Various Autographs and Manuscripts from James Cummins Bookseller
Here is the signature from a horrific war criminal. In 1933, famed German-born photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt went to Geneva to attend a League of Nations meeting. There he saw Nazi Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels in the garden. He snapped the Nazi's picture, Goebbels looking upward intensely toward the camera. Eisenstaedt would later say, "Here are the eyes of hate." Eisenstaedt also carried a notebook with him where he would have his subjects sign their names and a brief message. Goebbels wrote no message, but did sign the book "Dr. Goebbels." That signature, and a copy of the photograph are offered as item 49. Goebbels would kill his family and commit suicide on May 1, 1945, in the Berlin bunker, the day after Hitler did the same, after serving that one day as German Chancellor. $2,000.
If his career had finished anything like it began, you would not be able to dream of buying a collection like this for such a pittance. Item 27 is a collection of some 600 pages of writings by actor Jackie Coogan and his brother George, who worked behind the scenes in Hollywood. Jackie was born in 1914, and by the age of four was already working in Vaudeville. He soon had a small role in a Charlie Chaplin film, which led to his costarring role in Chaplin's The Kid, when he was just six-years-old. Coogan became a famed child star, and he would have leading roles in several other silent films in the 1920s, including Peck's Bad Boy and Oliver Twist. However, like many child stars, his talents did not transfer to adulthood. In the early 1930s, he appeared in Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, "talkies," but these were not so successful. As his career faded, he sued his mother for the money he made as a child star that was held in trust, but received very little of his earnings (California passed a law known as the "Coogan Act" to protect child actors as a result). Coogan married actress Betty Grable (it lasted three years) and during the Second World War, served as a pilot. After the war, he returned to Hollywood, but was only able to secure minor roles in Grade B films. He also garnered parts in television shows, and finally regained a certain amount of recognition from a later generation for his portrayal of Uncle Fester in The Addams Family. Coogan died in 1984. This collection includes numerous photographs, a typescript about his war experiences later converted into an article by George, and various manuscripts and typescripts written by George. $1,500.
Item 34 is a letter signed CLD (for Charles L. Dodgson) to "Ethel." Dodgson is better known to most people by his penname, "Lewis Carroll," creator of Alice and her adventures in Wonderland. "Ethel" was evidently Ethel Hatch, one of Dodgson's "child-friends." In typical "Alice" fashion, Dodgson is evidently referring to a gift, and speaking of the "when" in which it will be received. He writes, "If anticipation gives happiness, what will 40 years of anticipation give? ANS: 40 years of happiness!" In another such riddle, Dodgson says, "If it is odd to have an undergraduate brother, what is it to have two? ANSWER: Even." $6,250.
James Cummins Bookseller is found online at www.jamescumminsbookseller.com, telephone 212-688-6441.