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Albert Einstein Counsels His Son on the Meaning of Life

ALBERT EINSTEIN, Autograph Letter Signed (“Papa”), in German, to his son Eduard (“Tetel” for “petit”). [December 27, 1932]. 2 pp, 8½ x 11 in.

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“We don’t want creatures to suffer unnecessarily, but that alone is not a goal that can make life worth living. Because the balance between happiness and pain remains rather negative, and the goal might rather be achieved most perfectly by destroying life. All my life I have troubled myself with problems and am always – as on the first day – inspired by the fact that cognition in the scientific and artistic sense is the best thing we possess… If one hears the angels singing a couple of times during one’s life, one can give the world something and one is a particularly fortunate and blessed individual.”

Item #23789, $50,000

“The Only Thing We Have to Fear is Fear Itself.”
FDR Signed 1st Edition of His 1934 Book, On Our Way

FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, Signed Book. On Our Way. New York: John Day Company, 1934. First edition, including FDR’s famous first inaugural address. Signed and inscribed “For Daniel C. Roper – this record of our first year – with my affectionate regards Franklin Roosevelt April 28, 1934.” With erratum slip and FDR’s holograph correction on page “x” of the foreword, changing private “party” to “property.” The error on page 162 (“willing” instead of “unwilling”) is uncorrected. 252 pp. 5 x 7 ½ in.

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“I think it will interest you if I set forth the fundamentals of this planning for national recovery; and this I am very certain will make it abundantly clear to you that all of the proposals and all of the legislation since the Fourth Day of March have not been just a collection of haphazard schemes, but rather the orderly component parts of a connected logical whole.” (dust-jacket blurb)

After a year of Roosevelt’s progressive reforms, the president takes the opportunity to point out successes and answer critics, justifying the continuation of policies that are lifting the nation out of economic turmoil and restoring optimism to downtrodden Americans. The appendix includes his Roosevelt’s first inaugural address (255-262), executive orders on financial matters, many Executive Orders relating to gold and silver coinage (ie page 296), radio addresses and the like.

Item #23807, $3,850

The First Full-term African American Senator Signs a Deed

BLANCHE BRUCE, Document Signed. Land deed. Washington, D.C. August 30, 1890. Signature panel 8¼ x 3½ in., overall dimensions 8¼ x 14 in.

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Blanche Bruce was the first full-term African American to serve in the U.S. Senate, 1875-1881. He was then appointed by President James Garfield as Register of the U.S. Treasury in 1881. He later served as the Washington, D.C. Recorder of Deeds (a position earlier held by Frederick Douglass), 1890-1893 and again as Register of the Treasury from 1897 until his death in 1898.

Item #22945.09, $95

George Washington as a Mason

CURRIER & IVES. [GEORGE WASHINGTON], George Washington as a Mason. Small folio lithograph, 1868. Black & white.

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Item #23708, $850

Frederick Douglass Records a Washington, D.C. Land Deed

FREDERICK DOUGLASS, Document Signed. Land deed from Sigmund J. Block to William Fagan. Washington, D.C., June 26, 1886. 19¾ x 19½ in., framed.

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Among Frederick Douglass’s many titles and accomplishments, acting as the Recorder of Deeds for Washington, D.C. was one of his lesser-known occupations. While Douglass’s letters are scarce, documents signed during his tenure here are very reasonable.

Item #20409.10, ON HOLD

The First Full-term African American Senator Signs a Deed

BLANCHE BRUCE, Document Signed. Land deed. Washington, D.C. September 30,1890. Signature panel 8¼ x 3½ in., overall dimensions 8¼ x 14 in. Framed.

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Blanche Bruce was the first full-term African American to serve in the U.S. Senate, 1875-1881. He was then appointed by President James Garfield as Register of the U.S. Treasury in 1881. He later served as the Washington, D.C. Recorder of Deeds (a position earlier held by Frederick Douglass), 1890-1893 and again as Register of the Treasury from 1897 until his death in 1898.

Item #22945.04, $525

1790 Massachusetts Newspaper Discussing Nantucket Whalers

[NANTUCKET], Newspaper, The Columbian Centinel. Boston: Benjamin Russell, December 15, 1790. 4 pp.

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Item #30000.007, $450

Earliest Mormon Newspaper in Utah

[UTAH/MORMONS], Newspaper. Deseret News, No. 23. Great Salt Lake City, Utah. August 17, 1854.

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Reports proceedings of the Mormon Church, Indian attacks, missionary activities in London, international events such as the Crimean War, and the first laying of stone for the Washington Monument. Front page includes excerpts from History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, later published in full by the Deseret News itself, and a “Discourse” by church leader Heber Kimball.

Item #21713, $1,000

Sterling Silver Sinseollo Dish,
Presented to General Matthew Ridgway
by the Korean Minister of Defense

[MATTHEW B. RIDGWAY], Traditional Korean dish, engraved around the base with four stars, and the inscription, “General & Mrs. M. B. Ridgway / From Defense Minister & Mrs. Ki Poong Lee / Republic of Korea,” ca. 1952.

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Item #22366, $5,500

Broadside Declaring War on Spain

[GEORGE II], Broadside, “His Majesty’s Declaration of War Against the King of Spain,” John Bassett, printer, London, October 19, 1739, 16 x 21 in., with contemporary manuscript notes and docketing, October 23, 1739.

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Parliament goes to war after Robert Jenkins displays his detached ear.

Item #22456, $6,500

Ohio Reformers Use Rhode Island’s Dorr Rebellion
to Justify Their Own Behavior

[DORR WAR], Pamphlet. The Dorr Movement in Ohio; Being an Examination into the Causes, Progress and Probable Effects of the Revolutionary Course of Locofocoism in the Organization of the General Assembly of This State, for the Session of 1848-49. [Columbus, Ohio]: Legg & Murray, Columbus, [1849]. Disbound. Inscribed in pencil on the title by H.A. Swift, the author, in presentation.

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Item #22543, $800

J.R.R. Tolkien Writes his Proofreader
with a Lengthy Discussion of the Lord of the Rings,
Including Criticism of Radio Broadcasts of his Work

J.R.R. TOLKIEN, Autograph Letter Signed, to Naomi Mitchison. Headington, Oxford, England, December 8, 1955. 4 pp on 2 leaves of wove paper with Pirie’s/ Crown Bond watermark. 5

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In a letter peppered with references to Middle Earth and its inhabitants, an exhausted Tolkien takes his first lengthy holiday in four years—in Italy. He returns and writes to Naomi Mitchison, a fellow novelist and his proofreader, for failing to provide feedback for her novel, To the Chapel Perilous. Tolkien discusses the demands on his time, ranging from his teaching load, thesis advising, and publishing, to reading critical reviews. Tolkien’s dissatisfaction with radio adaptations of Lord of the Rings occupies a prominent place: I think poorly of the broadcast adaptations. Except for a few details I think they are not well done... I thought that the dwarf (Gloin not Gimli, but I suppose Gimli will talk like his father...) was not too bad if a bit exaggerated. I do think of the “Dwarves” like Jews: at once native and alien in their habitations, speaking the language of the country, but with an accent due to their own private tongue. The balance of the letter discusses literary critics, reviews of Mitchison’s book, and anachronisms in her latest offering as contrasted to Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.

Item #23221, $22,000

Frederick Douglass Signed Deed

FREDERICK DOUGLASS, Document Signed as Recorder of Deeds, Washington, D.C., 1881-1886. Approx. 3½ x 8½” folded.
Image shown is a sample. To request an image of the deed currently available please email us at info@sethkaller.com

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While Douglass’s letters are scarce, documents signed during his tenure as recorder of deeds for the District of Columbia can be had very reasonably.

Item #20409u, $495

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, $1,250

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, $375

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, $525
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