Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - December - 2008 Issue

European and American Autographs from David Schulson

Schulson138

Autographs from David Schulson.


By Michael Stillman

David Schulson Autographs recently published their catalogue number 138. It contains autographs, usually written on a larger document, from musicians, artists, writers, scientists, political figures, and more. Both Europe and America are well represented. Most are from the 19th or 20th century. These are overwhelming names you will recognize, and if you don't recognize the name, you will probably recognize the individual's accomplishments. Often, you will find personal letters that offer insight on the inner thoughts of these famous people. Here are a few of the autographs you will find in this latest Schulson catalogue.

Hector Berlioz was one of the great composers of the 19th century. He was both a composer and conductor, and his music made many people in his home country of France and all over the world very happy. It did not do the same for him, at least later in life. Despite great success, his later years were filled with tragedies - the passing of two wives, son, and other relatives, along with declining health. Berlioz was an admirer of the Italian opera composer Gaspare Spontini, whom he championed even as his work went out of favor. In 1863, he wrote (in French) to Spontini's widow, and as typical of the now older (60) and unhappy Berlioz, he thanked Mrs. Spontini for her interest in "my sorry health," and noted, "...in short life is barely tolerable in such circumstances." He continues with equal optimism to the topic of music: "As for musical matters the disgust I feel towards them leaves me resigned to expect the worst." He completes the letter by promising to visit her a few days hence, though one can wonder why would she have wanted to see him. Item 9. Priced at $3,450.

Item 88 is a bizarre document circa 1937 signed by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. It is an unusual "official document" created by his daughter, Svetlana, then about 11 years old. Written in Cyrillic, "Setanka" (her nickname) "The Mistress" (his pet name for her) commands her father to sign her diary. She has created an official "seal" with an arrow where he is to sign. Stalin writes, "I submit Secretariat Stalin." The playful father persona seems strange considering Stalin had recently killed millions of his own people who got in the way of his attempts to industrialize and control the nation, along with conducting show trials and executions of many of his former political allies. Fifteen years after his death, Svetlana denounced her father's regime and found asylum in the United States. $8,500.

Item 56 is a letter from the French and American hero, the Marquis de Lafayette, to Adolphe Perier, the husband of his granddaughter. Lafayette was involved in the politics of his homeland for half a century after he left America, always fighting for liberty and a Republican form of government. He was a supporter of the Revolution of 1830, which brought the so-called "Citizen King," Louis Philippe to power. Lafayette was unsure that France was quite ready for the democracy of America, so he supported the idea of beneficent "citizen king" surrounded by republican institutions. However, Louis Philippe proved to be more despotic than Lafayette envisioned. By the end of 1833, the backsliding had begun, and Lafayette addressed the Chamber of Deputies reiterating his belief in liberty. Lafayette was a beloved figure in France, as he was in America, and the 12,000 copies of his speech Lafayette had printed quickly sold out. On January 6, 1834, Lafayette wrote to Perier, sending a copy of his speech, and noting, "This is all I have left of twelve thousand copies...that were sold in Paris in three hours time." Unfortunately, there was not much more Lafayette could do to preserve freedom in France. He died just four months later. $2,200.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Collection of a Connoisseur:<br>History in Manuscript, Part 2<br>27 April 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Ronald Reagan. Series of 37 letters to Senator George Murphy, and related material, 1968-90. £50,000 to £70,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Chaim Weizmann. Autograph letter signed, to General Sir Gilbert Clayton, 6 September 1918. £20,000 to £30,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Sir Winston Churchill. Autograph letter signed, to Pamela, Lady Lytton, 1942. £20,000 to $30,000.
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Collection of a Connoisseur:<br>History in Manuscript, Part 2<br>27 April 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Oscar Wilde. Five autograph letters signed, to Alsager Vian, 1887. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Napoleon I. Letter signed to Admiral Ganteaume, ordering the invasion of England, 22 August 1805. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Horatio, Viscount Nelson, and Emma Hamilton. Two autograph letter signed, to Catherine and George Matcham, 1805. £6,000 to £8,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Frances Palmer, <i>Battle of Buena Vista,</i> chromolithograph, New York, 1847. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Antonio Colmenero de Ledesma, the earliest publication concerned solely with chocolate, first edition, Madrid, 1631. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Romans Bernard, <i>An Exact View of the Late Battle at Charlestown, June 17th, 1775,</i> engraving, 1776. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> <i>A Short Narrative of the Horrid Massacre in Boston,</i> English edition, London, 1770. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> William Soule, <i>Lodge of the Plains Indians,</i> albumen print, 1872. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Manuscript document to enforce New York’s “Agreement of Non-Importation” during the heyday of the Sons of Liberty, New York, 1769. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Clarence Mackenzie, <i>Drummer Boy of the 13th Regiment of Brooklyn,</i> salt print with applied color, 1861. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Moses Lopez, <i>A Lunar Calendar,</i> first Jewish calendar published in America, Newport, RI, 1806. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b><br>The Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, 1830. $30,000 to $40,000.
  • <center><b>Gonnelli Auction House<br>Books and Graphics<br>19th, 20th and 21st April 2021</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 19-21<br>Books from XVI to XX Century</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 20<br>Atlases and Maps</b
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br> Veneto and Venice, a Selection of Books from the XVI to XX century</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 20<br></b>Rossini Gioachino, Baguette de chef d'orchestre appartenuta a Gioachino Rossini, dono del Comune di Passy. 1500 €
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br></b>Manetti Saverio, Storia naturale degli uccelli trattata con metodo. Cinque volumi. 1767. 18.000 €
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br></b>Poe Edgar Allan, Double assassinat dans la rue morgue. Illustrations de Cura. 1946.
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 19-21<br>Books from XVI to XX Century</b>
  • <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 54. Fanciful engraving of earth's interior with magma core and errupting volcanoes (1682). $1500 to $1800.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 165. Rare state of Jefferys' influential map of New England in contemporary color (1755). $8000 to $9500.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 177. Mouzon's foundation map of the Carolinas (1775). $10000 to $13000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 183. Very rare first state of De Fer's map of the Lower Mississippi Valley (1715). $20000 to $25000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 253. Scarce Scottish edition based on Ellicott's plan of Washington, D.C. (1796). $2400 to $3000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 313. Stunning view of Philadelphia by John Bachmann (1850). $3250 to $4250.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 338. Rare Civil War map based on Bucholtz map of Virginia (1862). $9500 to $12000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 667. First map to accurately show Luzon in Philippines (1590). $6000 to $7500.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 682. Rare map of Shanghai International Settlement published just after WWI (1918). $7000 to $9000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 738. Coronelli's superb map of the Pacific showing the Island of California (1697) Est. $2400 - $3000
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 743. A cornerstone piece in the mapping of Australia and New Zealand (1726) Est. $6000 - $7500
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 781. An uncommon signature during Jefferson's Governorship of Virginia (1779) Est. $9500 - $11000

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