French novelist; author of La Comédie Humaine. Autograph Letter Signed, de Balzac, one page, small octavo, n.d. In French, to a lady. “Would it be a great disturbance to you if I paid you a call on Sunday? I have a good memory for all good things, and I know you told me to come one … [ Read More ]
In the field of author signatures, autographs and signed letters, there is generally a direct relationship between the popularity of an author during his/her lifetime and the availability of their signed pieces today. Popular authors carried on correspondences. People went to their readings and obtained their autograph signatures, and everyone saved their autographs and signed letters because they knew they were important. Authors who were not popular during their lifetimes, and were not appreciated until decades later, are quite rare in autograph signatures and signed letters today, because people did not recognize their names in the decades after they died and did not save their signatures and signed letters. In American literature, autograph signatures and signed documents of Nathaniel Hawthorne are rare, while those of Edgar Allan Poe and Herman Melville are in the very to extremely rare category. Henry David Thoreau would be, as well, if it were not for the fact that autograph manuscript pages of his were tipped into a specially issued collection of his works. These are the only pieces in his handwriting that are ever encountered. Popular writers of the same period – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, John Greenleaf Whittier, Oliver Wendell Holmes – are all readily available today in autograph signatures and signed letters. Emily Dickinson, the reclusive poet, is extremely rare in any autograph examples. Walt Whitman is less rare and was quite popular during his lifetime, but he has been extensively collected by specialized collectors who have given or sold their collections to institutional libraries.
German poet; wrote Faust. Autograph Note Signed, Goethe, three lines on a card in German, to the noted German-Jewish painter Moritz Oppenheim, Weimar, May 8, 1827. “Herr Oppenheim is courteously requested to have his painting of Felsner collected.” Oppenheim traveled to Weimar in 1827 where he painted Johann von Goethe’s portrait. That same year Goethe … [ Read More ]
German mythologist; with his brother wrote Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Autograph Note Signed, Jac. Gr., on an oblong small octavo sheet, n.d. “Please send me as much as has come out of Plautus by Ritchel, Bonn, care of Konig.” A fine example. Framed in tan, chocolate and antique gilt, with a formal bust-length portrait of Jacob … [ Read More ]
GEORGES SIMENON. French novelist; creator of the series of detective novels featuring Inspector Maigret. Autograph Letter Signed, one page, octavo, January 31, 1959. On his name imprinted stationery to Albert-Jean. I apologize for being so late in replying to your letter. I was in the middle of working on my novel. I don’t know … [ Read More ]
MADAME DE. ANNE LOUISE GERMAINE NECKER STAEL. French writer; exiled by Napoleon I. Autograph Letter, unsigned, one page, octavo, n.d. Fine condition. “I miss you very much, my dear sir, you are for me beautiful England, that of wit and soul. don’t forget that I am expecting you and Lady Mackintosh tomorrow for dinner. You … [ Read More ]
French author of Democracy in America. Alexis de Tocqueville. Autograph Letter Signed, two pages, quarto, April 17, 1841. “I received the last volume of the Academy of Caen as well as the yearbook of the Department of La Manche, which you announced to me by your letter of March 26. I cannot thank you too … [ Read More ]