Auctions | July 31, 2020

Outstanding Classical Music Pieces Lead Fine Autographs & Artifacts Auction

Courtesy of RR Auction

Franz Joseph Haydn’s VI Original Canzonettas, c. 1794. Estimate: $20,000

Boston — RR Auction's August Fine Autographs & Artifacts sale features over 1,300 items, led by outstanding classical music pieces: autographs of Chopin, Haydn, Schubert, Strauss, Dvorak, and Brahms are among the items offered.

Highlights from the classical music section include; a scarce, beautifully signed Frédéric Chopin copyright document for a Scherzo, Piano Concerto, Grand Polonaise, and Mazurkas. The extremely rare one page manuscript in French signed "F. F. Chopin," August 7, 1835. Significant document recording the sale of the French copyright to the Parisian publisher Maurice Schlesinger for some of his most celebrated works.

Chopin signed this agreement just as he prepared to leave Paris to visit his parents in Karlsbad for the first time since leaving Poland, a departure that marked the end of a prolific phase in his musical career. The composer here acknowledges receipt of advance payment from Maurice Schlesinger, who led one of the most important musical publishing firms in Paris. (Estimate: $30,000+)

Franz Joseph exceptionally rare signed music score for 'Dr. Haydn's VI Original Canzonettas. The score for the ‘Voice with an accompaniment for the Piano-Forte,' includes a dedication to Mrs. John Hunter, 'Printed for the Author, & Sold by him at No. 1 Bury Street, St. James's, at Mess' rs Corri, Dussek & Co., Music Sellers to her Majesty, No. 67, Dean Street, Soho, & Bridge Street, Edinburgh,' no date but circa June 1794, 31 pages, signed in the lower right of the title page in bold ink, "Haydn." The score contains six songs—I. 'The Mermaids Song,' II. 'Recollection,' III. 'A Pastoral Song,' IV. 'Despair,' V.' Pleasing Pains,' and VI. 'Fidelity.' Lavishly bound with the unsigned "Second Sett of Dr. Haydn's Original Canzonettas" in quarter dark brown calf with marbled blue boards, and the spine titled in gilt. (Estimate: $20,000+)

Franz Schubert extremely rare signed music score for 'Die Sterne von Leitner,' printed in Vienna in 1828, 17 pages, signed in the lower right corner of the title page in ink by Franz Schubert with his paraph, adding the opus number, "Op. 96," below the printed title. Handsomely bound in half calf with marbled green boards and the spine titled in gilt. (Estimate: $2,500+)

Richard Strauss sketchleaf for 'Hymne an die Liebe' signed on his 60th birthday. The large and extensively worked autograph manuscript sketchleaf for the first of the Drei Hymnen, Op. 71, accomplished in pencil on both sides of a trimmed sheet of printed musical manuscript paper, signed and dated in ink on the composer's sixtieth birthday, "Richard Strauss, Garmisch, 11.6.24." The sketchleaf comprises approximately 56 measures, with vocal line and short score and unidentified scoring. Numbered "7" in the corner of the inscribed side, with additional (apparently mathematical) notations in two locations. (Estimate: $3,500+)

Antonín Dvorák handwritten letter to the copyist at Prague's National Theatre. The one-page postcard in Czech signed "Ant. Dvorak," no date. Untranslated letter to Jan Elsnic, a copyist at the National Theatre in Prague (Národní Divadlo). Accompanied by a color postcard portrait. (Estimate: $2,500+)

Johannes Brahms letter to his close friend, the music critic Max Kalbeck. Famed German composer (1833-1897), whose works in the Classical spirit, written in the midst of the Romantic era, take a place among the most enduring music of the 19th century. Among his best-known works are four symphonies, numerous concerti, all manner of chamber and keyboard works, and the large-scale choral masterpiece German Requiem. A one-page postcard in German signed "J. Brahms," no date. Untranslated letter to his close friend, the music critic Max Kalbeck. (Estimate: $2,000+)

Other top lots include a signed photograph of Sun Yat-sen, a fully signed Beatles program from 1964, two George Washington letters, and a dress worn by Jennifer Lopez at the 1999 Oscars.

Over 400 items come from the diverse collection of Stephen Adamson, representing a lifetime of curiosity, reverence, knowledge-seeking, and love of all things critical to our history.

The Fine Autographs and Artifacts featuring The Stephen Adamson Collection from RR Auction began on July 24 and will conclude August 12 at 7:00 PM ET. For more information, go to