Lot 68 in our July Fine & Classic auction was a group of three autograph books filled with signatures from notable musicians, composers, actors, politicians and other celebrities of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. There were a number of high profile names in the collection including William Frederick Cody an American soldier, bison hunter, and showman otherwise known as Buffalo Bill.
The bulk of the collection was focused on late 19th Century composers and musicians and were obtained from venues across the UK. Highlights included Ignacy Jan Paderewski, Sofia Ravogli, Giulia Ravogli, Clara Lichenstein, Ebenezer Prout, Edvard Grieg, Charles and Wilma Hallé. The Hallé signatures gained much local interest due to the Hallé Orchestra which was founded by Charles in 1858 and still performs to this day from the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester.
My favourite signature in the lot was that of Herbert Beerbohm Tree a prominent actor and theatre manager who lived between 1852-1917. Herbert is most well known for founding The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in 1904, one of the oldest drama schools in the United Kingdom with many famous alumni including Alan Rickman, Timothy Spall, Phoebe Mary Waller-Bridge and current director of RADA, Kenneth Branagh. His autograph in the album reads 'Rhyme is an idle coin when one is hungry' and is on headed paper for The Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin.
The lot sold for £1,700 and continues our strong run of form selling autographs at auction. In our last 20th Century Art & Design sale in May, two signed Beatles albums by John Lennon & Paul McCartney sold for £8,600. If you have any autographs that you wish to sell at auction please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or submit an online valuation form here.
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