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.
ALMA-TADEMA, Laura 1852-1909. Artist and husband of Lawrence Alma-Tadema
ALMA-TADEMA, Laura (1852-1909). Artist and husband of Lawrence Alma-TademaEnquire
Autograph Letter Signed (“Laura Alma Tadema”) to “Dear Kate” [possibly Kate Dickens Perugini], 2 ½ pages 8vo, 17 Grove End Road, St John’s Wood, 10 January 1898.
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.
COBHAM, J. Maclaren. Nineteenth century critic and novelist and ROSSETTI, Lucy Madox 1843-1894 née Brown
COBHAM, J. Maclaren. Nineteenth century critic and novelist and ROSSETTI, Lucy Madox (1843-1894) née BrownEnquire
Autograph Letter Signed ("J McClaren Cobham") to "Mrs Rossetti" [probably Lucy Rossetti née Madox Brown].1½ pages 8vo (and an additional half page note in a different hand (annotated in pencil "Lucy Rossetti")), writing about the whereabouts of a "packet of MS" and family news. The additional note to the foot of the letter states where the packet is to be found..41 Hayter Road Brixton Hill S. W., 17 March 1886.
DERBY, Edward George Stanley, Earl of 1799-1869. Prime Minister 1852, 1858-59, and 1866-68
DERBY, Edward George Stanley, Earl of (1799-1869). Prime Minister 1852, 1858-59, and 1866-68Enquire
Autograph Letter Signed ("Derby") to Major Somerset, explaining his inability to assist in nominating Somerset's son for Charterhouse.
2 pages 8vo, Knowsley, 19 January 1861.
DISRAELI, Benjamin 1804-1881. Statesman and Novelist
DISRAELI, Benjamin (1804-1881). Statesman and NovelistEnquire
Eight Autograph Leters Signed ("B. Disraeli" (3), "D." (3), and "Beaconsfield" (2) ), to Sir Edward Kerrison, Conservative M.P. for Eye and then East Suffolk 1852-67.30 pages 8vo in all, all but two on black edged paper, written from Hughenden Manor, Downing Street, Carlton Club, and George Street, 3 December 1864 - 11 March 1880.
Together with two Autograph Letters Signed (probably retained copies) from Kerrison to Disraeli; the retained copy of an Autograph Letter Signed from Kerrison to Lord Derby, 1858 (finding fault with Disraeli's leadership of the Conservative Party); two Autograph Letters Signed from Lord Derby to Kerrison, 1858 and 1866. the earlier letter vehemently defending Disraeli from Kerrison's criticism, an Autograph Letter Signed from the politician Stafford Northcote to Kerrison, and two incomplete letters to Kerrison, evidently from a fellow M.P.
DISRAELI, Benjamin 1804-1881. Statesman and Novelist
DISRAELI, Benjamin (1804-1881). Statesman and NovelistEnquire
Autograph Letter Signed ("B Disraeli") to "Dear Mrs. Bulwer", also named at the end of the letter as "Mrs Lytton Bulwer" [evidently Elizabeth Lytton Bulwer, later Bulwer Lytton, mother of Disraeli's friend the novelist Edward Bulwer Lytton] assuring her of his continued regard and continuing that "it was odd that my electioneering struggles should terminate in being MP for Maidstone".
8 pages 8vo, Bradenham, High Wycombe, n.d. .
ELLIS, Frederick Startridge 1830-1901. Author, friend of the Pre-Raphaelites
ELLIS, Frederick Startridge (1830-1901). Author, friend of the Pre-RaphaelitesEnquire
Autograph Letter Signed ("F. S. Ellis") to "Rossetti" [probably William Michael Rossetti] regarding the figure of God in Shelley's Prometheus Unbound, among other things.
3 pages 8vo, The Red House, Chelston, Torquay, 25 April 1891.
FRAZER, James George 1854-1941. Social anthropologist an
FRAZER, James George (1854-1941). Social anthropologist anEnquire
Autograph Letter Signed "J. G. Frazer" to "My dear Cook" [probably Arthur Bernard Cook, classical don at Cambridge].2 pages 8vo with integral blank leaf, a quarter of which has been neatly torn away, not affecting any text.Trin[ity]. Coll[ege]., 3 February, n. y.
GALTON, Francis 1822-1911. Founder of the science of eugenics; cousin of Charles Darwin
GALTON, Francis (1822-1911). Founder of the science of eugenics; cousin of Charles DarwinEnquire
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.1 page 8vo with integral blank leaf and the original stamped and postmarked autograph envelope, 42 Rutland Gate, 4 July 1903.
GASKELL William 1805-1884. Unitarian minister, author and husband of Elizabeth Gaskell
GASKELL William (1805-1884). Unitarian minister, author and husband of Elizabeth GaskellEnquire
Autograph Letter Signed (“Wm Gaskell”) to “My dear Mr Ashton” [Thomas Ashton, cotton manufacturer and Beatrix Potter's great-uncle], 4 pages 8vo, Plymouth Grove, 12 January 1871.
GEORGE, Duke of Cambridge 1819-1904. Commander-in-Chief of the British Army
GEORGE, Duke of Cambridge (1819-1904). Commander-in-Chief of the British ArmyEnquire
Document Signed ("George") stating that "Her Majesty has . . . been graciously pleased to command that the Court be ordered to reassemble for the purpose of revising its Sentence."
3½ pages folio, Horse Guards, 5 February 1861.
HARDY, Thomas 1840-1928. Novelist and Poet
HARDY, Thomas (1840-1928). Novelist and PoetEnquire
Postcard Signed ("T. Hardy") with two words, "eleventh Novr.", in his hand, Hardy's reply on a pre-printed postcard saying he cannot be present at a meeting of the Dramatists' Club.1 page oblong 8vo , n.d. [postmarked 6 November 1914].
HICHENS, Robert Smythe 1864-1950. Author of The Green Carnation
HICHENS, Robert Smythe (1864-1950). Author of The Green CarnationEnquire
Autograph Letter Signed ("Robert Hichens") to "Dear Madam", explaining why he must decline to lecture.
1 page 8vo with integral blank leaf, Meadowside, Tankerton-on-Sea, 25 November 1914.
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].
JECKYLL, Thomas 1827–81. Architect; Designer of Whistler's Peacock Room
JECKYLL, Thomas (1827–81). Architect; Designer of Whistler's Peacock RoomEnquire
Autograph Letter Signed "T. Jeckyll" to "Ionides" [probably one of Alexander "Alec"' Ionides’ four siblings].
4 pages 8vo, 5 St Georges Terrace, Queen's Gate, Saturday morning n.d. [probably 1870, the date of his commission for 1 Holland Park].
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.
MARILLIER, Henry Currie 1865-1951. Writer, expert on tapestries and managing director of Morris & Co. for 35 years
MARILLIER, Henry Currie (1865-1951). Writer, expert on tapestries and managing director of Morris & Co. for 35 yearsEnquire
Autograph Note Signed ("H. C. Marillier") [Annotation in pencil on the reverse reads "has written a book (about to be published) on The Art of Dante Rossetti &c".] to "Mr Rossetti" [annotated in pencil "to William Rossetti"].1 page oblong 8vo, Swan Electric Engraving Company, Northumbria House, 116 Charing Cross Road, 21 April 1899.
POYNTER, Edward John 1836-1919. Painter and arts administrator
POYNTER, Edward John (1836-1919). Painter and arts administratorEnquire
Seven Autograph Letters Signed ("Edward J. Poynter") to "Sir Robert Collins" [Comptroller of the household of the Duke of Albany and later, of the Duchess of Albany].
8½ pages 8vo, six each with an integral blank leaf, Royal Academy of Arts, London, W., 19 April 1899-1 May 1907.In a wrapper with a crowned letter "h" and a mourning border, Villa Ingenheim, Wildpark [Germany], n.d.
PRINSEP, Valentine "Val" Cameron 1838-1904. Pre-Raphaelite artist
PRINSEP, Valentine ("Val") Cameron (1838-1904). Pre-Raphaelite artistEnquire
Autograph Letter Signed "Val Prinsep" to "Dear Mrs Reiss" [possibly Mrs Leopold Reiss, wife of the founder of the Halle Orchestra ].
1¼ pages, 1 Holland Park Road, n.d.
RAGLAN, Fitzroy Somerset, Lord 1788-1855. General; Commander-in-Chief of the British Forces in the Crimea
RAGLAN, Fitzroy Somerset, Lord (1788-1855). General; Commander-in-Chief of the British Forces in the CrimeaEnquire
Autograph Letter Signed ("Raglan") to "My dear General Yorke" [? - name virtually illegible], warmly recommending Captain Mackenzie, brigade major of the 92nd Regiment.
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.
SHAFTESBURY, Anthony Ashley Cooper, 7th Earl 1801-1885. Philanthropist
SHAFTESBURY, Anthony Ashley Cooper, 7th Earl (1801-1885). PhilanthropistEnquire
Signature and subscription ("Yours ever / Shaftesbury") evidently cut from the end of a letter.c. 2½ x 3½ ins, laid down, with some faint 'show-through' from the text on the verso.
SHIELDS, Frederic 1833-1911. Artist, illustrator and designer
SHIELDS, Frederic (1833-1911). Artist, illustrator and designerEnquire
Autograph Letter Signed ("Frederic Shields") to Mrs Combe, probably Martha Howell Bennett Combe, regarding Shields' friend William Holman Hunt..
2½ pages 8vo, Siena House, Lodge Place N.W., 3 April 1889.
SWINBURNE, Algernon 1837-1919. Poet
SWINBURNE, Algernon (1837-1919). PoetEnquire
Autograph Letter Signed ("A.C. Swinburne") to "Messieurs" [the Paris committee which was organising celebrations in honour of Victor Hugo's 80th birthday].
1 page 8vo in French with integral blank leaf, The Pines, Putney Hill, 21 February 1881.
DICKENS, Charles 1812-1870. Writer
The Life and Adventures of Martin ChuzzlewitEnquire
Autograph Letter Signed (“Charles Dickens”) to J.C. Parkinson [Joseph Charles Parkinson, a contributor to All the Year Round], a glowing letter of recommendation for Parkinson who hoped to be appointed Commissioner of Inland Revenue.
3 pages 8vo, Gad’s Hill Place, Christmas Day, 1868.