Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Hugo Wolf's death notice, and other treasures

I found this fascinating site you can waste hours and hours with. It is Roger Gross, Ltd! This site can make your work day go whooosh, right down the tubes.

Mr. Gross sells all kinds of musical memorabilia: signed photos, autographed programs, announcements, whatever.

Up above is a signed picture of Leonard Pennario. Writing this book I would have thought I had every picture of him that existed but I do not have that one. I love it. Look at his hands. I loved his hands.

Here is a great oddment: Brahms' funeral notice.

An elaborate Benjamin Britten autograph is going for $2,500. Britten wrote out part of "Peter Grimes." There is a photo of Britten attached. Interesting, you do not often see pictures of Old Benjamin Britten. You usually see Young Benjamin Britten.

It is fun to look through the site and play "The Price is Right" with yourself. Whose autograph is more expensive, Pennario's or Istomin's? The answer is Pennario (she said with satisfaction).

I think at $175 this elegantly autographed picture of Franz Lehar is a bargain.

I mean, think, you routinely shell out $175 for your water bill, your car repair, etc., and never think anything of it. Instead you could be owning an autographed picture of Lehar! You could put it up on your wall and look at it over coffee in the morning.

Pennario's picture is also going for $175. It is funny that with all the ever-shifting laws of supply and demand they are at the exact same level.

Here is something atmospheric: Hugo Wolf's death notice. If you were going to have the death notice for anyone that would be up near the top of your list. Look at that picture of him.

The Hugo Wolf death notice would run you $875 but it is priceless in my opinion.

The Johannes Brahms death notice, by the way, is $2,500.

I wonder what is the most expensive item on this site. I will have to go back and look, when I am not in such a hurry. Oh, look! Here is a signature by Beethoven and this has to be a contender.

BEETHOVEN, Ludwig von- STUPENDOUS large pencil signature on the verso of a letter written by his attorney Dr. Johann Baptist von Bach "You can keep the bow for the coming half year Otherwise, one might raise some objections. From 1st October, 1818 until 1st April, 1819. Under Beethoven's signature is written in German "presented as a souvenir to Mrs. Elizabeth Schmetzer by A. Schindler (Beethoven's friend and biographer Frankfurt a. Main in March 1855". This is on a sheet matted together with a noble stone print of Beethoven. Overall 14 1/2 x 19" It is EXTREMELY SELDOM that full signatures of Beethoven appear.
........................................... $19,750

When Beethoven's friend Schindler was involved you never know. Still I would imagine this signature has been verified.

Fascinating stuff. Unbelievable.

We could do many follow-ups on this site and I am thinking we should.

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