Autograph Letters Signed
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Rare Isaac Newton Manuscript highlighting his controversial theological views, which were kept hidden for hundreds of years
Rare full page folio autograph manuscript entirely in the hand of Isaac Newton, father of physics and modern science and author of important texts such as the Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, Opticks, and many more. One folio page with Newton’s handwriting and emendations on both the recto and verso. While Newton is mostly known for his scientific and mathematical pursuits and is considered to be one of the most influential scientists of all time, his controversial theological views, which were kept hidden for centuries, were as brilliant as his science and an extension of his search for truth. Many believe theology was actually his first love, as he wrote more about religion than he did about science. Of Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, he stated, “When I wrote my treatise about our Systeme I had an eye upon such Principles as might work with considering men for the beliefe of a Deity and nothing can rejoyce me more than to find it useful for that purpose”. He wrote in the Principa, “This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent Being. . . . This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all. . . . The Supreme God is a Being eternal, infinite, absolutely perfect.” While he believed in a supreme God, early in his career at Trinity College, his theological research of original texts led him to believe that authentic Christianity had been corrupted by the early church fathers and that the brand of religion that was now accepted as orthodox by the Roman Catholic Church, and to some extent by the Church of England, was not completely true. He discovered that the final phrases of 1 John 5:7 ‘and these three are one’ was not present in any Greek version that he studied and came to the conclusion that it was a deliberate addition to the text to provide justification for the doctrine of the Trinity. He concluded that the orthodox notion of the Trinity was a fictional story that was invented in the early fourth century. This document is very important, as its contents deal with these controversial issues. Written in English and some Latin, he writes concerning an Epistle of Emperor Constantine regarding the Arian debate and the Council of Nicea, which laid out the famous doctrinal statement, the Nicene Creed. The Nicene Creed was adopted to resolve the Arian controversy. The Arian leader, Arius, a clergyman of Alexandria, “objected to Alexander’s (the bishop of the time) apparent carelessness in blurring the distinction of nature between the Father and the Son by his emphasis on eternal generation”. In reply, Alexander accused Arius of denying the divinity of the Son and also of being too “Jewish” and “Greek” in his thought. Alexander and his supporters created the Nicene Creed to clarify the key tenets of the Christian faith in response to the widespread adoption of Arius’ doctrine, which was henceforth marked as heresy. Because of these views, Newton’s theological writings, were marked “Not fit to be printed”. They were placed in storage and were not made available to the public until the economist John Maynard Keynes and Jewish scholar and businessman, Abraham Yahuda, acquired many of them in 1936. There are very few of these original writings left in private hands, as the majority of the manuscripts are in the permanent collections of the Cambridge University Library, Kings College Library (a gift of John Maynard Keynes), Jewish National and University Library (now National Library of Israel), the Bodleian Library at Oxford University, the Foundation Martin Bodmer in Geneva, and the Grace K. Babson collection now housed in the Huntington Library in California. Matted and framed with both the recto and verso visible. The manuscript measures 11.75 inches by 7.5 inches. The entire piece measures 23.5 inches by 19.5 inches. A scarce piece of history; essential to the collector interested in both Newton’s scientific and theological endeavors.
Price: $150,000.00 Item Number: 119750
"With love, Stephen": Extraordinarily rare presentation copy of Stephen Hawking's The Occurrences of Singularities in Cosmology; warmly inscribed by him
Extraordinarily rare presentation copy of one of Hawking’s most important papers, one of a very small number of his works that he signed before his worsening motor neuron disease made it impossible for him to sign. Octavo, four pages, signed by Stephen Hawking in the upper left corner, “With love, Stephen.” The occurrence of singularities in cosmology was the second paper Hawking published on the occurrences of singularities, or black holes, following the submission of his PhD thesis, Properties of Expanding Universes, in which he examined the implications and consequences of the expansion of the universe. In the final chapter of his thesis, Hawking concluded, “It is shown that a singularity is inevitable provided that certain very general conditions are satisfied.” This conclusion established the trajectory of his future work, as well as his style of combining popularizing flair with a willingness to challenge received wisdom. Hawking published the present paper in 1966 during his research fellowship at Gonville and Caius in addition to his extended essay Singularities and the geometry of space-time which would win the Adams Prize, one of the University of Cambridge’s most prestigious awards, and contained his assessment: “Undoubtedly, the most important results are the theorems in Chapter 5 on the occurrence of singularities. These seem to imply either that the General Theory of Relativity breaks down or that there could be particles whose histories did not exist before (or after) a certain time. The author’s own opinion is that the theory probably does break down but only when quantum gravitational effects become important.” In very good condition with light staining to the lower portion of the paper. From the personal collection of Stephen Hawking.
Price: $95,000.00 Item Number: 119730
"All my time is now taken up with very pressing work and I can only hope for a more favourable opportunity": Exceptionally rare autograph note signed by Nikola Tesla
Rare autograph note signed by and entirely in the hand of brilliant inventor, Nikola Tesla. On Waldorf Astoria letterhead, the letter is dated December 2, 1904 and reads in full, “Dear Mrs. Dodge, Please accept my thanks for your kind thought. I’m very sorry to miss the pleasure yesterday. All my time is now taken up with very pressing work and I can only hope for a more favourable opportunity. Yours sincerely, N. Tesla.” From 1900 to 1922, Tesla resided at the Waldorf Astoria and made the rounds of New York looking for investors for what he thought would be a viable system of wireless transmission using electrical energy, wining and dining them at the hotel’s famed Palm Garden, Players Club and Delmonicos. In March of 1901, he was successful in obtaining $150,000 from J.P Morgan in return for a 51% share of any generated wireless patents and so began the race between Tesla and rival Guglielmo Marconi to develop the first wireless transmitter, a race Tesla would lose in December of that same year when Marconi successfully transmitted the letter ‘S’ from England to Newfoundland using a radio-based system. In fine condition. Exceptionally rare and desirable.
Price: $20,000.00 Item Number: 114948
Rare autograph letter signed and entirely in the hand of Sigmund Freud to his colleague, fellow psychiatrist Dr. Karl Fahrenkamp
Rare autograph letter signed and entirely in the hand of Sigmund Freud to his colleague, fellow psychiatrist Dr. Karl Fahrenkamp. Dated June 9, 1929 and on Freud’s personal letterhead the English translation of the German text is as follows: “Very esteemed Doctor: I accept the photos with thanks. Basically, one cannot say anything else about their representations than what once was said in a simple way by a student in an introduction to a composition: ‘Already the old Romans knew about love.’ The most beautiful picture you sent is of a drink container of the King. I myself have such a delicate piece in my possession which Prof. Delgado brought to me from Lima. Very cordially yours. Sig. Freud.” The recipient, Dr. Karl Fahrenkamp, was recognized for his work on psychosomatic illnesses. Freud and Fahrenkamp both based their theories on the functional theory of organic disorders, or the argument that external causative factors could act as a major cause of psychological imbalance. Fahrenkamp was strongly influenced by Freudian views and explored the influence of emotions upon bodily disease in his work on psychosomatic illnesses. The letter was also, notably, written the same year Freud published one of his most important and widely read books, Das Unbehagen in der Kultur (The Uneasiness in Civilization). In near fine condition. The letter measures 9 inches by 5.5 inches. Double matted and framed with a portrait of Freud, the entire piece measures 18.5 by 15.5 inches. A significant association.
Price: $9,800.00 Item Number: 110394
Rare typed letter signed by Albert Einstein. One page, typescript, text in German. The letter is dated 19 June 1936 and addressed to Dr. Hugo Bergman, Hebrew University, Jerusalem and reads: Lieber Herr Bergmann: Ueberbringer dieses Briefes ist “Seine amerikanische Heiligkeit” Rabbi Silberfeld von Newark New Jersey, ein guter Bekannter von mir. Zuhause aller Wege kundig, nicht aber in Palaestina. Es ware lieb von Ihnen, wenn Sie ihm ein paar Winke gaben damit er sich dort zurechtfindet. Herzlich grusst Sie Ihr “A. Einstein.” This translates as: Dear Mr. Bergmann: The bearer of this letter is “His American Holiness” Rabbi Silberfeld of Newark New Jersey, a good friend of mine. At home, he knows all the ways, but not in Palestine. It would be nice of you if you gave him a few hints. yours, “A. Einstein.” Einstein’s close personal friend Rabbi Julius Silberfeld was the rabbi of Temple B’nai Abraham in Newark New Jersey from 1902 to 1939. After it became clear that he could not return to Germany with Hitler’s rise to power during his 1933 visit to the United States, Einstein resided in England and Belgium for several months before returning to the U.S. where he accepted a position at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, noted for having become a refuge for scientists fleeing Nazi Germany. It was here that he likely met and formed a close bond with Rabbi Silberfeld. The recipient of the letter, Hugo Bergmann, was the first rector of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, between 1935 and 1938, which Einstein was instrumental in establishing in 1925 and was among its first Board of Governors. The letter is in near fine condition with a small paper clip imprint. Desirable with noted provenance.
Price: $6,500.00 Item Number: 119849
Autograph letter signed by Michael Faraday to William Coffin answering a question regarding the chlorate reaction with sulfuric acid, “or oil of vitriol,” in gunpowder. Addressed to William Coffin, it reads, “R[oyal] Institution, January 1, 1849, My dear Sir, I conclude you mean the acid which fires gunpowder – not directly but through the medium of the Chlorate mixture that and is as far as I know the strength liquid Sulfureum and or out of Vitriol. Ever Truly Yours, Michael Faraday.” Matted and framed opposite a carte-de-visite of Faraday by John Watkins. The entire piece measures 11.25 inches by 14.25 inches.
Price: $5,800.00 Item Number: 73081
Portrait of American astronaut Neil Armstrong, boldly signed by him. Double matted and framed. The entire piece measures 13 inches by 11.75 inches. Rare and desirable signed and uninscribed by Armstrong.
Price: $4,800.00 Item Number: 117764
Rare autograph letter signed by and entirely in the hand of French physician and Nobel Laureate Albert Schweitzer. One page, text in French. The letter is addressed to Miss Mary Hebe Degler of Lancaster, Pennsylvania and reads in part, “Thank you for very much for the beautiful photographs. The are very natural. All is well at the hospital but the number of hospitalizations increase with each year. Best Regards, Albert Schweitzer.” Accompanied by the original transmittal envelope post dated December, 27, 1960. In fine condition.
Price: $1,250.00 Item Number: 116818