Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2008 Issue

Autographs and Signed Documents from David Schulson

Schulson136

136 from David Schulson Autographs.



By Michael Stillman

The latest collection from David Schulson Autographs has arrived, simply titled 136. It contains signatures of notable figures from all walks of life - politics, music, art, architecture, science, literature, film, aviation, military and law. Some are simple signatures, others signed photographs, and many are letters and other documents written by their notable signers. There are both American and European autographs offered, and they range from the 18th through the 20th centuries. Here are a few from this latest collection.

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known to most as Lewis Carroll of "Alice in Wonderland" fame, always had his distinctive sense of humor. On May 1, 1888, Dodgson replied to a party invitation by noting, "...I can but return to my now-stereotyped answer that I gave up going out to parties some years ago - Life is getting too short, & too busy, to spend one's time so; & besides, I have talked all my small talk - haven't any more left." The letter is signed "C.L. Dodgson." Item 32. Priced at $4,500.

Many of Ernest Hemingway's letters similarly reflect his personality, over-the-top macho, filled with references to partying and drinking. However, Hemingway could be all business too. Item 46 is a most fascinating letter as it was written to Barbara Cohen (Holdridge) from Cuba on July 20, 1952. The 22-year-old Cohen and a fellow recent college graduate were just forming Caedmon Records, which would grow to be the major recorder of the spoken word (the label is now owned by Harper Collins). The young entrepreneurs had just signed their first act, convincing Dylan Thomas to read his poetry before their microphones. Hemingway responds to Cohen with a series of business questions that imply he expected Caedmon to be something more than a start-up. "What books has the Caedmon publishers published? Who are the officers and directors of the firm? What references will you give me? With your present distribution how many recordings can you expect to sell at $4.95?" Cohen had proposed Thomas' deal, a $500 advance and 10% royalties. Hemingway responds that his terms are a $5,000 advance and 16% royalties. Hemingway concludes, "You are dealing with the disposal of a part of my life's work. I hope you did not think I would be so stupid as to give it to you to play with or batten on." He then adds a postscript, "Do you have any idea of the value of the property you are negotiating for?" Certainly, Hemingway did not suffer from a shrunken ego, but for all his bluster, he did sign on and record for Caedmon (we don't know the terms). $7,750.

Thomas DeQuincey was a British writer who veered into the world of drugs in an earlier time. He is best remembered for writing about it in 1822 in Confessions of an English Opium-Eater. One Sunday morning, he wrote to a Miss Craig, "From the confusion of my room, and the malarrangements I have hitherto made for the purpose of applying some remedy to this confusion, I find this morning that, partly from absence in Edinb. yesterday, have fallen into arrears of 4 pages, all of which however shall this day go off to Tipperary; and henceforward, by means of a new and angelic method which commence this day, no such accumulation shall take place." In other words, he is cleaning up his act and will get his pages out in a timely manner in the future. One can only wonder what he was smoking when he wrote that explanation. Item 30. $1,650.

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.

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