Paul fraser collectibles
- A highly rare Elvis Presley album signed twice by the King of Rock 'n' Roll
- Gifted to a fellow member of his U.S Army unit during his military service in Germany
Elvis Presley (1935 – 1977) was one of the most iconic and influential performers of the 20th century, known to his fans simply as "The King".
As one of the originators of rock and roll, he created a music style which changed the world and inspired generations of artists from The Beatles to the present day.
He remains the best-selling solo artist of all-time, with estimated record sales of 600 million, and performed over numerous styles including rockabilly, pop, blues and gospel.
Throughout his career Presley also appeared in more than 30 feature films, along with the 1973 'Aloha from Hawaii Via Satellite' special which was seen by more than 1 billion people around the world.
Today millions of fans flock from around the world to visit his former home of Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee, and rare items of his memorabilia regularly sell for tens of thousands of dollars at auction.
'Elvis' was Presley's second studio album, released in the U.S in October 1956, and featured a mix of original songs, country ballads and Little Richard covers.
The record also featured a version of 'Old Shep' – the 1940s country song that Elvis had first performed in a Tupelo talent contest when he was just 10 years old.
The album spent four weeks at the top of the Billboard Pop Albums chart, making Elvis the first recording artist to have their first two albums go straight to #1 in the same year.
Five months after the release of the album, Presley was inducted into the U.S Army. He was assigned to Company A of the 3rd Armored Division's 1st Medium Tank Battalion, and completed his basic training at Fort Hood, Texas before heading overseas.
This copy of the album was signed and inscribed by Elvis to a fellow member of the 3rd Armored Division whilst he was stationed in Friedberg, West Germany, and remained in the same family's collection for years.
The album bears Presley's signature in bold blue ink on the reverse of the album cover, and another inscribed "Many thanks! Elvis Presley" on the album's protective inner sleeve.
The album sleeve shows overall age wear, creases and scuffed edges/corners. The original vinyl record is still present within.
This record represents the first signed Elvis Presley album we've ever had the pleasure of offering at Paul Fraser Collectibles.
Bearing not one, but two bold signatures, it represents and superb opportunity and would take pride of place in any music fan's collection.
Paul Fraser Collectibles
- A touching handwritten love letter by one of the most legendary outlaws of the Old West
Frank James (1843 – 1915) was a U.S Civil War Confederate guerrilla and notorious Old West outlaw.
Together with his younger brother Jesse James, he helped established the James-Younger Gang, which robbed banks, trains, and stagecoaches throughout the southern states.
The gang cultivated a reputation as folk heroes, with help from the editor of the Kansas City Times, who published Jesse James' letters and proclaimed him to be a modern-day Robin Hood.
The gang's spree of robberies and murder lasted from 1866 until 1876, when several members were killed or captured during a disastrous raid on the First National Bank of Northfield, Minnesota.
Frank James retired from his life of crime soon after, but his brother Jesse struggled to adapt to normal life, and formed a new gang which continued to operate for several years.
Following the murder of Jesse by fellow gang member Robert Ford in 1882, Frank James feared for his own life and surrendered to the authorities, stating:
"I have been hunted for twenty-one years, have literally lived in the saddle, have never known a day of perfect peace. It was one long, anxious, inexorable, eternal vigil."
He was tried for his roles in two robberies/murders in Missouri and Alabama, and was acquitted in both cases, before returning to Oklahoma to live with his family.
For the next 30 years Frank James held a variety of jobs, including a shoe salesman, an AT&T telegraph operator and even a ticket taker in a burlesque theatre.
He also gave public lectures on the Old West, invested in Buckskin Bill's Wild West Show, and gave tours of the James family farm, where he eventually passed away in 1915 at the age of 72.
Frank James and Ann Ralston
The story of how Frank James first met Ann Ralston remains somewhat of a mystery.
She was the highly-educated daughter of a wealthy businessman, and was working as a teacher when she suddenly eloped with James in the summer of 1875.
Her parents received a letter which read simply "Dear Mother: I am married and going West. Annie Reynolds", and were distraught at her disappearance.
It wasn't until several months later that they discovered their new son-in-law was one of the country's most wanted men.
In 1876 Ann's father arranged for a New York newspaper article about the marriage, to ensure his family was not linked to the criminal gang
"The James brothers, who are, with the Younger boys, creating so much stir just now, have had a love scrape, or at least one of them has. But this love affair is different from all other love affairs. No one who knows anything of the career of the James brothers would expect them to woo, win and marry like other people...
"Mr. Ralston has had no connection or communication with the train robbers whatever. His daughter he has not seen since she left home, a year and one month ago.
"If she is alive she will not write home, lest her letters should guide the officers to her husband's retreat. If she was dead Frank James would have notified her parents. So they can only rest patiently in the uncertainty of perhaps seeing their daughter again."
Ralston never returned home, but despite the dramatic nature of their courtship and Frank's life of crime, they maintained a happy and stable marriage.
They had a son, Robert Franklin James, and following Frank's surrender and subsequent acquittal for murder in 1883, they remained together until his death in 1915.
Ann Ralston James lived out the rest of her days on the James family farm, before passing away in 1944, and the couple's ashes were buried together at Hill Park Cemetery in Jackson County, Missouri.
The letter, dated July 7, 1883, was written by James to his wife whilst incarcerated in jail in Gallatin, Missouri.
He was awaiting trial for murder and robbery of the Rock Island Line train at Winston, Missouri, in which the train engineer William Westfall and a passenger Frank McMillan were killed.
Having spent a year in custody, James' trial began on August 20, and lasted just three days, before the jury returned a resounding verdict of 'not guilty'.
The tender love letter reveals James to be both highly romantic and highly literate.
Although he lived much of his life as a violent outlaw, he had been raised as a preacher's son surrounded by books, and during his youth developed a love for the works of Shakespeare.
James was said to always carry a book in his saddle bag, even when he was on the run from the law, and he shared this passion for literature with Ann throughout their 40-year marriage.
He writes, in part:
"If there is anything on Earth that is half as dear to me as my wife I have failed to find it. You are everything to me and the only living human being that has ever possessed my whole love, my entire confidence and the only one that ever will and I feel as that love and confidence will never be abused.
"I have lived as I think to see my fondest hopes realised. Long years ago I hoped and prayed that God would give me a true woman for my wife and I feel as he has done."
James signs the letter as 'Ben', a protective alias that he used when writing to his loved ones.
The single page letter, with text on both sides, measures 203 by 126mm, with fold creases and bleeding of ink in some sections.
A remarkable piece of history, which offers a personal insight into one of the Old West's most legendary figures.
Paul Fraser Collectibles
- A fascinating document by of one of the most significant French artists of the 20th century.
Paul Signac (1863-1935) was a French Neo-Impressionist painter who developed the style of Pointilism along with George Seurat.
Signac worked alongside many of the greatest artists of the era, including Claude Monet, Henri Matisse, Camille Pissarro and Odilon Redon, and shared a close friendship with Vincent van Gough.
In 1884 Signac was one of the four founding members of the Société des Artistes Indépendants, an association which hosted major exhibitions and set important artistic trends for more than three decades.
He also wrote several important works on the theory of art, and throughout his life served as both an inspiration and a patron to younger artists.
This four page manuscript features a series of pencil drawings and sketches, along with lengthy annotations in French which offer an insight into Paul Signac's artistic process.
The rough illustrations on page one of the manuscript include notes referring to colours and background scenery of a possible future work:
"Opposite a white palace, with pink line, harmony in pink, with green blinds… Communal Palace.. retouching Gozzoli virgin fresco…blue background…"
The second page features four individual sketches, with figures and religious imagery such as a virgin and an angel. These scenes are accompanied by notes, which read in part:
"The small virgin in white,…right wall with chorus, landscape with sun, white, pink…a clown scene with the dog and cat under the bed...the chapel of St. Martin…"
The third page include a lengthy annotation which reads in part "...the dry aspect that the murals research and the shapes can achieve…", along with a quick line sketch which is developed more fully on the fourth page.
This second version of the sketch depicts a small cottage on a shoreline, with a large cliff face rising up behind it.
Signac had a love of sailing, spending many summers throughout his life exploring the French coast, and the shorelines in the South of France – perhaps including this very scene - were amongst his most popular subjects.
Paul Fraser Collectibles
J.K Rowling (1965-) is one of the best-selling authors in literary history.
As the creator of the Harry Potter series of novels, Rowling has sold more than 400 million books around the world, and the cultural phenomenon has spawned a media franchise of films and theme parks worth $25 billion.
Rowling has also been praised for her philanthropic work, and has raised tens of millions for good causes including Comic Relief and her own children's charity Lumos.
Following the conclusion of the Harry Potter series in 2007, Rowling published the adult fiction novel The Casual Vacancy in 2012.
In 2013 she also published her first crime novel The Cuckoo's Calling, featuring the private detective Cormorant Strike.
The novel was written under the pseudonym 'Robert Galbraith', and was critically acclaimed as a debut novel for a new crime author – until Galbraith's true identity was uncovered by reporters.
The Silkworm, published in 2014, is the second of Rowling's three detective novels written as Galbraith.
To date, the 'Cormorant Strike' series has sold more than two million copies worldwide, and has been adapted for television, with the series set to air in 2017.
This first-edition hardback copy of the book is signed by Rowling as "Robert Galbraith" on the title-page in black ink.
The book also includes an official J.K Rowling hologram sticker, which the author adds to signed copies of her books to authenticate them.
Complete with dust jacket, publisher's black cloth, spine lettered in gilt.