Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - April - 2004 Issue

America&#146;s History in Autographs:<br>The Latest from Steven Raab

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In the 1890s young Guglielmo Marconi began experimenting with radio waves. He quickly saw the potential for wireless communication. However, its potential was believed limited as the assumption was that the waves would travel straight, meaning communication distances would be limited by the curvature of the earth. When this was determined not to be the case, Marconi set out to demonstrate the long-range capabilities. He set up a sending station in England and traveled to Newfoundland, where he hoped to show that wireless transmissions could be heard across the ocean. On December 12, 1901, with an aerial wire attached to a kite, Marconi picked up a faint signal broadcast from England. It was the start of what we now know as radio. On December 20, Marconi wrote a brief thank you note to the government of Newfoundland for its help in this momentous experiment, and that thank you note is offered as item 39. $18,900.

General John Porter Hatch, who had served under Sherman, was given what he must have felt was a thankless task of commanding the Charleston District of South Carolina after the Civil War. “I am here filling the most unpleasant position in the Army,” he writes. Of the unreconstructed southerners he says “A bitter people they are, whipped but surly.” As for the federal government, he says support has been slow to arrive and that “all manner of charges are constantly brought against me.” For some, war is Hell. For Hatch, peace was. Item 48. $595.

The oldest and likely most significant document in this collection is the original amnesty of Zamora. In 1476, the young royal couple Ferdinand and Isabella were in the process of uniting the various kingdoms of what would become today’s Spain, but they had to deal with a rival who was supported by Portugal. Their forces were successful, but their enemies remained holed up in the fortress at Zamora. To resolve the conflict, the royal couple agreed to offer the remaining fighters an amnesty if they would switch sides. Unlike the fighters in the Alamo, the defenders of Zamora agreed and the conflict was brought to an end. Ferdinand and Isabella were able to consolidate their power, which would lead to the equipping of Columbus and his discovery of the New World, but to the Spanish Inquisition as well. Item 57 is the amnesty. Signed by Ferdinand and Isabella. $43,900.

That last one was too serious, so we’ll close with a lighter item, and what could be lighter than something from the inimitable Spiro T. Agnew? Agnew was the sharp-tongued vice-president who made his boss, Richard Nixon, look ethical. On October 10, 1973, he became the first and only vice-president forced to resign as he faced charges based on accepting bribes. Barely a month before leaving office, he sent off a letter to the editor of the Pottstown (Pennsylvania) Mercury thanking him for a front-page editorial supporting Agnew’s defense against the charges (he would later plead no contest). Hopefully that editor had the good sense to plead insanity. Item 64. $595.

Among the others whose autographs may be found in this catalogue are John Quincy Adams, Charles Darwin, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Gerald Ford, Dwight Eisenhower, Robert Goddard, Ulysses Grant, John Hancock, Caroline (Mrs. Benjamin) Harrison, Benjamin Harrison, Herbert Hoover, Thomas Jefferson, Rutherford Hayes, Martin Luther King, Andrew Johnson, William McKinley, Sir Thomas More, James K. Polk, Rochambeau, Norman Rockwell, Babe Ruth, William Howard Taft, Harry Truman, Queen Victoria, George Washington, and Woodrow Wilson.

Steven S. Raab Autographs may be found online at www.RaabAutographs.com or reached by phone at 800-977-8333.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> <i>Westvaco–Inspirations for Printers,</i> 3 volumes, 1938-61. $200 to $300.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> Proef van Letteren, <i>Welk gegooten worden in de Nieuwe Haerlemsche Lettergietery,</i> 1768. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> Paul Klee, <i>Bauhaus Ausstellung Juli – Sept.,</i> Weimar, 1923. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> Michel Seuphor & Jozef Peeters, <i>Het Overzicht Nos.</i> 22-23-24, Antwerp, 1922. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> Wolfrum & Co., <i>Modern Graphik, Serie I…,</i> complete portfolio, 1909. $1,200 to $1,800.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> <i>Gravure et Fonderie deC. Derriey: Specimen-Album,</i> Paris, 1862. $5,000 to $7,500.
  • <center><b>Hindman Auctions<br>Fine Books & Manuscripts,<br>Including Americana<br>Live and Online<br>May 12, 2021</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> CURRIER and IVES, publishers -- After Frances F. Palmer. The Rocky Mountains. Emigrants Crossing the Plains, 1866. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> [BIBLE, in English]. <i>The New Testament of Jesus Christ, translated faithfully into English.</i> Rheims, 1582. $6,000 to $8,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> [BIBLE, in Latin]. <i>Biblia latina.</i> Venice: Franz Renner of Hailbrun [Heilbrunn], 1483. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <center><b>Hindman Auctions<br>Fine Books & Manuscripts,<br>Including Americana<br>Live and Online<br>May 12, 2021</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> SHELLEY, Percy Bysshe (1792-1822). Autograph letter signed ("P. B. S."), to Charles Ollier. Florence, Italy, 15 December 1819. “MY PROMETHEUS IS THE BEST THING I EVER WROTE.” $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> RAMSAY, David (1749-1815). <i>The History of the Revolution of South-Carolina…</i> Trenton: Isaac Collins, 1785. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> [BINDINGS]. MUIR, John (1838-1914). <i>The Writings of John Muir.</i> Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1916-1924. 10 vols. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <center><b>Hindman Auctions<br>Fine Books & Manuscripts,<br>Including Americana<br>Live and Online<br>May 12, 2021</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> [CHICAGO] -- <i>Park & Guide Map of Chicago.</i> Chicago: Jas. Van Vechten, 1873. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> CURRIER and IVES, publishers -- After Frances F. Palmer. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> [ALLEN PRESS]. SHAKESPEARE, William (1564-1616). <i>Romeo and Juliet.</i> Greenbrae: Allen Press, 1988. $1,000 to $1,500.
    <center><b>Hindman Auctions<br>Fine Books & Manuscripts,<br>Including Americana<br>Live and Online<br>May 12, 2021</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> BEMELMANS, Ludwig (1898-1962). Pencil drawing on paper. 247 x 198 mm, sight, matted and framed. Showing a child shooting at a baby's balloon. $1,000 to $1,500.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> [LOGAN ELM PRESS]. HARVEY, Rebecca. <i>Any Number of Things.</i> Ohio State University, 2013. Single sheet paper scroll. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> BINYON, Laurence (1869-1943). A small archive of letters and pamphlets. $200 to $300.
  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Travel, Atlases, Maps<br>and Natural History<br>Online Auction<br>27 April – 13 May 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, 27 Apr. to 13 May:</b><br>Daniel Giraud Elliot. <i>A Monograph of the Phasianidae, or Family of the Pheasants,</i> 1870-1872, coloured plates. £40,000 to £60,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 27 Apr. to 13 May:</b><br>Georg Braun und Franz Hogenberg. <i>Civitates orbis terrarum.</i> Cologne, 1597-c.1606, 5 volumes, hand-coloured, calf. £140,000 to £200,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 27 Apr. to 13 May:</b> Qianren Huang. "Blue Map" of China. [Daoguang, 19th century]. £60,000 to £80,000.
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Travel, Atlases, Maps<br>and Natural History<br>Online Auction<br>27 April – 13 May 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, 27 Apr. to 13 May:</b> Abraham Ortelius. <i>Theatrum orbis terrarum,</i> 1595. £40,000 to £60,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 27 Apr. to 13 May:</b> Maxime Du Camp. <i>Egypte, Nubie, Palestine et Syrie. Dessins Photographiques.</i> Paris, 1852. £100,000 to £150,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 27 Apr. to 13 May:</b><br>China, Canton School. A superb album of 141 watercolours, c.1800. £70,000 to £100,000.

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