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    Description

    John Frederick William Herschel Autograph Letter Signed, Authenticating Two Book Labels Signed by Frederick William Herschel. One page of a bifolium, 7.25" x 9", Collingwood, England, May 13, 1840. A letter to Josiah French, legitimizing the authenticity of two labels signed by his father. The labels were taken from two of William Herschel's music books that were sold when John Herschel left Slough in May 1840. In full:

    "Sir - The enclosed labels are certainly in the hand writing of the late Sir Wm Herschel. I was not aware of their being on the covers of the music, or I should have torn them off. But as they have fallen into your hands I do not regret the oversight. Wishing you [illegible] in [illegible] your collection. I remain sir, your obt. serv. J.F.W. Herschel".

    The two music labels have been signed "Wm Herschel". The first measures 4.25" x 3.25", reads: "Ifigenia N. 6". The second measures 3.5" x 2.5", reads: "Fanaida de Sig. Bach N. 5".

    William Herschel (1738-1822) was a German-born British astronomer, best known for his discovery of Uranus and his work regarding Saturn's rings. Herschel also discovered two moons each for both planets, discovered infrared radiation, and coined the term "asteroid." Besides his work in science, Herschel was an accomplished composer, writing twenty-four symphonies and other pieces of music.

    Following in his father's footsteps, John F.W. Herschel also pursued astronomy, along with other sciences such as chemistry, photography, botany, geography, etc. Surprisingly, it was his astronomical knowledge that led him to correctly diagnose the cause of astigmatism in eyes (an irregularity in the curvature of the cornea), and went on to suggest various treatments. He made great improvements to the field of photography, and published multiple papers and articles on a variety of scientific studies in the Encyclopædia Britannica.

    Condition: The two labels are toned with some foxing, very minimal paper loss on top label does not affect any text. Letter is toned at mail folds, with small amounts of foxing, integral fold has been reinforced with archival material.


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    Auction Dates
    October, 2017
    19th Thursday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 379

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