View full screen - View 1 of Lot 25. Foster, Stephen C. | Autograph music manuscript signed ("S. C. Foster") of "Maggie By My Side," from the collection of Harry Houdini.
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Foster, Stephen C. | Autograph music manuscript signed ("S. C. Foster") of "Maggie By My Side," from the collection of Harry Houdini

Estimate:

30,000 - 50,000 USD

Property from the Collection of Elsie and Philip Sang

Foster, Stephen C. | Autograph music manuscript signed ("S. C. Foster") of "Maggie By My Side," from the collection of Harry Houdini

Foster, Stephen C. | Autograph music manuscript signed ("S. C. Foster") of "Maggie By My Side," from the collection of Harry Houdini

Estimate:

30,000 - 50,000 USD

Starting bid:

22,000

USD

(0 bids, reserve not met)

Lot closes:

Lot closes:

5 days, 15 hours

5 days, 15 hours

January 25, 07:25 PM (GMT)

January 25, 07:25 PM (GMT)

Authenticity guarantee

What is guaranteed?

Property from the Collection of Elsie and Philip Sang


Foster, Stephen C. 

Autograph music manuscript signed ("S. C. Foster") of "Maggie By My Side," from the collection of Harry Houdini


2 pages (305 x 238 mm) on bifolium of engraved 12-stave green paper by John H. Melior, Pittsburgh, music and lyrics in ink with emendations in pencil [Pittsburgh?, ca. 1852]; bifolium separated at fold and repaired, some paper loss at edges (not affecting manuscript music), some staining and soiling. Also included is printed sheet music for the song.


A fine music manuscript by Stephen C. Foster, the greatest American songwriter of the 19th century. On the verso of the second sheet is a transcription of the three four-line stanzas of Alice Hawthorne's "Listen to the Mocking Bird."


This manuscript was in the collection of Harry Houdini, who bequeathed it to Oliver R. Barrett of Chicago. Included in this lot are Josiah K. Lilly's letters to Barrett concerning this manuscript and carbon copies of Barrett's responses. In one letter, Lilly writes, "In 1909 a T. M. Walker of Pittsburgh republished Morrison Foster's book entitled Biographical and Musical Compositions of Stephen C. Foster. In one of the editions known as the Alden Edition there is a picture of one page of a manuscript of 'Maggie by My Side.' It is quite likely that this is what you have."


Autograph music manuscripts by Foster are of legendary rarity: "Maggie By My Side" is the first of his song manuscripts to appear at auction in thirty years and is evidently one of only three to be sold at auction since at least 1900. The other two are "Autumn Waltz," sold at Christie's in 1990, and "Oh Boys Carry Me Along," sold in 1916.


PROVENANCE

Harry Houdini (bequeathed by him to) — Oliver R. Barrett, Chicago (Parke-Bernet, 30 October 1950, lot 419) — sold, Charles Hamilton Autographs, 12 September 1968, lot 117

Condition as described in catalogue entry.


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