IMPORTANT AUTOGRAPHS, AMERICANA AT SMYTHE AUCTION This November 16th, New York’s R.M. Smythe & Co., Inc. will hold its annual Autumn Autograph Auction at its downtown offices. This sale includes a broad selection of autographs from literary, artistic
News-Antique.com - Nov 30,-0001 - Numerous highlights promise to make this an exciting sale. One is an uncommon form of the autograph of George Washington, in the form of a docket on a letter written to him by Tennessee Governor John Sevier. Abraham Lincoln is also present in the form of an autograph note signed as President, forwarding a letter to the Secretary of War. Rare Letters of State from Presidents Grover Cleveland and Calvin Coolidge are also being offered, as well as a rare photograph signed by President U.S. Grant. Smythe continues to auction material from perhaps the greatest collection of First Ladies ever gathered, including a warm letter from Abigail Adams to the widow of patriot Benjamin Rush, remembering her husband’s friend and colleague. From Jane Appleton Pierce comes a letter written when she was just fourteen years old, the earliest known. This section also features the scarce autographs of Abigail Fillmore and Anna Harrison, as well as two outstanding letters from Mary Todd Lincoln, one written about her sorrow after the death of her beloved son, Tad.
Among the many other fields strongly represented, this sale includes a large book on the work of Frank Lloyd Wright signed twice by the architect, with an autograph quote. From General Robert E. Lee is an early order signed as a lieutenant, and a scarce signed photograph. Autographs will be sold from literary greats Robert Browning, Samuel Clemens, and William Wordsworth, with an interesting group of notes from the members of the Dante Club (H.W. Longfellow, O.W. Holmes, and J.R. Lowell) to their colleague Charles E. Norton. Legendary composers Giuseppe Verdi, Johannes Brahms, and Franz Liszt are also among the names that will appear. Also of note are the important inventors Robert Fulton (on a very rare stock receipt), Thomas A. Edison, Richard J. Gatling, Samuel Colt, and Alexander Graham Bell (in a handsome autograph quote signed).
A few unsigned items will also be available as part of the public auction, such as a 15th-century book by theologian John Duns Scotus, a scarce intermediate-state first edition copy of Twain’s Life on the Mississippi, a first edition of The Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant, and a huge 30” x 35” textile imprinted with the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
The auction also includes a large mail-bid-only section, which will close at noon on November 20th. This features items estimated from just a few dollars to nearly $1,000, with everything from autographs to a series of stereograph photos (and a stereoscope from the 1890s) to beautiful posters and prints. Of especial strength are the books to be offered in this section, including a first edition of N.C. Wyeth’s illustrated version of Jules Verne’s The Mysterious Island, the first American anti-slavery novel, The White Slave, and Jefferson Davis’s The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government.
There is much more to the auction than can be listed here. The catalog can be viewed and bids placed online at www.smytheonline.com by clicking on “Current Auctions”. Arrangements can be