business offers Hearst and Baruch, the latter represented by a most interesting response to the virulent anti-Semitism of Henry Ford. Acting has Isadora Duncan and Sarah Bernhardt. Mutineering has William Bligh, and for the sucker born every minute, there is Phineas Taylor (P.T.) Barnum. Here are a few specific examples.

Ernest Hemingway was a tough guy, but even he was pushed to his limit in 1954 when he was involved in back-to-back small airplane crashes in Africa. In his inimitable style, he writes eldest son John, "Liver and kidney (right) were busted liver damaged with spleen right kidney ruptured and intestine collapsed etc. And have lost a lot of blood and am bloody weak and have to get the gen and build up. Had to fight a brush fire on the coast and got 2nd degree burns legs, abdomen, chest, etc. and 3rd degree left hand right forearm." He then goes on to point out, "No son of a bitch is indestructible." In a postscript, "Papa" discusses his "paralysis of sphincter" and more scatological details of this problem, but if you want to know about this, you will have to buy his letter, or at least get a copy of the catalogue. Item 42. Priced at $5,800.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Darwin, Charles. <i>On the Origin of Species.</i> Presentation Copy. Sold for $500,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Darwin, Charles. Autograph Letter Signed, 3 pp, negotiating the 2nd American edition with Appleton. Sold for $21,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Hemingway, Ernest. Autograph Letter Signed, 8 pp, Paris, 1924, to his father discussing Bullfighting, Stories, and his new baby. Sold for $25,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Corialanus.</i> London, 1623. 1st printing [Extracted from the First Folio]. Sold for $50,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Swift, Jonathan. <i>Gulliver's Travels.</i> London, 1726. 1st edition, Teerink's A edition, fine, large copy. Sold for $21,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Fitzroy, Robert. Autograph Letter Signed to agent Thomas Stilwell, informing him of the progress of H.M.S. Beagle. Sold for $17,575.
    <center><b>Bonhams<br> Property from the Collection of Nicole and William R. Keck II</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Sonnets.</i> 1901. 2 volumes. Printed on vellum and illuminated by Ross Turner, bound by Trautz-Bauzonnet. Sold for $13,825.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Beardsley, Aubrey. <i>The Birth, Life, and Acts of King Arthur.</i> 1893-94. 2 volumes. Contemporary painted vellum gilt by Chivers. Sold for $5,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Assisi, St. Francis. <i>The Canticle of Brother Sun.</i> Illuminated on vellum, for the Grolier Society. Sold for $7,575.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Rackham, Arthur. <i>Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens.</i> 1/500 copies signed by Rackham. Sold for $4,825.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Proust, Marcel. <i>Du coté de chez Swann.</i> 1st edition, 1st issue. Inscribed by Proust. Sold for $8,825.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Sergio Trujillo Magnenat, <i>Bogotá 1938 / IV Centenario / Juegos Deportivos Bolivarianos,</i> 1938. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> <i>McQueen Drives Porsche,</i> designer unknown, 1970. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b><br>Joe Bridge, <i>Bignan / A Des Ailes,</i> 1921. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Graham Simmons, <i>The Army Isn’t All Work,</i> 1919. $1,000 to $1,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Leonetto Cappiello, <i>Je ne fume que le nil,</i> 1912. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> <i>Attack of the 50 ft. Woman,</i> designer unknown, 1958. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Raymond Tooby, <i>Festival Guiness / Have You Tried One Yet?,</i> 1952. $600 to $900.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Francisco Tamagno, <i>Terrot & Co. / Dijon / Cycles Motorettes,</i> 1909. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b><br>A. Hori, Oakland / General Motors, circa 1925. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> James Montgomery Flagg, <i>Travel? Adventure? Answer – Join the Marines!,</i> circa 1918. $4,000 to $6,000.
  • <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.

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions