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Sender: Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Tue, 19 Dec 2023 18:18:41 +0000
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I checked three auction databases for any record connected with Twain 
and the name Stalberg, and found nothing. Unless the name was spelled 
incorrectly in those databases, my search would have turned up any 
books, photos, or letters.

Even if you do find the photo in a library, archive, or private 
collection, you will not be able to make any sort of claim to ownership 
unless you can document that it was stolen, something that is usually 
recognized by a court only if a theft report was filed. You'd also need 
to present wills and show you are the legal heir to the estate. Family 
properties of all kinds are commonly given away to friends and 
neighbors, sold in yard sales, thrown in the trash, or passed down in 
families through very unexpected routes (to nieces, nephews, cousins, 
siblings, ex in-laws, grandkids, grandnieces, third cousins, etc., etc.) 
instead of from parents to children in a neat orderly fashion. When 
things are sold, given away, or inherited, other family members are not 
always told.

If it left your Aunt's estate in the 1960s in southern California, it 
could have ended up at some point with one of the prominent dealers 
active in those years in LA and SF--Jake Zeitlin, Warren Howell, Max 
Hunley, Barney Rosenthal, Bill Wreden, Bennett & Marshall, etc., but of 
course most of what they sold was sold privately without it ever 
appearing in their printed catalogues, so tracking it from that 
direction would be virtually impossible.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

Mac Donnell Rare Books
9307 Glenlake Drive
Austin TX 78730

You can browse our books at:

------ Original Message ------
From: "Christian Stalberg" <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: 12/19/2023 10:47:55 AM
Subject: missing an autographed picture to my great grandfather

>	My family is missing an autographed picture of Mark Twain and we're
>to locate it. I already checked with the collection at the Bancroft Library
>and they do
>not have it. Here is the story of how it came into my family:
>       	My great, grandfather Herman Cornelius Stalberg became the librarian
>of the Union Club in New York City in May 1893. Apparently Mark Twain came
>to the Club and met my GG grandfather. One of Twain's daughters was studying
>vocal music. Twain had some music that was in the wrong key so apparently my
>GG grandfather - a musician as well as a librarian - offered to transpose
>the music
>for Twain's daughter's use. The transposing was done as a favor to Twain and
>GG grandfather would not accept payment. Instead, Twain gave my GG
>a photograph of himself with the following inscription "To Herman Stalberg,
>greetings, (signed) Mark Twain".
>       	My father told me this story and of how as a boy of between 10 and
>years of age in NYC he told his school classmates this story. The classmates
>did not believe him so my father's aunt Frieda mailed my dad the photograph
>and he took it to school and shared it with everyone to prove it was true.
>The photo then went back to aunt Frieda. She died in Southern California
>probably in the early 1960s. She had no children and we do not know what
>happened to her possessions, this photograph perhaps being among them, now
>       	Anyone having any ideas where we might be able to locate this photo
>and/or how we might be able to claim it once found would be most
>appreciated. Thank you!
>             - Christian Stalberg