Autographs and Manuscripts
The Autograph department specialises in letters, documents and manuscripts of significant historical, literary, military, musical, artistic and royal figures from the late mediaeval period to around 1960 – for example from Elizabeth I to Elizabeth Barrett Browning, from Louis XIV to Louis Armstrong, from Charles I to Charles Dickens..
Our holdings of British material are particularly rich and we can often offer a selection of documents signed by monarchs from Henry VIII to George VI, letters of statesmen from Pitt to Churchill, of Romantic poets and 19th century novelists, and of military and naval figures such as Cromwell, Marlborough, Wellington and Nelson. We are also able to offer items of American interest, such as signed photographs of Harriet Beecher Stowe or Franklin D. Roosevelt. We are strong in French documents and letters, literary, artistic and historical, especially the ancien regime and the French revolutionary period. A particular speciality is the Napoleonic era, and we are often able to offer significant material of Napoleon, his family and marshals.
It is a matter of pride that we concentrate on material with good content, in good condition, and which we are able, through careful research and cataloging, to set in the proper historical context to assist collectors.
We have recently issued a pamphlet, Collecting Autographs, which gives the history (and surprising antiquity) of this collecting field, advises on conservation, and explains the specialist terms often used in descriptions.