Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - December - 2006 Issue

European and American Autographs from David Schulson

Schn132

Latest from David Schulson with Barbier cover image.


By Michael Stillman

This month we review our first catalogue from David Schulson Autographs, though it is their number 132. Offered is a mix of manuscripts and other signed documents and letters, including partly printed forms, photographs, cards, and whatever else some famous person may have signed with his or her name. A great many of the signers come from the arts - painters, writers, poets, and musicians. Others are political figures, humanitarians, stage and screen performers, scientists, psychoanalysts, cartoonists, and even an assassin. Both Europe and America are well represented. Those who collect autographs, or any of the notable people represented within these pages, will surely find something of interest. The following are a few samples of what we found.

Even great artists have to deal with the practical aspects of life. Edgar Degas is regarded as one of the founders of the impressionist movement, but in 1901, he was still struggling with his bills. In this letter, Degas writes to gallery owner Hector Brame, to whom he evidently owed money. Translated from the French he says, "Saturday or Monday, I will bring you 300 or 400 francs. The same amount will be brought to you at the end of the month. I will therefore never, never be rich." One can only imagine what Degas would have thought if he knew what his paintings would sell for a century later. Item 19. $3,750.

Cardinal Richelieu was, naturally, a high figure in the Church, but he is noted more for the enormous political power he wielded. Richelieu was the effective Prime Minister for France from 1624 until his death in 1642, serving under King Louis XIII. He kept the nobility firmly in line, while using severe punishment to keep crime under control. Richelieu was also adept at dealing harshly with political enemies. While hardly beloved by the King, Louis did appreciate the Cardinal's effectiveness. Richelieu had the good sense always to display his loyalty to his boss. In this 1641 letter, translated from the French, he agrees to the recipient's proposal, "since it is in the service of the King, which is preferable to anything else." Richelieu was no fool. Item 82. $1,850.

Here is a couple of self-portraits from artists, but not of the kind usually known for their drawings. Item 14 is a self-profile drawn in pencil by the first great recording artist, Enrico Caruso. Caruso was the Elvis of his day, at least in terms of popularity if not musical style. He was an operatic tenor whose records sold in the millions, but his music is not played much today, both for changing musical styles and the poor recording quality of the day. Caruso died in 1921, just as record players were becoming widespread. $1,450. Item 41 is a self-profile by a man whose profile is one of the most recognizable ever. It is a drawing by film director Alfred Hitchcock, whose profile introduced his popular 1960s television series. $1,650.

Item 4 is a more detailed drawing. It is a watercolor signed by French illustrator George Barbier. Circa 1911, it shows a woman in a balloon dress with her sleek dog. See the cover illustration. Barbier has signed the painting. $2,850.

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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