Dated: November 9, 2012
I am an attorney who has been monitoring this case. Mr. Fraser has not contacted anyone in regard to selling the Mahler photo, as the individual who posted the last message claims. Furthermore, Mr. Fraser's grandmother does not have Alzheimer's disease and any such false claim shows malicious intent. The grandmother's declaration is 100% valid. Lastly, the Fraser family has no intention of giving the photo to the Schoenberg family for free; Mr. Fraser's father is the only one who has made such a statement. Unfortunately, the father has estranged himself from his family for almost a decade and his comments do not reflect the opinions of the Fraser family.
Dated: November 8, 2012
In response to the letter to the editor regarding the Mahler photograph. I have been following this story since I first saw it. I would like to rebut the statements made by saying that the grandmother is never stated to be suffering from Alzheimer's disease, in no article does it ever make any statement regarding her mental health. This person has been vagrantly slandering them since I read this article on the Huffington post. There is definitely some personal bias there.
I would also like to point out that the father has estranged himself from the family, so if the grandmother gave the photograph as a gift to the grandson, the father would have no claim to it.
If there was truly no right to possession than a suit would have been filed by now. The fact that there is not, means that there is really nothing to go on other than hearsay.
Dated: November 1, 2012
I read the Michael Stillman article on the Mahler photograph which was inscribed to Arnold Schoenberg and the situation which legally revolves around the item. As I have been approached by the seller in this case and asked questions and did background research, I would suggest three additional facts be added as fact to this case, which further cloud Mr. Fraser's claim.
1. His nonengerian Grandmother is suffering from Alzheimers disease.
2. In the affadavit which he purports to have, he blacks out the name of the notary when he has shown it. I know of two such incidents, one to the Schoenberg Family, the second was reported by the New York Times. Therefore the affadavit is of dubious provenance.
3. The rest of the family, including the logical heir, his Father, wants the item returned to the Schoenberg family without compensation of any sort.
As the Grandmother is not in a proper state of mind where she can legally give an item of this value away to anyone, it is highly questionable whether Mr. Fraser has any rights to the piece if it were legally his to sell. At this point, the piece will not sell for the price Mr. Fraser seeks, which is well beyond tolerance for any buyer of this sort of material.
I recommend that anyone interesed in this case read the Schoenblog articles. http://schoenblog.com/
Dated: September 1, 2012
Linda K. Montemaggi
Dear Mr. Stillman,
Re your article on the latest scam, the first indication that this is a scam is the "I am Barrister Willliam" so and so. A barrister in England does one thing only - he argues cases in court, or to put it more formally, before the bar; hence the bar-rister. Mr. Johnson would have been more believable if he had called himself Solicitor so and so. When one has a legal matter in England he engages a solicitor who in turn engages the barrister, if necessary, since the former cannot argue cases before the bar and the latter cannot solicit business.
Just my two cents worth. I enjoy reading the AE Monthly very much.
Dated: September 1, 2012
Thank you for all your interesting articles, but particularly those from Susan Halas - always something different and fascinating. By the way, we do get taught about the double negative here in the UK, but what about split infinitives? - Michael Stillman take note!
Mr. Stillman replies: "But... we fought a revolution here for the right to occasionally split our infinitives!"
Dated: July 1, 2012
I am a volunteer sorter of gifts/donations at my library and I can fully appreciate the problem of catching the jewel in the dross. Most volunteers have limited knowledge, (myself included) the library staff hasn't the time, and there we are, sending 1st editions of Noel Coward to the book sale for 1.00, 1st U.S editions of T.S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats to the shredder and who on earth knows what else we don't catch. If there is a solution I'd be pleased to hear it.
Dated: April 4, 2012
Thanks for another informative article by Susan Halas !
Dave Shoots, Bookseller
Dated: March 7, 2012
Thank you for the generous mention of my book. Michael Stillman was puzzled by quote
from Richard Burton. I would have liked a puff from the explorer but I don't think
he had much of a sense of humour; in fact my RB is an old friend mentioned in the
book's index - a well known UK architect.
Dated: March 1, 2012
Another great AE Monthly. Can't wait - when's the next one?! Just Kidding.
Dated: January 4, 2012
I read with sadness your piece on Bob Emerson. I was unaware of his passing but had lost contact with him ever since his move to Ohio. I live not far from Falls Village, Ct. and would often drive to their old church building to search through their books. They were a beautiful and wonderful couple. There was always the aroma of whatever Dorothy was cooking or heating up behind a partition.
This also very well coincides with your article on the loss of old time bookshops and the opportunity to meet "grey-haired mystics, guards and guides." I sorely miss that. I would often spend a weekend driving throughout Ct. New York and Ma. with my booksellers guides seeking out open shops and out of the way booksellers operating out of their homes. Even with them now it has become "by appointment." Nothing these days is spontaneous or adventurous. The Internet has definitely done the world of book collecting a massive disservice which will never be amended.