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Gilded Age (1876 - c.1900)

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A Christmas Classic by Thomas Nast

[CHRISTMAS], Newspaper. Harper’s Weekly, New York, N.Y., December 24, 1881. 16 pp., 11¼ x 16 in.

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CAUGHT! Thomas Nast’s classic image of Santa Claus being hugged by a little girl graces the front cover of this issue of Harper’s Weekly.

The double-page centerfold is another nice Thomas Nast Christmas print, “Christmas Fancies – ‘Don’t You Wish You Wore Stockings?’,” showing children and their dog in front of a fireplace. Will Carleton’s poem, The Christmas Tree, is illustrated with art by Howard Pyle which fills nearly an entire page. Other prints include the “Electric Railway at Berlin, Prussia,” “The Ring Theatre, Vienna, Recently Destroyed by Fire,” “Hon. Frederick T. Frelinghuysen, Secretary of State,” “The Late John W. Forney,” “Short and Sweet – ‘It’s Too Too Too Funny!’,”  and “The Interrupted Journey.” Thomas Nast is credited with creating the modern version of Santa Claus.

Item #H 12-24-1881, $375

Benjamin Butler Signed Stock Certificate

[BENJAMIN BUTLER], Stock certificate of fifteen shares of the Georgia Investment and Development Co. signed by Benjamin Butler as President. March 14, 1891.

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Item #23084, $1,000

An Invitation to Join the Temperance Union

WOMEN’S CHRISTIAN TEMPERANCE UNION, Printed Postcard Invitation. Unused.

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Item #21678.07, $100

Rear Admiral Schley on his recent victory over
the Spanish fleet in the Battle of Santiago Bay

WINFIELD SCOTT SCHLEY, Autograph Letter Signed to Mrs. L. B. Shriver. San Juan, P.R., October 21, 1898. 1 p., 8 x 10½ in. On “Headquarters Army of the Commission of the United States of America for Porto Rico” stationery.

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“If it has been the means of bringing peace then my sacrifice to that end would not have been too great.”

Item #21615, $2,500

William T. Sherman Talks Politics, Religion, and Princeton-Yale Football with a Suitor

WILLIAM TECUMSEH SHERMAN, Five Autograph Letters Signed to Mrs. Mary Audenried, widow of Sherman’s former Chief of Staff. 18 pages, April 21, 1885 – February 8, 1887.

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“Rachel went to Princeton last week. Thanksgiving Day – to witness the ball play – the day was horrid and she has been under the weather ever since having taken cold.”

Sherman, during an affair with a young widow, advises her on handling her teenage daughter: “Let her play her own game…Tell her to take her own way and you choose yours. If she becomes a nun she can do no harm and is dead to the world” while criticizing the power of the Catholic Church. He also muses about his own mortality, complains that he “shall not stay long” at his Senator-brother John’s home because “there is too much politics there to suit my taste,” and relates that his daughter caught a cold at the Yale-Princeton Thanksgiving Day football game.

Item #20856, $9,000

A Huge Print of the Great Abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison

WILLIAM LLOYD GARRISON, Photograph. Mammoth Plate Albumen print, approximately 15 x 19 in. Mounted on original light card board approximately 19 x 24 in. Board worn, some cracks not touching print; minor staining in image area. “William Lloyd Garrison” printed on mount inder image. c. 1870s

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An image of an older Garrison, as he appeared after his life’s work of abolition had been successfully completed.

Item #22464, $2,000

Discontent with Gilded Age Presidential Politics
and the Influence of “the negro vote”

WILLIAM BEACH LAWRENCE, Autograph Letter Signed, to Henry Anthony. Newport [R.I.], November 25, 1872. 4 pp.

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A detailed, despairing letter on campaign politics after the reelection of Ulysses S. Grant. Lawrence observes the humiliating defeat of Democrats and “Liberal Republicans” – who united behind Horace Greeley because of corruption in the Grant administration – in the Election of 1872. Lawrence laments the elevation of personality over merit and virtue in elections, an observation which resonates today. He also expresses concern about how newly enfranchised African Americans tended to vote.  “The negroes are naturally disposed to support those who are in power & whom they invest with superior dignity, on account of the possession of power. …the extraordinary denouement of the Cincinnati Convention has placed in bold relief the mode most unsatisfactory to an intelligent people, by which party conventions are constituted & which are readily made, the instruments of the vilest partisan combinations, carried on by men without character & without principle.

Item #20020, $950

Ex-President Grant ALS re: Railroads & Building New Markets in Mexico for the U.S.

ULYSSES S. GRANT, Autograph Letter Signed, to [John P.] Jones. [Mexico City] [April 24, 1881]. 2 pp., 4½ x 6¾ in.

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After James Garfield’s election, opposing factions of the Republican Party jockeyed to have their favorite candidates appointed to Cabinet and other patronage jobs. Garfield remained unmoved about his choices, even ignoring appeals by his own vice president, Chester Arthur. While in Mexico City, Grant criticized the sitting president’s choices in a letter sent via Nevada Senator John P. Jones. Two days after receiving the letter, Garfield wrote Grant a blistering response, stating he would appoint whom he wanted. The following day, New York Senators Conkling and Platt resigned in protest and Vice President Arthur was banished from Cabinet meetings. The Grant-Garfield controversy played out in the press for months, ending only after Garfield was assassinated in July.

Item #23291, $5,000

An Unusual Presentation Copy of
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

SAMUEL L. CLEMENS. [MARK TWAIN], Signed Book. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Tom Sawyer’s Comrade). New York: Charles Webster, 1886. Second American edition. 8 3/8 x 6 5/8 in. With several prints, clippings, and other ephemera tipped in. Rebound at the Roycroft bindery.

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“Taking the pledge will not make bad liquor good, but it will improve it”

Item #23193, $25,000

The 15th Amendment, Guaranteeing the Freedmen the Right to Vote, Passes the Georgia General Assembly

RUFUS BROWN BULLOCK, Printed Letter Signed, as Governor of Georgia, to the Governor of New York, February 3, 1870, Atlanta, Georgia. 1 p.

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Governor Rufus Bullock, a native New Yorker, informs the governor of his native state that his adopted state has ratified the 15th Amendment, shortly after New York rescinded its earlier ratification.

I have the honor to transmit herewith Joint Resolution ratifying the proposed ‘Fourteenth (sic) Constitutional Amendment’ passed by the General Assembly of the State of Georgia, February 2d, A.D. 1870.

It is ironic that this printed letter incorrectly references the “proposed Fourteenth” amendment. Like all other Confederates states except Tennessee, Georgia had initially rejected the Fourteenth Amendment in 1866, just months after President Johnson sent it to the states for consideration. The recalcitrance of southern states led Congress to impose military governments and to require former Confederate states to ratify the Amendment before they could be represented in Congress. Georgia ratified the Fourteenth Amendment on July 21, 1868, providing the final necessary vote for the amendment to go into effect. This letter clearly refers to the Fifteenth Amendment, under consideration by the states in 1869 and 1870.

Item #22489, $18,000

Jubal Early Tracking Down a Letter

JUBAL EARLY, Autograph Letter Signed to Edward W. Bok, Lynchburg, Va., April 2, 1882, 2 pp., 4⅞ x 8 in.

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Jubal Early, the former Confederate general, informs young Edward Bok that he did not receive the document Bok sent him. He urges Bok to send it again promptly, with adequate postage to insure its successful delivery.

Item #22359.05, $1,200

Joe Johnston Thanks Edward Bok

JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Autograph Letter Signed, August 31, 1885, Bedford Springs, Penn.. Paper is watermarked “Royal Irish Linen/Marcus Ward & Co.” 2 pp., 3⅞ x 8 in.

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Joseph Johnston, the former Confederate general, thanks young Edward Bok for “the high compliment expressed” and responds to Bok’s idea for “The American Pantheon.”

Item #22359.06, $1,200

Joe Johnston to Edward Bok

JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Autograph Letter Signed to Edward Bok, Bedford Springs, Penn., September 4, 1885, 2 pp., 4⅞ x 8 in.

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Joseph Johnston, the former Confederate general, replies to Bok’s letter. “…your wish that I should ‘cooperate in the discussion of the American pantheon’ is by far the highest compliment ever bestowed upon me…”

Item #22359.07, $1,200

A Ruff-Necked Hummingbird by Audubon

JOHN JAMES AUDUBON, Print. Ruff-Necked Hummingbird, [1871].

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Best known for his seminal Birds of America, Audubon’s prints are among the world’s most recognized images.

Item #22114.02, $1,750

A Harlequin Duck by Audubon

JOHN JAMES AUDUBON, Print. Harlequin Duck, [1871]. 14 x 12 in. framed.

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Best known for his seminal Birds of America, Audubon’s prints are among the world’s most recognized images.

Item #22114.03, $350

A Great American White Egret by Audubon

JOHN JAMES AUDUBON, Print. Great American White Egret, [1871]. 14½ x 12 framed.

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Best known for his seminal Birds of America, Audubon’s prints are among the world’s most recognized images.

Item #22114.05, $550

A Common Crossbill by Audubon

JOHN JAMES AUDUBON, Print. Common Crossbill, [1871]. 11½ x 16 in. framed.

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Best known for his seminal Birds of America, Audubon’s prints are among the world’s most recognized images.

Item #22114.08, $275

A Prairie Lark-Finch by Audubon

JOHN JAMES AUDUBON, Print. Prairie Lark-Finch, [1871]. 11½ x 15½ in. framed.

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Best known for his seminal Birds of America, Audubon’s prints are among the world’s most recognized images.

Item #22114.09, $250

A Song Finch by Audubon

JOHN JAMES AUDUBON, Print. Song Finch, [1871]. 11½ x 15½ in. framed.

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Best known for his seminal Birds of America, Audubon’s prints are among the world’s most recognized images.

Item #22114.04, $250

A Swamp Sparrow by Audubon

JOHN JAMES AUDUBON, Print. Swamp Sparrow, [1871]. 11½ x 15½ in. framed.

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Best known for his seminal Birds of America, Audubon’s prints are among the world’s most recognized images.

Item #22114.07, $300
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