1947 – Manuscript Letter Signed by Montgomery of Alamein

Signed Manuscript Letter
Montgomery of Alamein
Mentions Author’s Unpublished Book

London, 20 September 1947. Manuscript Signed Letter by the Right Honourable Montgomery of Alamein, to well known fiction writer Lady Anderson, mentioning an unpublished book by Anderson which precedes her formal writing career. 8vo. Single-leaf measuring approximately 14 x 18cm (5.5 x 7 inches). Very good condition, and accompanied by the original postally used envelope.

Graciously confirming receipt of what appears to be an unpublished book by a well known female author, and perhaps the first she had written, this letter is penned and signed by Bernard Law Montgomery (1887-1976), 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, and British Army Field Marshal nicknamed “Monty” and the “Spartan General” whose illustrious military career spanned both World Wars, during which time he earned numerous honours and awards.

The recipient is Barbara Anderson, Lady Anderson (1926-2013) née Barbara Lillian Romaine, an internationally recognized fiction writer from New Zealand, and later, the wife of Sir Neil Dudley Anderson, Chief of New Zealand Defence Staff. Only a few months to this letter being written, Barbara had graduated with a BSc from Otago University. She subsequently worked as a medical technologist and teacher, though her passion had always been in writing. She finally pursued her formal writing career in her sixties, publishing a volume of short stories, for the first time, in 1989. The book mentioned in this letter does not appear on common lists of her published works, and pre-dates her writing career by approximately thirty years.

The letter reads as follows:
“Dear Lady Anderson,
I have just got back from Germany and
found your book ‘Lend Me Your Ears’.
Thank you so very much.
Yrs. ever
Montgomery of Alamein” [signed]

Barbara Anderson was born and educated in Hawke’s Bay. She graduated with a BSc from Otago University in 1947 and then worked as a medical technologist and teacher in Hawke’s Bay and Wellington. With a lifelong interest in writing and reading, Barbara began her writing career relatively late in life after she took Bill Manhire’s Creative Writing Course at Victoria University in 1983. She published several stories in Metro, Landfall, Sport and the New Zealand Listener, while one of her unpublished plays won the J C Reid award in 1985. Several others have been broadcast. Barbara graduated from Victoria University with a BA in 1984.

Her first collection of short stories, I Think We Should Go into the Jungle (1989), was shortlisted for the Wattie Award (1989) and the New Zealand Book Award for Fiction (1990). This was followed by Girls High (1990), a serial novel that consists of linked short stories. Girls High was her first book published in the United Kingdom, to glowing reviews.

As 1991 Writing Fellow at Victoria University, Barbara completed Portrait of the Artist’s Wife (1992), which won the 1992 Wattie Award and was a bestseller. The book received critical acclaim in the United Kingdom and the United States.

The novels All the Nice Girls (1993), The House Guest (1995) and Proud Garments (1996) followed. The Peacocks and Other Stories (1997) is Barbara’s second collection of short stories and was reprinted three times within a year. This was followed by Long Hot Summer (1999), The Swing Around (2001), Change of Heart (2003) and Collected Stories (2005) and Getting There: An Autobiography (2008).

Barbara achieved remarkable overseas success with all her novels being published in the United Kingdom and gathering high praise from some of writing’s top names. Nick Hornby wrote in the Sunday Times on Portrait of the Artist’s Wife: “The promise that was evident in Girls High has been splendidly fulfilled, and now it seems only a matter of time before Wellington replaces New York as the literary capital of the world.”

Barbara was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Literature from the University of Otago in 2009. In 2011 she was awarded an Arts Foundation Icon Award – Whakamana Hiranga. This Award honours senior New Zealand artists for their life-long achievements. Barbara was recognised as being a leader in New Zealand Literature. The Award is considered the Arts Foundation’s highest honour and is limited to a living circle of twenty artists.

She died aged 86 on 28 March 2013.


1931 – Manuscript Journal – Period Costume Design Drawings – Text in German

Manuscript Journal with Drawings
Period Costume Design
With Artistic Hand Sketches
Manuscript chronology of fashion and Costume, with pencil drawings, of period costumes spanning history from Ancient Egypt to the late nineteenth century.

Qto. 30 pages in manuscript with wide margins, to which are affixed 16 sketch drawings. Berlin, 1931. Berufsschule für Schneiderinnen [School for Seamstresses]. The work of an astute and artistic student, Frälein Margarete Gericke, who attended the School for Seamstresses in Berlin 1931. All text is in German. Exercise journal with grid leaves for drawing, blue paper boards. Covers faded, name label tattered, otherwise in very good condition, internally crisp with immaculate drawings, each protected with tissue guard. Together with two certificates of completion following each semester, issued and stamped by the school, signed by the director and educator, 31 March and 30 August respectively, measuring 21x15cm. A further five school certificates from secondary education also present, five folio leaves completed in manuscript, signed, dated and stamped. The journal and certificates are housed in a large portfolio, 23x36cm.

Fourteen historical eras, each with one or two remarkably elegant and detailed sketch drawings of women’s period costume, placed alongside a manuscript description of its features, fabrics, and the like. Corsets, bonnets, dramatic accessories, fine embellishments, and luxurious fabrics can be seen throughout history in this unique chronicle of period clothing.

Some of the periods examined and illustrated include Egyptian costume as early as 5000 BC, richly patterned silk gowns of the Byzantine Empire, fine and ornate dresses of the Middle Ages in Europe, aristocratic court dresses worn at the turn of the eighteenth century, the exquisite high fashion known as Rococo brought about by the French in the Age of Enlightenment, the informal revolutionary styles which welcomed the nineteenth century, and finally representations of the Victorian Era.


1867 – Manuscript – Primary Source on Gold Prospecting of the West Coast – New Zealand

Early New Zealand Gold Prospecting
Manuscript Letters
Rare Primary Source Account
Of the West Coast Gold Rush
Preceding the Great Migration

Buller district [New Zealand], 1867. Two manuscript partial letters revealing the hardships and mercurial nature of gold prospecting, as the writer partakes in the West Coast Gold Rush. 8vo. Two single leafs, each being two pages of a unique letter, each measuring approximately 11 x 18 cm. Both letters are lacking secondary leafs, some age-toning, otherwise in very good condition, and containing early primary source accounts of colonial New Zealand.

The writer is unidentified, though his letters reveal some details which might aid in further research. Previous to this mining expedition, he had lived in Melbourne, either owning or working as an employee at a shop. He subsequently opened up his own shop in the Buller district [circa 1864-1866], which he sold at a loss, to try his hand for the second time at gold mining. He set out for gold with another man, presumably a brother, who he refers to simply as Joey and who had also worked in a merchant shop prior to digging for gold. He mentions “knocking about the Colonies” for 14 years, suggesting that he left Great Britain around 1853, but refers to himself as not old, suggesting that he may be in his mid-thirties or forties.

Evidently, he was closely acquainted to James Ure Russell, a skilled sea captain and surveyor from Dunedin. [James Ure Russell was a Master Mariner, who in 1867 suffered a bankruptcy. Captain James Ure Russell is listed as a marine surveyor, the 1884 volume of Stone’s commercial, Municipal and General Directory… of Dunedin and Suburbs.]

He also mentions Mrs. Cowan as recently married, this possibly being Elizabeth Jane Cowan, née Qualtrough, who in 1866 married William Andrew Cowan an immigrant from Ireland who fought in the Waikato war. The couple lived at Pakuranga near Auckland until at least 1870 when their son, the famous writer James Cowan was born. They subsequently settled in Kihikihi.

New Zealand’s West Coast was the second-richest gold-bearing area of New Zealand after Otago. The West Coast Gold Rush was in full force from 1864 to 1867, creating population in an area which had previously been visited by only a scant few Europeans.

The letters are written at “Buller” on 20 August 1867 and 30 December 1867, respectively. During the period 1853 to 1876, Buller District was administered as part of the short-lived Nelson Province.

Trying to remain hopeful, the gold prospector is on his second venture (at least), this time in the Buller Gorge located in the northwest of the South Island, as he writes of the challenges and the rapidly changing trends of gold fever, first to his brother and sister in Melbourne. Having ventured out with a brother or friend named Joey, the two men excavated one shaft together, then worked separate spots not far apart, Joey trying proceeding “north of the Buller.” The writer and Joey pushed on, digging for a year, according to the letter of December 1867, to no avail. Joey contemplated becoming a sea merchant on a Sydney-California route, while the writer yearned to return to the recipient of the second letter, Mima [Wilhemima?], possibly his wife, before making any firm decisions about future endeavours.

The writer would have been panning for gold, as his adventure pre-dates the discovery of gold in quartz deposits in the region. In spite of his conclusion, “… the west coast is done… I must go make a fresh start in the world for this country is done…,” in the hills east of Reefton and also at Lyell, in the Buller District, three years later in 1870, gold-bearing quartz lodes were discovered. Prior to this, only alluvial gold had been worked on the West Coast.

This correspondence also pre-dates the Great Migration to New Zealand, which would begin four years later in 1871 and continue until 1885. The first wave of immigrants consisted of over 2700 labourers hired by the engineering firm of John Brogden and Sons to work on railway contracts. British civilians typically had reservations of making the move, owing to the bad reputation of New Zealand’s climate, its dangerous ‘natives’ and the high costs and perils of the journey. To attract more immigrants from the United Kingdom, in 1873 the fare of £5 per adult was waived and the voyage was free. The London office promoted widely with public speakers as well as recruiters who spoke directly to booksellers, grocers, schoolteachers, and the like. By 1873 there were 53 New Zealand government immigration agents in England, 78 in Scotland, and 46 in Ireland.

Excerpts from the letters:

20 August 1867.
“… we are, and have been so unfortunate… hardly a week in one Place running about after Rushes and all to no Purpose…”

“… we put up a store which we sold at a loss and we have been digging ever since… sunk one shaft 131 feet slabbed from Top to Bottom… we were over it 14 weeks… very hard times…”

“I did not think it possible I should have such bad luck… since I left that shop in Melbourne… Joey is in a store at Fifty shillings per week Board and lodging, small wages for this Country but that is better than digging… where one gets gold, 20 goes without it… the west coast is done… “

“… I might never see Victoria again after 14 years knocking about the Colonies to be worse off or as bad as the day I landed…”

There is a great many going to Carpentaria or Burk Town from here and if ever I raise Fifty Pounds I will soon be amonst the crowd, it is a new Country… this Country is done… the fact of the matter is the west coast is done.”

“… the least of a rush of any sort excites the people here, you would not believe how many hard up people are on this coast but we must live in hope yet.”

Mrs. Cowan is married…”

James Ure Russell seemed very anxious about Andrew. I told him you could not afford to keep him… his address is Ure c/o Grocus Princes St Dunedin.”

“We are very unsettled, we don’t know how long we may remain in one place, we are in good health.”


20 December 1867.

I took to digging and which was the ruin of me… alas I have taken to it again, I have been Digging over a year & I have not got one ounce of gold. I have been very near a good rise but I might as well have been a mile away.”

“Joey has been as badly off as myself, he was out Prospecting north of the Buller but without success… had not one cent… went cutting firewood for a few days to make a Pound or two to take him to Hokiliki [Hokitika]… determined to leave the Digging he thinks he will ship for Sydney & from there to California if he can get a ship at Hokiliki.”

“I will soon be after him… but not before I see you again, if he gets a billit in Hokiliki at anything he will stop.”

“I will Rise and Shine yet…”
End Excerpts.

New Zealand’s West Coast was the second-richest gold-bearing area of New Zealand after Otago. The West Coast Gold Rush was in full force from 1864 to 1867, creating population in an area which had previously been visited by only a scant few Europeans. Gold was found near the Taramakau River in 1864 by two Maori, Ihaia Tainui and Haimona Taukau. In 1865-66 gold was discovered at Okarito, Bruce Bay (the scene of the Hunt’s Duffer gold rush), also around Charleston and along the Grey River. Miners became attracted to the West Coast following the prolific successes of the Central Otago Gold Rush and the Victoria Gold Rush, both having nearly finished yielding. By the end of 1864 there were an estimated 1800 prospectors on the West Coast, with many in the Hokitika area. The town of Hokitika was founded on gold mining in 1864, and by 1866 was the most populous settlement in all of New Zealand with over 25,000 inhabitants. In 1867 the rush began to decline, although gold mining continued on the Coast for some years. While many gold rush towns like Okarito, at one time the largest town on the Coast, and Charlestown, almost vanished when the miners moved on, in the three year period, principal towns were firmly established on the West coast.

From ‘Gold Mining’, from An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock, originally published in 1966. :
The Nelson Province constituted in 1853 under the New Zealand Constitution Act 1852 and covered the entire upper South Island, including all of the present-day Buller, Kaikoura, Marlborough, Nelson, Tasman as well as the Grey District north of the Grey River and the Hurunui District north of the Hurunui River. It was abolished, along with all other provinces, in 1876. The West Coast of Nelson Province was neglected and scarcely known for almost 20 years after the settlement of Tasman Bay. It first excited curiosity late in 1859 when small samples of alluvial gold were discovered in the Buller Gorge by a survey party under J. Rochfort. Vigorous exploratory activity followed in 1860 when provincial government parties were sent to find routeways, map the Buller coalfield, report on timber and mineral resources, and examine potential sites for settlement. A few miners from Golden Bay came by sea to the Buller in 1861 and won small quantities of gold from the river beaches, while in 1863 the open country in the central Grey Valley was taken up in three pastoral runs. The main inrush of the mining population took place in the extreme south of the province in July 1865 when diggers crossed from what were then the west Canterbury goldfields, spread up the Grey Valley and its numerous tributary creeks, and within 12 months were prospecting in the Inangahua Valley. In the spring of 1866 a large rush occurred to the terraces and beaches of the Buller coast plain. Three bustling mining camps, Charleston, Brighton, and Addisons, each of more than 1,000 people, sprang up within a few months. Charleston, with 1,800 people at the 1867 census, was then the second largest urban centre in Nelson Province. Until 1870 only alluvial gold had been worked on the West Coast but in that year gold-bearing quartz lodes were discovered in the hills east of Reefton and at Lyell. A steady flow of population set in to the Reefton district from the declining alluvial diggings and, despite great difficulties presented by the terrain and bush cover, machinery was established on the lodes by 1873. Quartz mining was a more stable basis for settlement than alluvial gold working.

1918 – RARE – Latvian Passport – WWI Ephemeral Document

Rare Latvian Passport with Ration Stamps
Female Polish Nanny 14-Years Old
WWI Ephemeral Document
From German Occupied Baltic Region
During 8-Month Rule
Under Treaty of Brest-Litovsk
Riga 1918

Riga, 30 October 1918. One Armeepass World War One internal (domestic) passport issued by German authorities, for a young Polish girl named Munssafia Aspaluvicz, born in Riga in 1904, complete with her photograph and finger print. Stamped at Riga during the short period of German rule of the Baltic regions under the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. Text is in two languages: German (as the official language) and Latvian (for the passport holder). Two double leafs, patterned blue cardstock, with Imperial German motif to front and rear. Passport measures approximately 9 x 14 cm. Covers age-toned, rear leaf loosely holding, otherwise in good and original condition.

This “Armeepass” was issued in 1918 by German Military authorities in Riga. The bearer is Munssafia Aspaluvicz, a 14-years old female born in 1904, in the city of Riga. The front cover of the passport requires the person’s “Abstammung” [Ancestry], in this case indicated as “Polnisch” [Polish]. her “muttersprache” [mother tongue] is also Polish. Her “beruf” or occupation is entered as “Kindermädche” [nanny].

As indicated on the second page of the passport, as a resident of Riga, her rights were governed by the Livland administration, which at that time was a part of the Czarist Russia occupied by the Germans.

[The Governorate of Livonia, or Livland as seen here, was part of the Russian Empire and existed from 1796 when the Riga Governorate was renamed the Governorate of Livonia, to the end of the Great War in 1918. At that time, it was split between the newly independent states of Latvia and Estonia.]

Some historically significant and fascinating wartime details are illustrated on this ephemeral document.

The Germans issued these special passports uniquely for the Latvian residents of the Baltic regions.

They were made in two languages: German, which was deemed as the official language during occupation, and Latvian, for the sake of the passport holder. The German eagle is prominent on the front, along with the word Armeepass. The German eagle emblem is seen again on the rear cover, this one encircled in black bearing a patriotic phrase.

The verso of the passport is rather fascinating, as it bears two ink stamps “Karten-Ausgabe” confirming that rationed provisions were provided to Miss Aspaluvicz. Food typically given included bread, soup, and corn.

[During German occupation, each person received a ration of food, which was just barely enough to ward off hunger, and certainly not enough for children to develop healthily, nor adults to maintain their full coherence or capacity. People residing in rural areas fared better as they were able to produce and hide food, whereas those in the cities were dependent on rations alone and many died of starvation. In these times, bread was more valuable than gold. In fact, people would often barter their gold, silver, and even jewelry, just for a chunk of bread.]

Issued by the German military during WWI occupation of the Baltics, essentially taken from the Russian Empire, this example features the following ink stamps:

“Passkommando dei baltischen Lande” [Pass Command for Baltic Lands]
“Gemeldef Polizeiwache VIII” [Reported at police station VIII]
“Peerakstits Riga Polizijas VIII” [Stamped by Riga Police division VIII]
“Verpflegungsamt der Stadt Riga” [Riga Catering Office]: This confirms the rationed food items given.

The bylaws of the German government are printed in both German and Latvian. The regulations list punishments ranging from five to ten years for a person who is found without a passport, or carrying a forged passport. There were also penalties for anyone who did not announce the loss of their passport within 24 hours.

As seen here, personal information for identity was completed in manuscript, including the holder’s name, birthplace, place of residence, age, height, occupation, nationality, and so forth. A finger print in ink was also made directly onto the passport’s inner leaf. A photograph was mounted within. The passport number was shown in the photograph, and also written in manuscript to the front cover and within the passport.

Similar passports were issued by the German government for the various territories occupied temporarily by their military during the First World War, including Lithuania, Latvia, Courland (now part of Latvia), Estonia, Belarus, and territories from Poland.

On 3 March 1918, the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was signed, giving the Baltic countries to Germany. Bolshevik Russia accepted the loss of the Livland Governorate to the Germans. That the present internal passport was issued by the occupying German authorities in October 1918, yet one month after the passport was issued, owing to the Armistice with Germany of 11 November 1918, Germany would be forced to renounce that treaty, as did Russia. Latvia, with Riga as its capital city, thus declared its independence on 18 November 1918. Interestingly, later stamps in this passport date to April and October 1919, and even in 1920.

During the Great War, Germans established a military government, the Supreme Command of All German Forces in the East (Oberbefehlshaber der gesamten Deutschen Streitkräfte im Osten – known simply as “Ober Ost”), to control its occupied territories. These appointed officials ruled Lithuania, Latvia (Courland), and the Bialystok-Grodno military territories with an iron hand during the war. Among its many decrees, was the subdivision of the three territories into smaller districts for total control over all social and economic aspects of life. Families and farms were often divided and travel restricted to such an extent that people could not attend nearby schools or churches. The restriction frequently prevented farmers from taking their produce to market, destroying commerce and their source of income.


Image 1 - 1918 Riga - Armeepass Passport - WWI GERMAN OCCUPATION - 14 Year Old Nanny Girl

Image 2 - 1918 Riga - Armeepass Passport - WWI GERMAN OCCUPATION - 14 Year Old Nanny Girl

Image 3 - 1918 Riga - Armeepass Passport - WWI GERMAN OCCUPATION - 14 Year Old Nanny Girl

Image 4 - 1918 Riga - Armeepass Passport - WWI GERMAN OCCUPATION - 14 Year Old Nanny Girl

Image 5 - 1918 Riga - Armeepass Passport - WWI GERMAN OCCUPATION - 14 Year Old Nanny Girl

Image 6 - 1918 Riga - Armeepass Passport - WWI GERMAN OCCUPATION - 14 Year Old Nanny Girl

1889 – ALS – Emma Darwin to Woman Writer Frances Julia “Snow” Wedgwood

Autograph Letter Signed (ALS)
by Emma Darwin
Wife of Charles Darwin
to Woman Writer
Frances Julia “Snow” Wedgwood

Darwin, Emma 

ALS Autograph Letter Signed By Emma Darwin, Wife of Naturalist Sir Charles Darwin.  ca.1889, addressed to Her friend Frances (presumably Frances Julia “Snow” Wedgwood (9 July 1833 – 26 November 1913).

One Original Signed Letter, written ca.1889, 2 pages 8vo. Bi-folium on headed paper, “Down, Farnborough R.S.O, Kent”. Leaf measures approximately 11,5cm x 18cm (4.5 inches x 7 inches), when folded. Very Good Condition, nicely preserved. Accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity.  The letter reads:

“My dear Frances

I am anxious to know how your cousin is today, & whether you have hopes of being able to move tomorrow. If you had leisure to come & see me this afternoon for a short time, I should be glad; but only send me a verbal answer at all events. 

yours very sincerely,

E. Darwin, (Mrs. Charles Darwin)”

Frances Julia “Snow” Wedgwood (9 July 1833 – 26 November 1913) was an English feminist novelist, biographer, historian and literary critic. She was described as “a young woman of extreme passions and fastidious principles”  and “at once a powerful reasoner and an inexorable critic of reason”

Image 1 - 1889  DARWIN - ALS - Autograph Letter Signed to Woman Feminist
Image 2 - 1889  DARWIN - ALS - Autograph Letter Signed to Woman Feminist

1846 – 1969 – RARE Lot of WWI Yiddish Passports – Eastern Europe

Passport Lot
19th Century Travels to Russia
WWI German Occupation Passes
Rare Yiddish Passport
Eastern Europe

Russia, Serbia, Germany, Lithuania, England, France, 1846-1969. Lot of 15 unique passports from various countries, featuring the occupied Baltics during the Great War, nineteenth century travellers to Russia, some notable names, and assorted matters of interest. Some were issued for one specific journey, others for longer term open travel, with examples concerning citizenship and immigrant travel. These documents vary greatly in format, including early and large single leaf printed declarations completed and signed in manuscript, to modern day wallet-sized hardcover portfolios. Together with a poem stamped by the British Passport Control office at Budapest, titled “A Morning in the Life of a Passport Control Officer.” Some creasing and age-toning, the earliest passport with professionally repaired folds, otherwise the lot in very good condition overall, and containing a few examples of certain specimens seldom procured today.

Unique design motifs, security elements, signatures and stamps, together these official and historical documents form a wide-reaching study of travel, including incidents of limitation on domestic movement, international travel freedom, and collaboration between nations for open borders. A fascinating collection touching upon a subject which is so prevalent on the minds of citizens all around the globe today.

The earliest examples, four from the nineteenth century, include a very specific courier passport dated 1846 relating to Portuguese government affairs, a well-known clergy and author who travelled on the continent for 10 years, going as far as Russia in 1875, and a British subject who travelled to Russia in 1897.

A “Passport de Courrier” issued 23 November 1846 in Paris, permitting a Portuguese courier who was carrying despatches to the Portuguese legation in Madrid, Spain, clear passage through France, specifically by way of Bordeaux and Bayonne. The holder’s name is Eduoard de Cabral, a Portuguese subject. Text is in French. The verso of the leaf bears several manuscript authorizations and stamps, enabling us to follow his journey from Paris 23 November to Bayonne 4 December, and arriving at Madrid on the 10th. The final entry on this passport is a stamp of the Legacâo de S.M. [Su Majestad] Fidelissima F.M. Madrid, annotated and signed by the Secretary of the Legation, Vasco Pinto de Bahemio. This passport has seen some professional repair at the folds and is delicately holding at others.

[Incidentally, this passport is quite contemporary to the passport issued to Washington Irving by Spanish officials in Madrid approximately 6 months earlier on August 6, 1846, when he had completed his term of service as Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the Court of Spain, the document states being issued for his return to his home country. Irving left Spain much to the regret of the royal family and ministers on the eve of a violent uprising in the country.]

Also from the nineteenth century is a passport for Reverend and well-known author John Aldwell Nicholson (1830-1902), Rector of New Chapel and Prebendary in Cathedral of Cashel, valid also for his wife Caroline Editha (née Hunt 1846-1932), to travel the continent together, featuring numerous stamps and annotations from places visited, for example Sweden, Italy, and Russia. Issued in London, 10 August 1865, this official document features the stamped signature of John Russell, 1st Earl Russell, who was serving his second term as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and steel engraved armorial illustrations to header and footer. Mounted and folded into a leather passport holder made by W.J.Admas of Fleet Street, with a secure fold-over flap, embedded pencil holder and note paper which contains some Russian consular stamps and manuscript authorizations as well as Nicholson’s assorted notes. The bearer’s name is tooled in gilt.

A large single-leaf passport featuring 2 Russian stamps, issued in London on 18 August 1897 Alexander Kidd, a “British subject travelling on the continent” who went to Russia. A large textual ink stamp of the Imperial Russian General Consulate is signed and dated in the original by the General Consul. A blue stamp also in Russian text, with date inscribed in manuscript, was made in Kronstadt. This document features the stamped signature of Lord Salisbury, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and steel engraved armorial illustrations to header and footer. It is neatly folded into a purpose-made black leather pocket fold for the traveller’s convenience and to ensure preservation of the document.

We also find a German certificate of citizenship, “Heimatschein” [Homeland Certificate] issued 14 Mai 1856 to a person whose surname is Daitz, who had evidently arrived in Germany on 26 November 1834. The numbered document being #20 and the date is approaching mid-year, which suggests that not many of these were granted annually.

We also find two interesting WWI passports concerning German rule in the Baltics.

One exceedingly scarce domestic “Ober Ost” Yiddish passport issued at Wilkomierz [Ukmerge] in Lithuania 14 February 1917 for a man named Feines Kesnik, born in June 1870, living under German rule during the Great War. Text is in two languages: German (as the official language) and Yiddish, in Hebrew lettering (for the passport holder of Jewish nationality). The German eagle is prominent on the front, along with ‘PAS’ in both Hebrew and German letters. This is an internal (domestic) passport issued by German authorities, complete with his photograph and finger print. The bylaws of the German government appear in Yiddish. Punishments range from five to ten years for a person found without a passport, or carrying a forged passport. There were also penalties for anyone who did not announce the loss of their passport within 24 hours. Issued by the German military during WWI occupation of Lithuania, at that time being part of the Russian Empire, this example features the ephemeral stamps of the “Verwaltungsgebiet Litauen” [Lithuania administrative region] and “Vilkmerges Karo Kommandantur” [Wilkomierz Military Command].

The Yiddish passports are exceedingly scare as most of the Jewish population had been exiled some time earlier. Also, immediately after Germany withdrew from the area in 1919, all the passports that could be obtained, were destroyed. In May 1915, During World War I, the Russian authorities expelled most the Jews living in Lithuania. A large number of them were exiled into Russia while others found a refuge in Vilna and its vicinity. Vilkomir [Ukmerge] was taken by the Germans, and the remaining Jews from the region congregated there. The German Ober Ost passport was issued in 1917-1918 by the German occupation authorities for those people who spent the war years in Lithuania.

One rare Latvian passport (Armeepass) issued at Riga 7 February 1918 for a Jewish woman named Chaja Kurschan, gb (née) Lemmer, born in Schaulen [Siauliai], 22 October 1860, living under German rule during the Great War. There are two ration stamps made to rear of the passport, one “Brotkarte” alloting her a bread card and one “Karten-Ausgabe” confirming that the ration was provided. The front cover of the passport requires the person’s “Abstammung” [Ancestry], in this case indicated as “Jüdishch” [Jewish]. Her “muttersprache” [mother tongue] is also jidd. Her “beruf” or occupation is entered as “ehefrau” [wife].

This is an internal (domestic) passport issued by German authorities, complete with her photograph and finger print. Text is in two languages: German (as the official language) and Latvian (for the passport holder). Stamped at Riga during the short period of German rule of the Baltic regions under the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. As indicated on the second page of the passport, as a resident of Siauliai, her rights were governed by the Kovno administration, which at that time was a part of the Czarist Russia occupied by the Germans (Kovno is now Kaunas, Lithuania). The bylaws of the German government are printed in both German and Latvian. The regulations list punishments ranging from five to ten years for a person who is found without a passport, or carrying a forged passport. There were also penalties for anyone who did not announce the loss of their passport within 24 hours.

The lot continues yielding variety, largely centered around travel to Eastern European nations and Russia. Following is a summary in chronological order:

A Russian passport, in Cyrillic script, seemingly issued at Bessarabia, on 24 April of 1902 or 1903, featuring several travel stamps, the earliest one being that of the Kiev City Police, dated 1903. Entries continue until 1920. The passport holder was born in 1877, and may have been a member of clergy. Page 9 contains a lengthy manuscript entry signed in manuscript and ratified with a Roman Catholic ink stamp “kiiovensis ecclesiae”. Blue cloth covers detached at spine.
[The issuing of this passport is contemporary to the horrendous anti-Jewish “Kishinev pogrom”, a barbaric 2-day massacre during which nearly 50 Jews were killed, 92 were severely wounded and 500 were slightly injured, 700 houses destroyed, and 600 stores were pillaged. It took place on April 19/21 [O.S. April 6/8] 1903 in Kishinev (modern Chisinau in Moldova), then the capital of the Bessarabia Governorate of the Russian Empire.]

A lovely foldout British passport issued by the General Consul at Paris 14 April 1920, for a female named Bessie Robinson. This passport was renewed after 2 years, and 2 young children added to the same passport in 1923. Renewals continued to validate until 1930. Two (2) and five (5) shilling consular stamps confirm each transaction. This is a heavy cardstock leaf folding neatly into blue passport portfolio boards with armorial gilt motif to front.

French passport dated 23 December 1921, given to a merchant born at Bagdag, and then resident of Bombay, Richard Jacob Cessy, issued at London and valid only for one single return trip to France.

A Serbian “Emigrant’s Travel Document”, with text in French also, “passport d’émigrant” [Immigrant Passport], issued at Batchka à Sombor [Sombor in Backa], 5 March 1928, one year before the region would be incorporated into the province of Danube Banovina. A multi-page booklet style passport with red paper boards, armorial motif to front, with the bearer’s information completed in manuscript, and featuring his photograph. The recipient of this passport is a Friedrich Hetzel, born in, and then still a resident of Sove [Söve], in Balikesir, Turkey. He was in Germany March 1928, specifically in Bremen on 7.4.1928 and also in Belgrade, Serbia, the same year. Page 8 features an entry suggesting he required permission for a “voyage en carriage’ for part of his journey. Stamps indicate that he was ultimately headed for Canada on 5 April 1928, and arrived at Halifax on the 17th.

“Deutsches Reich Fremdenpass / Fremdenpass Passeport pour Étrangers” [German Reich Foreigners passport], with text in German and French, featuring many travel stamps. The passport holder is Fritz Gottlieb whose nationality is indicated as “Staatlos ohne Berut” [stateless, Beirut]. Issued at Berlin, valid one year from 18 December 1934, and renewed for another year, with this passport, Gottlieb travelled to the Republic of Czechoslovakia as we see stamps from August and Stamped 13 Zari (September) 1934. This was during the nation’s independent period from 1918-1938. He visited Hungary in the same month, which is memorialized with several lovely consular stamps reading “Magyar Királyság” [Kingdom of Hungary]. He also travelled to Dubrovnic, Croatia, in 1934, Spain and Portugal in 1935. The passport was renewed in 1936, and certain entries suggests that this man settled in Lisbon. A pleasure trip to France, of only 10 days, was approved later in 1955, noting that work was not permitted abroad.

A simple cardstock passport, in Russian and German, issued 23 December 1947 at Markneukirchen in Saxony for a female, Elsbeth Wilke (née Dölling), born in 1920. With stamps of the policing body of Oelsnitz, the city some twenty minutes away.

A 1956 German passport, in green boards, given to a Gunter Hermann Erich Stolle who was born in Berlin in 1925.

A 2-year German passport issued 1985 for an Elise Andretzky born in 1912, aged 73 and evidently still desirous of travel.

A German passport issued 1969 to a Luise Petzet born in 1907.


1864 – Two Volume First Edition – Mission to Gelele – Sir Richard Burton

Sir Richard Burton
Mission to Gelele
Cannibalism and Human Sacrifice
First Edition
BURTON, Sir Richard Francis

Title: A Mission to Gelele, King of Dahome. With Notices of the So Called “Amazons”, the Grand Customs, the Human Sacrifices, the Present State of the Slave Trade, and the Negro’s Place in Nature.

London: Tinsley Brothers, 1864. FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE.
Octavo, 2vols. xvii; vi, 386; 412 pages, with 2 wood engraved frontispieces. Bound in original publisher’s cloth with gilt vignette, repair to top of spine of volume 1, renewed endpapers, otherwise a very good and internally near fine copy of this rare travel book.

Burton’s mission as commissioner to Dahome was to try to persuade Gelele, the local King, to withdraw from the rampant slave trading in Benin. Penzer p.72.

One of West Africa’s more brutal dictators, Gelele was widely infamous for his female “Amazon” army and such florid atrocities as cannibalism, impaling, and mass human sacrifice. His attacks on neighbouring states, persecution of native Christians, and encouragement of the slave trade alarmed France and Great Britain; the latter annexed Lagos in an effort to curtail Gelele’s activities.

In 1861 while in West Africa, Burton asked the Foreign Office to send him to Dahome, but his request was denied. Burton made a secret unofficial journey there and lingered at the capital for 5 days and met with the King briefly. His first impressions were that Gelele was not as savage or as bloody as purported by other European travelers. He described the king, “He looks a king of black men, without tenderness of heart or weakness of head. His person is athletic, upwards of six feet high, lithe, thin flanked and broad shouldered. His eyes are red, bleared and inflamed and his tatoo has three short parallel and perpendicular lancet cuts, situated nearer the scalp than the eyebrows.”

Later, the Foreign Office formally sent Burton back to Dahome to protest the human sacrifices, slave trade, and other inhumane practices. These volumes chronicle the barbarian practices that he witnessed, and his many attempts to convince the King to abandon his bloody rituals and customs. Unfortunately, Burton was unable to dissuade Gelele. He returned home despondent, frustrated, and disappointed. This was his last major expedition to West Africa.


1865 – Manuscript – Rare Dutch Slavery Bill of Exchange

Rare Slavery Document
Bill of Exchange
Funds Paid to Chirurgeon Charlouis
Signed by Suriname Governor Van Lansberge
Involving Wilhelm Eduard Ruhmann
and Surinaamsche Bank in Paramaribo

Suriname, 15 August 1865. Wisselbrief [Bill of Exchange, Promissory Note]. A numbered (278) and printed document granting financial compensation to a slave owner in Suriname, by the Dutch government, signed in the original by numerous parties including the Gouverneur de Kolonie Suriname [Governor of Suriname] Van Lansberge, the Administrateur van Financienvan Het Ministerie van Kolonien te s-Gravenhague [Finance Administrator for the Ministry of the Colonies, at The Hague], and the recipient of the funds who is not only a slave owner but well-known chirurgeon A.D. Charlouis. Text is in Dutch. With steel engraved colonial coat of arms, official ink stamps, the embossed stamp of the “Klein Kolonie Suriname” government. Single leaf measuring approximately 26,5 x 13 cm. Very good condition, beautifully preserved, a scarce and historical slavery document with notable signature.

The present document is interesting, as is was made almost two years after the official abolition of slave ownership in Suriname, which reveals the lengthy time period over which this process was stretched. The government’s primary concern was not the freedom of the enslaved people; it was the preservation of the plantation economy, lest there be a mass exodus of workers leaving the plantations. The latter was cited as the reason and justification for the mandatory employment contract which accompanied ‘free status’ of a slave.

Chirurgeon Andries Daniel Charlouis (Emden, Lower Saxony 1820 – Paramaribo, Suriname 1880) is the recipient of this compensation. Historical evidence reveals that he had more slaves than what is represented with this document, and that he released them gradually. He was well-known in the field of medical science, particularly for his studies on medicinal matters and the indigenous people of South America; his name appears in numerous medical journals of the period.

Reinhart Frans Cornelius van Lansberge (1804-1873), whose signature authorizes this document, was the Governor-General of Suriname from 1 August 1859 to 29 June 1867. Slavery was abolished in the Dutch West Indies during his governorship. Previous to this post, he was Governor of Curacao from 1855 to 1859, and formerly Dutch Consul-General Venezuela.

Doctor Charlouis, whose original signature is found to verso, received 1935 guilders with this promissory note effective 15 August 1865. This figure represents the release of approximately 6 slaves. A manuscript annotation to upper left margin, penned in a West Germanic language, refers to the abolition act: “Opheffing der slavernij… 1863” [Elimination of slavery… 1863]. Red ink annotations reveal that this document was registered on 16 September 1865, and signed by a Geregistreerde referendaris J.C. Jaunen [registered secretary]. Additional annotations to the upper margin suggest that the funds were cashed in on 16 October 1865 “Betaalbaar te Amsterdam” [paybale to Amsterdam]. Also interesting to note, two of the signed annotations to verso, those of Charlouis and a witness, make reference to German plantation owner, banker Wilhelm Eduard Ruhmann at Paramaribo. As such, this transaction was most likely transacted at Surinaamsche Bank which had been founded earlier the same year, and the funds dispatched from there to the Dutch government in The Netherlands.

The Netherlands abolished the Atlantic slave-trade in 1814. However, localized slavery continued for over half a decade. Slavery was finally abolished in Suriname and the Dutch West Antilles on 1 July 1863 with the Emancipation Act. On that day, about 35,000 slaves in Suriname and 12,000 slaves on the Dutch islands in the Caribbean were given their freedom, or rather a modified version of freedom.

Freed men in Suriname come under state supervision for ten years with a mandatory employment contract on the plantations. The slave owners received financial compensation from the government upon releasing their slaves to this system. The Dutch government paid 300 guilders per slave to the owner for the “lost property”. (In the Dutch East Indies, payments were far lower, 50 to 350 guilders depending on the age of the slave). The abolition of slavery was referred to as ’emancipation’. Parties were organized in which King William III was presented as a key figure and benefactor of the freed slaves.

Wilhelm Eduard Ruhmann/Rühmann (Mecklenburg, 1816 – February 16, 1872) was a plantation owner, bank manager and politician in Suriname. He was born the son of L.V. Rühmann and L. Völschow. He spent a large part of his life in Suriname. In 1857 he followed P.R. Planteau as a member of the Colonial Council and a year later Ruhmann also became the consul of Mecklenburg-Schwerin in Suriname. During the emancipation in 1863 he was co-owner of, among others, the Waterland, Picardy and Frederikslust plantations and he was also an administrator of plantations.

He was director of the Surinaamsche Bank in Paramaribo from its foundation in 1865, holding that title for 6 years. Around 1866 Ruhmann was also a member of the Board of Directors of Suriname for some time. In 1871 the governor appointed him a member of the Colonial States but less than a year later he died at the age of 55.

Population in the town of Paramaribo greatly increased after 1873, when former enslaved people who had been freed in 1863 were allowed to stop working for their former masters and leave the sugar plantations.

1837 – Manuscript Medical Journal with Early Apothecary Recipes

Journal of Manuscript Medical Notes
Early Apothecary Recipes
From the Works of
18th Century Physician
Andreas Elias Büchner

Germany, circa 1837. “Materia Medica und Formulare nach Dr. Büchner”
[Medical Material and Formulas According to Dr. Büchner].

Manuscript notes made by a nineteenth century student of medicine, possibly intent on becoming an apothecary, who examines and records the earlier works of German physician and professor Andreas Elias Buechner (1701-1769), including numerous medicinal recipes and commentary on physiological effects. 8vo. 56 pages in manuscript. Text is in German. Marbled paper boards with blank label to front. Volume measures approximately 17 x 21 cm. Very slight wear to boards, otherwise in very good condition, internally crisp and bright.

The 18th century was the ‘Golden Age’ of scientific academies and learned societies. This work provides valuable information on the historic application of natural ingredients with medicinal qualities, as well as a somewhat early history of the experimentation and progress in the field of medicine, by drawing from the methodology and recipes of a notable eighteenth century German physician and educator in the field – Andreas Elias Büchner.

Following a five-point outline, the writer compiles a lengthy and well organized list of medical ailments or discomforts and the simple remedies for them, over 24 pages, a very small sampling of these being parageusia (a distortion of the sense of taste), digestive issues for which are listed various laxatives, skin sensitivities and emollients, “alterantia” or hormonal alterants, and diaphoretics.

A section headed “Special Formulas,” comprising 23 pages of more complex medicinal recipes, provides ingredients and measurements for various emulsions, syrups, pills and much more. [During Büchner’s time, pills were made by mixing the active ingredients with an excipient such as glucose syrup in a mortar and pestle to form a paste, then rolling the mass by hand into a long cylindrical shape (called a “pipe”), and dividing it into equal portions, which were then rolled into balls, and often coated with sugar to make them more palatable.]

Andreas Elias Büchner (1701-1769) was a German physician, naturalist, Professor of Medicine at some of Germany’s leading institutions, president of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina from 1735 to 1769, and one of Friedrich Hoffmann’s most zealous followers.

Büchner studied medicine at the Universities of Erfurt, Halle and Leipzig. In 1722 he received his doctorate in Erfurt. After an educational trip to Franconia, Swabia and Lower Saxony, he became a Professor at the University of Erfurt. In 1724 he obtained a Master of Arts in Philosophy. His nearly life-long connection to the Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina [German National Academy of Sciences] began in 1726 when he was accepted as a ‘Bacchius. Three years later he was employed as Landphysicus of the Office in Großrudestedt, performing this role from Erfurt, where he received the fourth full professorship of the Medical Faculty in the same year. In 1733 he was made Director of the Ephemeridum journal, and in 1735 he was elected 6th President of the Leopoldina, retaining this title until 1769. In 1744, Büchner was also appointed Full Professor at the University of Halle, being promoted shortly thereafter to the Private Medical Council. For three terms, 1745/46, 1758/59, 1767/68 he was Prorector of the Alma Mater. Büchner was also a foreign member of the Prussian Academy of Sciences from 1738.

According to Hirsch-Hübotter I, 1756, Andreas Elias Buechner (Büchner, 1701-1769) was one of the most ardent supporters of Hoffmann, very learned and industrious, popular among students, an excellent practitioner, author of a large number of books published between 1729 and 1752 on physiology, pathology and therapy, pharmacology, having also written numerous dissertations.

The oldest national medical academy still in existence is the “Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher” (Leopoldina), which was founded in 1652 in Schweinfurt as a private society, and subsequently became an imperial institution with substantial privileges, after which it underwent steady growth for several decades.

Materia medica (English: medical material/substance) is a Latin term for the body of collected knowledge about the therapeutic properties of any substance used for healing (i.e., medicines).



1901 – Oil Painting of Ancient Chinese Junk

Ancient Chinese Junk
Oil Painting

Unique Vessel
Painted Eyes for Seeing
Bamboo Battened Sails
Elm wood Rudder

A Striking and Stylish Chinese Junk Oil Painting 
With its two strong sails inscribed with Chinese lettering by the artist, this handsome artisan work memorializes the traditions of the ancient Chinese junk, by highlighting the revolutionary and long-standing sailing designs as well as a fascinating superstitious practice. The vessel features painted eyes and an open stern with far reaching tips which exudes speed. A dragon-like flag flies from one of the masts. A stern rudder helps steer through the rough waters of the harbour, which is surrounded by mountains, possibly representing Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour. The peaked and winged-style stern of the vessel suggests speed and agility at high seas. Five Chinese seafarers onboard are wearing traditional dress.

Original oil painting on thick cardstock, created circa 1901-1910, measuring approximately 25,5 x 20,5 cm.  Indication at perimeters of previous framing, otherwise in very good condition.

The Junk was so highly preferred in Eastern Asia that it saw very few modifications through the ages and is still used in China today.

Chinese pirates and merchants alike favored the Junk over other sailing vessels, for many reasons.

The sails of a Junk were designed so that they can move inward, unlike any other western sailing vessel up until the 19th century. This allowed the ship to sail into the wind while stilling moving forward, rather than trying to sail hundreds of nautical miles to find adequate winds. The sails were strong, being fabricated of canvas, silk, or matting, and were further supported by bamboo battens which reinforced the strength of the sail and made it manageable to roll up during high winds.

The Junk was the first vessel to have a rudder – a revolutionary steering design that would be quickly become adapted on every ship built. In the early days of sail, the direction of a ship had been steered by a single large oar at the stern, controlled by one man. However, the oar was typically made from a thin piece of wood, and would often break from pressure from the water. The rudder on the Junk was made of strong elm wood pierced with several diamond shaped holes (called fenestration), and mounted on a hinge attached to the stern. Although it required up to three men to control during rough seas, it remained firm. It could also be adjusted up and down to compensate for different heights of the water.

Painted eyes: In early days, the Chinese painted an eye on each side of the vessel, near the bow, believing that it would help the boat see where it was headed.