Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - April - 2017 Issue

Music, Art, Literature, Film and More from Schubertiade Music & Arts

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Music and art from Schubertiade.

Schubertiade Music & Arts issued a catalogue for the 2017 New York Antiquarian Book Fair. Schubertiade, not surprisingly, considering their namesake is Franz Schubert, specializes in music, but other art forms are also well represented. Literature, film, theater, dance, painting & drawing, history, and culture are also to be found. Within music, there is a range from classical to jazz to Broadway, and even rock (the Beatles and Bob Dylan). There is both printed material and personal manuscripts to be found. Here are a few samples from the catalogue.

 

First up we have the musical score to the Broadway play Show Boat, published in 1928. Show Boat was something of a breakthrough, a musical play more realistic than the typical lighthearted musical fare of the the day. It takes place on a "showboat," sort of a floating theater that plied some of America's rivers in the 19th century, the Mississippi in particular. The lyrics to the music were written by Oscar Hammerstein while the music was penned by Jerome Kern. The most famous song to emerge from the play was Ol' Man River. Show Boat was based on a book of the same name by Edna Ferber. This copy contains humorous inscriptions by Hammerstein and Kern to Samuel Marx. Samuel wasn't a Marx brother, but he was a film producer and screenwriter who had a long career in Hollywood. There is also a mounted letter from Ms. Ferber to Marx in the book. While Kern is best known for his music, in the book world he is known for his exquisite timing, selling his book collection at the peak in 1929, shortly before the stock market crash, which would depress prices for decades. Item 37. Priced at $6,500.

 

Item 3 presents an extensive look at most of the life of the noted mezzo-soprano Cathy Berberian. Her talents were such that numerous writers composed music for her, including her first husband, Luciano Berio, and Igor Stravinsky. Berberian was American born and went to school in New York, where she met another student, David Greene. They became lifelong friends, and even if personal visits were few, they corresponded for the remainder of her life. Offered is an archive of 88 letters she wrote to Greene, who would become a professor, writer and critic, from 1948-1982 (she died in 1983). In 1948, she visited Paris, where she came to recognize her opportunities: "I have a charming voice of a quality rare, artistic nature and infinite possibilities of future. With study I can become one of the great singers of our time." She determined to return to Europe, which she did in 1949, choosing Milan. While she would return to America on occasion to perform, Milan would be home for the remainder of her life. She married Berio in 1950 (they divorced in 1964), and her letters to Greene cover the growing success, mature career, and personal doings of Berberian through the rest of her life. $15,000.

 

Item 77 is original sheet music for Slavery Chains Am Broke At Last, lyrics by James A. Bland, music by Samuel Butler, published in 1880. This may be the only song celebrating the end of slavery by the prolific songwriter Bland. He was the first well-known African-American songwriter, though it is doubtful that many of the whites who loved his songs were aware of his race. Some of his songs still familiar today include Carry Me Back to Old Virginny, Oh! Dem Golden Slippers, and Hand Me Down My Walking Cane. Despite the success of some of his songs, and his being more appreciated when he toured overseas than he was in his homeland, Bland's life ended in obscurity and poverty. This piece was dedicated to Billy Kersands, perhaps the most successful of the black minstrel performers, who gave Bland his musical start. $350.

 

Next we turn to a work of art, of sorts. Perhaps comic art would describe these two ink drawings better. The artist was Elizabeth Tatham, who lived in Victorian England. We don't know much more about her, other than she possessed artistic talents and a sense of humor. One of the drawings is dated – 1868. In her pictures, Ms. Tatham pokes fun at the then very popular chignon hair style. This is where hair is coiled up in a bun at the back of the head. During this time, the chignons kept getting larger, with clips and other decorations placed within them. One of the drawings is labeled "Next hideous 'Sensation Chignon.'" In this one, a giant insect is clipped to the wearer's chignon. The other drawing is labeled "Horrible idea suggested by the Twisted Chignon." In this one, a coiled snake is placed in the coiled hair. Item 55. $1,400.

 

Item 80 is a copy of Die Unbesungen Helden (the unsung heroes), a 1957 book by Kurt Grossmann. Grossman's book is about German resisters during the war, heroes who resisted Nazi atrocities despite the personal risk at which it placed them. One of those resisters was Oskar Schindler, whose heroic actions were made known to the public through the Steven Spielberg 1993 movie Schindler's List. Schindler and his wife, Emilie, saved the lives of 1,200 Jews who worked in his factory from death in the concentration camps. It required all of his ingenuity, plus numerous bribes that dissipated his wealth, to protect his workers from extermination until liberation finally arrived. This book is remarkable as it is the only known book signed by Schindler. He has inscribed this copy to his wife in 1957, with the words (translated from German), "To my dear Mily in remembrance of her courageous time." $20,000.

 

Item 70 is the rare print of Paul Gachet's Vincent Van Gogh on his Deathbed, this copy inscribed by the artist to his son. Gachet (who used the name Paul van Ryssel for his artworks), was Van Gogh's physician. He had treated Van Gogh in a hospital a few weeks earlier. On July 27, 1890, Van Gogh, depressed through much of his life, shot himself with a revolver. He lingered for two days, and Gachet treated him as best he could. However, infections set in, and Van Gogh wished to die anyway. Gachet, who had become Van Gogh's personal friend and was deeply upset by his death, sketched two versions of this final remembrance. $10,000.

 

Schubertiade Music & Arts can be reached at 617-308-4019 or schubertiademusic@gmail.com. Their website is www.shubertiademusic.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> BEETHOVEN, LUDWIG VAN. Autograph Manuscript sketch-leaf part of the score of the Scottish Songs, "Sunset" Op. 108 no 2. [Vienna, February 1818]. Inscribed by Alexander Wheelock Thayer. SOLD for $131,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. SOLD for $516,500
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> EINSTEIN, ALBERT. Autograph Letter Signed ("Papa") to his son Hans Albert, discussing his involvement with the atomic bomb, September 2, 1945. SOLD for $106,250
    <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> HAMILTON, ALEXANDER. Autograph Letter Signed, to Baron von Steuben, with extensive notes of Von Steuben's aide Benjamin Walker, June 12, 1780. SOLD for $16,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. SOLD for $275,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. SOLD for $118,750
  • <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> E.H. SHEPARD, Original drawing for A.A. Milne’s The House at Pooh Corner.<br>$40,000-60,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> BERNARD RATZER, Plan of the City of New York in North America, surveyed in the years 1766 & 1767. $80,000-100,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> THOMAS JEFFERSON, Autograph letter signed comparing Logan, Tecumseh, and Little Turtle to the Spartans. Monticello: 15 February 1821. $14,000-18,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN C. FREMONT, Narrative of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, in the Year 1842.. Abridged edition, the only one containing the folding map From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $3,000-5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ZANE GREY, Album containing 94 large format photographs of Grey and party at Catalina Island, Arizona, and fishing in the Pacific. From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $5,000-$8,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> WILLIAM COMBE, A History of Madeira ... illustrative of the Costumes, Manners, and Occupations of the Inhabitants. produced by Ackermann in 1821; From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ERIC TAVERNER, Salmon Fishing... One of 275 copies signed by Taverner, published in 1931,From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN WHITEHEAD, Exploration of Mount Kina Balu, North Borneo. Whitehead reached the high point of Kinabalu in 1888. Part of a major group of travel books from the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN LONG, Voyages and Travels of an Indian Interpreter and Trader, describing the Manners and Customs of the North American Indians... The first edition of 1791. $3,000-$5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> SAMUEL BECKETT, Stirrings Still. This, Beckett’s last work of fiction with original lithographs by Le Brocquy, limited to 200 copies signed by the author and the artist. From the Estate of Howard Kaminsky.. $1,500-$2,500
  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann, wallpaper sample book, circa 1919. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Archive from a late office of the Breuer & Smith architectural team, New York, 1960-70s. $3,500 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> William Morris, <i>The Story of the Glittering Plain or the Land of Living Men,</i> illustrated by Walter Crane, Kelmscott Press, Hammersmith, 1894. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustave Doré, <i>La Sainte Bible selon la Vulgate,</i> Tours, 1866. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustav Klimt & Max Eisler, <i>Eine Nachlese,</i> complete set, Vienna, 1931. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>Eric Allatini & Gerda Wegener, <i>Sur Talons Rouges,</i> with original watercolor by Wegener, Paris, 1929. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>C.P. Cavafy, <i>Fourteen Poems,</i> illustrated & signed by David Hockney, London, 1966. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jean Midolle, <i>Spécimen des Écritures Modernes...</i>, Strasbourg, 1834-35. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>E.A. Seguy, <i>Floréal: Dessins & Coloris Nouveaux,</i> Paris, 1925. $3,000 to $4,000.

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