Profiles in History, run by Joe Maddalena, is proud to announce that the personal correspondence from some of the most beloved, popular and genius musicians the world has ever known will be included in their December 18 auction, The Property of a Distinguished American Private Collector. Part I of The Property of a Distinguished American Private Collector will take place in Los Angeles and include 300 of the most important manuscripts, notes and letters of the collection. The entire collection has over 3,000 items and will be sold over the next two years. Some of the items included in this auction are:
A John Lennon handwritten signed letter, dated September 29, 1971 to Eric Clapton. In this draft Lennon writes unequivocally of his respect and admiration for Clapton, how their minds could transform music and the world and how they should form a band. Lennon pens in part: "Both of us have been thru the same kind of shit/pain that I know you’ve had—and I know we could help each other in that area—but mainly Eric—I know I can bring out something great—in fact greater in you that had been so far evident in your music, I hope to bring out the same kind of greatness in all of us—which I know will happen if/when we get together." An extraordinary letter from one legendary musician to another. The letter is pictured above and is expected to fetch $20,000 - $30,000.
A Ludwig von Beethoven handwritten signed letter to Tobias Haslinger, a friend and business partner of Beethoven's publisher. This is an extremely rare and significant letter concerning the second performance of the 9th Symphony and the Missa Solemnis––his two greatest works––with the disgruntled tone that so perfectly embodies this musical icon. The letter is pictured below and is expected to fetch $40,000 - $60,000.
A Louis Armstrong handwritten signed letter, dated April 5, 1933, to an unidentified friend named Gate. The Great Satchmo writes while listening to the radio giving his praises to Duke Ellington and reminiscing a little to his friend. Armstrong writes in part: "I’ve just gotten back home from my Tour down South - we had a lovely time. Everybody was so glad to see me and- you know? - all the ‘Buh lony’ that goes along with it. Ha. Ha. But sho ‘nuff Gate I am having a grand time on my tours." The letter is expected to fetch $3,000 - $5,000.
A George Gershwin signed letter, dated March 24, 1932, to Miss Edith D. Moody. In this letter, composer George Gershwin is asked to compare Rhapsody in Blue (1924) to An American in Paris (1928). Gershwin writes in part: "To clear up the situation about which you write, this is the fact ––RHAPSODY IN BLUE was written in three weeks of actual work. You also ask, in my opinion, is it outranked by AN AMERICAN IN PARIS." The letter is expected to fetch $3,000 - 5,000.
A Cole Porter handwritten signed letter, dated February 8, 1932, to the singer Peggy Wood. Cole Porter sends his best wishes to Peggy Wood shortly before the opening of Jerome Kern’s "The Cat and the Fiddle." At the time this letter was written, Porter was working both as composer and lyricist on "The Gay Divorcee," which would open November 29, 1932 on Broadway. The musical, which starred Fred Astaire, introduced the beloved song, “Night and Day.” The letter is expected to fetch $2,000 - $3,000.
A Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky handwritten signed letter to Mannia. Tchaikovsky gives final guidance on an overture soon to be performed. Tchaikovsky writes in part; translated from Russian: I think the instrumentation is colorful and brilliant and there is only one thing I am afraid of: from the beginning of the repeat of the 2nd theme up to the end, the difficulty of the music is perhaps beyond the limits of what is possible. Letters in Tchaikovsky’s hand are excessively rare. The letter is expected to fetch $10,000 - $15,000.
For more information on each letter, to see an image or for a copy of the written text please contact Nancy Seltzer & Associates below.