Showing posts from June 8, 2008

Letters From Beyond: Erwin Rommel; Sigmund Freud; Jack Ruby; Eisenhower; Hitler & Von Hindenburg; Frank James; Beethoven; Ben Franklin; Tschaikovsky

More choice items from Charles Hamilton's 1960s auctions. Where possible I've included the realised (sale) price. I'd also like to clear up any confusion - I don't own any of these items, nor do I own any of the items I've posted of late from the Charles Hamilton auctions. I wish I did. I'd have sold them by now and cashed in. What I do own are the catalogues themselves, I'm merely scanning the best images of interest and posting them up for the world to see. Why? Because if I find them interesting then surely someone else out there does as well.


Auction #11 (January 31st, 1966) contained what I expect was the most important piece to go through Charles Hamilton's hands - the original Pax Mundi, as composed between 1925-1931. We'll cover that very soon. In the meantime what we have here is ERWIN ROMMEL.

Described in one of the best understatements possible as a 'Colourful Nazi field marshal, the 'Desert Fox'; suicide. A.L.S. in German…

Letters From Beyond: Benedict Arnold, Mark Twain & Ambrose Bierce

More goodies scanned from the Charles Hamilton catalogues. These two letters were offered in Auction #21, September 28, 1967 - that'll be 41 years ago. Sadly my copy doesn't have the prices realised, so I'll have to go on estimates. Let me tell you though, going on some of the other auctions, I'm betting these went too damn cheaply.

Benedict Arnold. A name synonymous with the word traitor. This is the guy who tried to betray West Point to the British during the American Revolution. What we have here is one page from a 2 2/3 page A.L.S, dated November 26, 1768. The item description list this as being, 'Very early commercial letter to the officers of a ship, ordering them to "to proceed as soon as Wind & weather permits to the Island of Dominica in the Wt Indies & then Inform your Selves in the Market & sell There or go to any other Island you shall think better..." The letter contains detailed instructions on the purchasing of rum, molasses and …

Letters From Beyond: Thomas Edison, Gandhi, Nicolo Paganini & Robert Frost

More great scans of letters from the famous and legendary. All of these were offered in auction #18 by Charles Hamilton, April 6, 1967 in New York. This catalogue also has the realised prices, so I'll be posting them, if only to make you cry and wish you had a time machine.
First up we have a fine example from poet Robert Frost. Described as an 'Autographed Manuscript Signed "R.F." his poem Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening penned on blank verso of preliminary page of his Selected Poems, Henry Holt, New York, printing of March 1926. The book is also inscribed and signed by Frost on the blank fly-leaf and annotated by him on the table of contents.'

The original text of the poem reads as such:
Whose woods these are I think I know
His house is in the village though
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year
He give…

Letters From Beyond: Edison & F Scott Fitzgerald

There'll be people who'll tell you that they see these types of letters each and every day - I'm not one of them, although I am fascinated by such documents. Fascinated to the point where I'll happily spend a substantial amount of money just to purchase auction catalogues dating back to the 1960s, from Sothebys and Charles Hamilton and through to the lesser known sellers and auctioneers. All in all it's been a great weekend, what with the purchase of over 400 South Australian TV Guides and now this great lot. Can't complain.

To that end I thought it'd be a great idea to share some of the more interesting artifacts found within the pages of Charles Hamilton's catalogues.

This first letter was offered for sale on May 24, 1967 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York and was described as being '1 full page, small 8vo, Very slightly soiled, with signature slightly smudged, otherwise a fine example of (Thomas) Edison's holograph'. The text of the letter …

Television Icons

Ok, hands up who doesn't remember Deadly Earnest? This ad appeared on the rear of an old TV Guide (I managed to buy about 400 of them yesterday, just for fun) and doesn't it bring back memories. And look, good ole Yorick is right there with him. I used to live for watching Deadly Earnest, even after Russell Starkie took over, although once I watched Trilogy Of Terror I decided to give the show the flick. Scared five kinds of crap out of me.

What a funny old fellow is Humphrey. All he needs in this shot is a coffin nail in one of his paws and it'd look perfect. This is the casual side of Humphrey. Girls he's still kicking around, has his own show and is world famous. Plus he's a bear who doesn't wear pants. Hard to believe that he's still single.

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