By Günther Mecklenburg
„Vom Autographensammeln. Versuch einer Darstellung seines Wesens und seiner Geschichte im deutschen Sprachgebiet" was written by Günther Mecklenburg in 1963. It was the first modern handbook on autograph collecting - and still is THE German book on this subject. In various chapters the author describes all the basics of autograph collecting, gives definitions of common terms and abbreviations used in catalogues as well as a list of relevant bibliographies, catalogue raisonnés and archives. Günther Mecklenburg explains how autograph collections are built, how they are described and valuated. He lists resources to identify the handwritings of artists, authors, politicians and scientists and gives valuable advice how to differentiate between the original autograph and forgeries.
"Vom Autographensammeln" is a standard work, written by a widely known and highly esteemed autograph dealer, and an extensive history of the trade with biographies of dealers like Otto Haas or Karl Ernst Henrici, and famous collectors like Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Johannes Brahms, Rudolf Brockhaus, Ludwig Darmstaedter, Alexander Meyer Cohn, Louis Koch, Karl Geigy-Hagenbach, Stefan Zweig, and Robert Ammann.
Günther Mecklenburg was the former proprietor of J. A. Stargardt - the Berlin based specialist in autographs since 1830. The company is still owned by the Mecklenburg family, and now, in the fourth generation, led by the author's grandson Wolfgang Mecklenburg. The book will be digitalized chapter by chapter and will be published in the internet on www.stargardt.de and on the ILAB website.
We now present, by permission of and with thanks to Wolfgang Mecklenburg, five chapters:
1. Der Sinn des Autographensammelns im Wandel der Zeiten - Why collect autographs?
2. „Autograph“ oder „Autogramm“ - What is an autograph?
3. Der Autographenhandel - Autograph dealers
4. Sammelgebiete - Fields of special interests for collectors
5. Caveat emptor - Forgeries and thefts
To be continued.
>>> J.A. Stargardt (website)
>>> J.A. Stargardt (Berlin) - Rare Book and Autograph Dealers Since 1830
>>> click below to download the PDF