Autograph Note Signed / Unsigned Booklet. William A. SMITH.

Autograph Note Signed / Unsigned Booklet.

This American artist is often remembered for his friendship with Carl Sandburg, which resulted in his striking 1968 U.S. postage stamp; other stamps include his award-winning 1972 "Sidney Lanier" and the 4-stamp 1973 series "Rise of the Spirit of Independence." ANS, 1p, 8¼" X 11", Pineville, PA, 1973 October 9. Addressed to Mr. Johnston. Near fine. Two horizontal mailing folds. Friendly "Thank you for your gratifying reaction and comment on my stamp designs...." in Smith's handsome calligraphic hand. No doubt refers to his award-winning 4-stamp "Rise of the Spirit of Independence" stamps, which had been released the previous month. Accompanied by a stunning 4pp heavy stock 8½" X 11" color leaflet issued in 1953. Near fine. Smith's 1978 centennial "Carl Sandburg" stamp, which shows a left-facing Sandburg in profile, was based on a charcoal portrait made much earlier, showing a right-facing Sandburg, published here for the first time in 1953 -- a full quarter century before its stamp appearance! The front cover of this glossy leaflet features this portrait, which once open (pages 2 and 3) shows on the lefthand side a manuscript fair copy of Sandburg's then-new poem "Names" in his distinctive script, dated from Connemara Farm, Flat Rock, North Carolina, 25 December 1952. The righthand side shows the same text, beautifully typeset. Rear leaf (page 4) indicates "First publication of CARL SANDBURG'S most recent poem" and "Some time ago we asked Mr. Sandburg for permission to print this poem as a keepsake for his seventy-fifth birthday party...." Thus this booklet represents the true first appearance of this well-known poem, which begins: "There is only one horse on the earth / and his name is All Horses. / There is only one bird in the air / and his name is All Wings. / There is only one fish in the sea / and his name is All fins...." Though no publisher is cited on this bibliographically-challenged printed piece, the publisher was perhaps Broadcast Music, Inc. of New York -- whose president and founder, Carl Haverlin, was an old friend of Sandburg's and was instrumental in organizing the celebrations honoring his friend's 75th. Sandburg at that time was at the height of his fame, and these fetes garnished much press coverage. It's not known how many of these booklets were produced, but likely a modest number for private distribution to friends and colleagues. A superb letter and scarce printed keepsake. Item #25860

Price: $125.00

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