eBay: Various FLW signed letters & postcards

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SDR
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Post by SDR »

. . . though to be honest, I don't think it's necessary to track down Pica and Elite, in this case; isn't the jig up already ?

In any event, I believe Bill said that these items were all (?) made with the same typewriter---which only adds to one's suspicion . . .

S

Rood
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Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 12:19 pm
Location: Goodyear, AZ 85338

Post by Rood »

SDR wrote:. . . though to be honest, I don't think it's necessary to track down Pica and Elite, in this case; isn't the jig up already ?

In any event, I believe Bill said that these items were all (?) made with the same typewriter---which only adds to one's suspicion . . . S


The close-up view of the postcard suggests the typewriter used was probably Mr. Wright's ... because the letters are super large. I once discovered the typewriter stored away, somewhere, and had it sent to a shop to be refurbished.

However, it almost took a hammer to strike each key with enough force to print each single letter ... so it was effectively unusable. If I'm not mistaken the typewriter is still sitting on a desk in the Studio at Taliesin. That's where I last saw it, anyway.

Can't help about the strange door and space below the birdwalk. I think the first and last time I walked by there was in 1957. I hitchhiked from Minneapolis to Spring Green ... and toured Taliesin late on a Sunday afternoon. Mr. Wright was in NYCity ... (he appeared that night on the Mike Wallace Show), so things were very lax at Taliesin. There were few people around, anywhere.

After touring Hillside ... unaccompanied, I walked over to Taliesin ... and gave myself a tour. Two apprentices were working outside, below the Blue Loggia, on electrical lines, and when they saw me I was informed that the house was not open for tours .... so I went on my way, beneath the Birdwalk, and around the LR to the exit road. During my time that area was usually heavily blocked by underbrush.

SDR
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Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

"The close-up view of the postcard suggests the typewriter used was probably Mr. Wright's ... because the letters are super large." While that's an important observation, I don't think that you're suggesting that Mr
Wright's typewriter was unique in that regard. Or are you ?

"In English-speaking countries, ordinary typewriters printing fixed-width characters were standardized to print six horizontal lines per vertical inch,
and had either of two variants of character width, called "pica" for ten characters per horizontal inch and "elite" for twelve. This differed from the
use of these terms in printing, where "pica" is a linear unit (approximately ​1�6 of an inch) used for any measurement, the most common one being
the height of a type face."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Typewrite ... cter_sizes

Perhaps the type looks larger because, in all cases, these letters and cards are smaller than standard letter-sized paper (8 1/2" x 11") ?


A comparison between the product of two typewriters would of course include the matter of font size as outlined in the passage quoted above, as well as by the letterforms peculiar to the particular font chosen by
the manufacturer. Communications issuing from Taliesin were typed with both serif and sans-serif machines, for instance. In addition, individual typewriters may contain anomalies---letters which strike the page
above or below their correct horizontal alignment, for instance.

S

SDR
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Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Here's the text accompanying the letter and card sent (supposedly) by Wright to Sandoval.


Image


As the card has been analyzed by means of its stamp and cancellation, and found wanting, I decided to look at the typing and the graphics on the letter. (Both items have now
been sold, so the exercise is academic at this point---but any mystery begs to be solved.)


Here are screen grabs of magnified portions of the letter:


Image
Image
Image
Image




There are dozens of images online of Wright letters. I looked at many of them, and found only one which appears to display a typeface matching the one on the Sandoval letter. It is a check, from 1949, the same year as the letter:

Image


One other sample, a letter from 1938, would have matched as well---except for the numeral 9:

Image




Turning to the red printed graphic on the page, there could be found several versions of the red square. The earliest example I came across is
from 1916. It is a plain red square like those used on Taliesin stationery in the 'thirties and 'forties, but here surrounded by an embossed frame:

Image

In the 'fifties the square was decorated with a maze-like design, one which others may have described more exactly. Though there is more than one version of this decorated square, I did not
find another just like the one on the subject letter---which is also the earliest of the letters I saw to contain this figure. Neither did I find a version of the typography matching in every aspect the
one on this letter.


The Sandoval letter:

Image

Image


Other examples:


Image

Image

Image

SDR
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Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

As with most if not all Wright artifacts, only insiders at Taliesin, or experts available to the Foundation or at the Avery Library, would be able with certainty
to authenticate these pieces of literary ephemera. If even one other example of that stationery, for instance, could be shown to exist, that would go a long
way toward certifying the piece.

Even then, the possibility exists that a piece of blank stationery might have gone missing, when it was in stock, awaiting some future day when it would
finally see (an unauthorized) use---just as the signed checks were apparently liberated by some light-fingered soul ?

Other questions: Did Mr Wright favor---or often use---blue ink ? Here is a letter---on another surprising letterhead---signed in blue ink by Gene Masselink:

https://cranbrookkitchensink.wordpress. ... cranbrook/

And the check is signed in blue---in an eerily similar signature. Lots of practice, for a forger ?

Yet another question: What's this about "Wright's family cabin in Denver" ? Has anyone heard of him spending any time at all---much less owning prop-
erty---there ?

S

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

The signature on the Sandoval letter looks suspiciously like the signature on the check, as if carefully copied. Other verifiable FLW signatures show the usual variations most people make when they sign things.

Rood
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Location: Goodyear, AZ 85338

Post by Rood »

BBP once hired a secretary from Scottsdale to help copy and catalog Mr. Wright's correspondence. Without being asked, she copied and gave me a couple of letters that she thought might interest me.

One letter, addressed to the Italian Consul on 20 April 1948, FLLW's signature: "Frank Lloyd Wright ... measures exactly 2 and 1/4 inches long. Same is true for a letter to the Immigration Service, dated 16 December 1946. Each capital letter measures about 1/8 inch tall. Lower case letters, such as "s" fills a square measuring approximately 3/32 inch.

In another letter, dated 6 August 1948, all letters are somewhat similar in size to the examples above, though here, "Frank Lloyd Wright" measures only two inches from front-to-back,so spacing between each letter is quite different.

In the second example, Capital letters also measure about 1/8 inches tall, and lower case letters fill a square appearing to be slightly larger than 1/16 inch.

Meanwhile, undated correspondence addressed to Dr. Chandler concerning specifications for San-Marcos-in-the-Desert appear very much like type commonly used today, and in this example, "Frank Lloyd Wright" measures just one and 3/4 inches long.


It's more than evident that Taliesin had more than one typewriter

SDR
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Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Thanks, Rood---and yes, the examples we have demonstrate that neither typewriters nor stationery were in short supply at the Taliesins. (There was
probably a time when a typewriter made the long trek from Spring Green to Scottsdale, and back again; there was almost certainly a later date when
that was no longer necessary ?)

So, I never assumed that a comparison of type fonts, etc, would prove anything other than the possibility of a match. Bill's work on stamps and postal
cancellations seems much more likely to indicate some hanky-panky . . . comparable to that revealed on another thread, about another subject . . . ?

http://wrightchat.savewright.org/viewtopic.php?t=11517

S

Rood
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Location: Goodyear, AZ 85338

Post by Rood »

SDR wrote:Thanks, Rood---and yes, the examples we have demonstrate that neither typewriters nor stationery were in short supply at the Taliesins. (There was
probably a time when a typewriter made the long trek from Spring Green to Scottsdale; there was almost certainly a later date when that was no longer
necessary ?) S
I assume everything is computerized, today, but in my time individuals took their Selectric typewriters back and forth. Some of them stayed in Arizona, but Taliesin was effectively denuded every fall. In contrast, an office at Taliesin West functioned year-round

Ever try to type on a Selectric, where the pitch fonts differed in size?

SDR
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Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

No---what was the effect of that ?


I took typing in high school, on a big old office Remington that had a dark green dust cover placed over it every night, like all the others in the room. I've spent very little time on an electric, sadly.

And I inherited my grandfather's ancient portable "Rem-ette" and have it to this day. Hasn't been used in twenty or thirty years; a friend used to write letters to his mother on it.

When I went online, I found before long that my fingers (not the right ones, necessarily) knew where the keys are, reliably, and often before I'm conscious of the fact . . .

S

Thomas
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Joined: Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:55 pm

Post by Thomas »

These ar Fantastic pieces in the hand of Frank Lloyd Wright, they should be donated to the Archives.

Thomas
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Joined: Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:55 pm

Post by Thomas »

I just searched on ebay and found one of those cards authenticated by Beckett. If Beckett autrhenticated the card you can be 100% sure that it is not a Forgery.
They are the best in the Industry, and would not jeaperdize their reputation.There is another guy I used to send pieces to just as good, years ago he was the lead Authenticator for PSA his name is Steve Grad, I would reach out to him. I see him on Pawn Stars authenticating their items, you might want to send a photo of a couple of the cards and letters. Personally they look great to me.

DRN
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Post by DRN »

Two factoids from my reading of material about Wright and his works....
1. Nicknames were common at Taliesin and once applied, were used in almost all situations. According to Tafel’s “Apprentice to Genius� and Hoffman’s Fallingwater book, Manuel Sandoval was a talented finish carpenter from Nicaragua, who was usually referred to by Wright and others as “Sandy�. In a congratulatory letter after more than ten years association with Wright, why would Wright use the formal Manuel?

2. Hilla Rebay resigned as director of the Guggenheim in 1952. What was the nature of her involvement with the museum 5 years later in 1957 that Wright would be corresponding with her about the project? As an architect I would be very careful about correspondence with former employees of my largest client, particularly words about the project itself.

As an aside, the typeface of Taliesin West, and Paradise Valley seem mismatched....also was Taliesin West referred to as being in Paradise Valley on letterhead?

I question the authenticity of these, and the accuracy of Beckett in the review of Wright’s correspondence. Is someone just looking at signatures exclusively, and not their context?

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