Signer of the Declaration of Independence from South Carolina (1742–1787) who succeeded his father, Henry Middleton, in the Continental Congress; the elder Middleton had resigned as he opposed declaring independence. Title page for the sheet music booklet entitled ‘Six Sonatas or Duets for Two German Flutes or Two Violins’ composed by James Gerard, 8.25 x 12.5, boldly signed in the middle, “Arthur Middleton.” An ink stamp identifies the piece as from the autograph collection of renowned surgeon and collector Dr. Max Thorek, Chicago. In fine condition, with a trimmed left edge. Includes the sheet music booklet, nineteen pages, 9.25 x 12.5, printed in London for John Johnson, no date. Accompanied by a custom-made presentation folder.
Born on his father’s plantation in South Carolina, Middleton was sent to England at age 12 to receive his education at the most elite institutions Great Britain had to offer. He became proficient in Greek and Latin and traveled extensively throughout Europe, developing a sophisticated taste in art, literature, and music. According to Nicholas Michael Butler’s book Votaries of Apollo, which chronicles the history of concert music in Charleston during the Revolutionary period, Middleton is known to have performed on the German flute. He is also listed as one of the original members of the St. Cecilia Society, which was formed in Charleston in 1766 as a private subscription concert organization. This sheet music was evidently part of his personal library. Middleton is considered the third-rarest autograph of all Declaration signers, and as a piece related to his passion for music this is a truly remarkable example. Pre-certified PSA/DNA.
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