Alexander Historical Auctions LLC

Lot 341

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Description: SAMUEL F. B. MORSE
(1791 - 1872) American inventor credited with the invention of the telegraph, as well as a signaling alphabet known as the Morse Code. A great rarity, his signature on the cover of his most extensive treatise on telegraphy, Paris Universal Exposition, 1867. Reports of the United States Commissioners. Examination of the Telegraphic Apparatus and the Processes in Telegraphy. (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1869) 166pp. 8vo., with 23 engraved illustrations, housed in the original titled paper wraps and bound with red binding tape. Boldly inscribed by Morse on the front titled wrap: "Presented to M. D'Aligny with the respects of Prof. S. F. B. Morse" D'Aligny (1798 - 1871) was a noted landscape painter who at the time of his death was Director of the École des Beaux-Arts. A fine association piece in light of the fact that Morse, apart from his work in telegraphy, was also an accomplished artist. Morse was a United States Commissioner to the Exposition and likely met D'Aligny there. Morse's volume describes in great detail the telegraphic equipment on display at the Exposition and also includes a history of the development of the telegraph, a survey of current technology, and the extent of telegraphic services around the world. With library stamps on front wrap and full title page. Provenance: Theodore Caruelle d'Aligny; Columbia College School of Mines Library (circa 1880); Kraus-Thompson Organization (early 20th century) and acquired by the present owner c. 1975. Title page marked "dup" in pencil at top left of full title page. An extremely rare imprint, we have never seen this edition signed by Morse appear on the market. The Melbourne Museum in Australia has one signed edition but it is only signed "With the author's compliments." Another copy, signed by his wife Sarah, sold for $850 at Christies (Feb. 25, 2003, lot 112). Front wrap torn at left margin along spine down from top which can be easily mended, one very minor tear at top center not affecting inscription, contemporary ink smudge at bottom of front wrap, verso bears some uneven toning at margins, pages quite clean, else very good to fine condition with a bold and dark signature and inscription.

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March 30, 2011 11:00 AM EDT

Stamford, CT, US

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