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.
GALTON, Francis 1822-1911. Founder of the science of eugenics; cousin of Charles Darwin (1903)
Autograph Letter Signed ("Francis Galton") to Professor Richard Norris in Birmingham, warmly thanking him "for the valuable volume you have sent me" [evidently Norris's own Physiology and Pathology of the Blood]Enquire
1 page 8vo with integral blank leaf and the original stamped and postmarked autograph envelope, 42 Rutland Gate, 4 July 1903.
RAGLAN, Fitzroy Somerset, Lord 1788-1855. General; Commander-in-Chief of the British Forces in the Crimea
Autograph Letter Signed ("Raglan") to "My dear General Yorke" [?], warmly recommending Captain Mackenzie, brigade major of the 92nd RegimentEnquire
1¼ pages 8vo with integral blank leaf, and the blue stamp of the Commander-in-Chief's Office at the top left, Before Sevastopol, 27 December 1854.
CARDIGAN, James Brudenell, 7th Earl 1797-1868. General; led the Charge of the Light Brigade
CARDIGAN, James Brudenell, 7th Earl (1797-1868). General; led the Charge of the Light BrigadeEnquire
Autograph Letter Signed ("Cardigan") to an unidentified correspondent, a strong letter of recommendation for Dr. [E.H.] Nolan, author of the History of the War with Russia.4 pages 8vo, Portman Square, 20 April 1857.
MILL John Stuart
"I have published a small volume on Liberty."Enquire
Autograph Letter Signed ("J. Stuart Mill") in French to Doctor Eduard Loewenthal (1836-1917), referring to the publication and translation of several of Mill's works, including On Liberty.
3½ pages. 8vo. Avignon, 24 January 1868.
ISHERWOOD, Christopher 1904-1986. Writer
ISHERWOOD, Christopher (1904-1986). WriterEnquire
Postcard Photograph Signed and inscribed ("Christopher Isherwood about 40 years earlier. for P.B. Dyson"), a National Portrait Gallery reproduction of Howard Coster's head and shoulders photograph of the writer, taken c. 1936.6 x 4¼ ins, n.p., n.d. [c.1976].
KERN, Jerome 1885-1945. American Composer
KERN, Jerome (1885-1945). American ComposerEnquire
Portrait Signed and inscribed ('For Kenneth R. Seagood with the grateful regards of Jerome Kern Beverly Hills 1944'), a reproduction of a monochrome head and shoulders portrait of Kern. 7 x 5 ins. on matte card, Beverly Hills, 1944.
KNIGHT Dame Laura
KNIGHT (Dame Laura)Enquire
Photograph signed and inscribed ('To my dear friend Teddy Lyon from Laura Knight'), showing the artist, wearing cape and hat, pulling on her gloves, going through a door, through to a kitchen. She has drawn a sketch of a clown, in blue ink, on the white panel of the door which is behind her head. 23.5 x 17 cms, mounted, n.p., n.d.
ROOSEVELT Franklin Delano
ROOSEVELT (Franklin Delano)Enquire
Photograph Signed and inscribed ('For my old friend Dick Child with my affectionate regards Franklin Roosevelt April, 1933'), a head and shoulders portrait of the decisive looking statesman, signed by him shortly after his inauguration to his first term as President. 25 x 20 cms., n.p., April 1933.
ROSSINI Gioacchino ((1835))
Gorgheggi e Solfeggi, Vocalises et Solfeges pour rendre la Voix agile et pour apprendre a Chanter selon le Gout Moderne, Par Rossini [Trills and Vocal exercises to make the Voice supple and to learn to Sing according to Modern Taste, By Rossini].18 pages of vocal exercises, with a decorative engraved calligraphic title page. Folio, scarlet boards stamped in gilt on the front cover with the name of the owner Mlle Mathilde de Sassenay. Her name (probably her signature) has been written at the head of the title page. Red leather spine with title in gilt, marbled endpapers. Paccini, Paris, n.d. . [c. 1835].Signed by the composer ('Rossini') at the foot of the decorative title page.