Extremely desirable partly-printed DS, signed “F. Chopin,” one page, 9.25 x 5.5, May 1840. A receipt for the sale of the copyrights for three of Chopin's musical works, in part: "Received of Wessel & Co…the sum of Twenty Four Pounds…for the absolute Sale of all my Copyright and Interest, present and future, vested and contingent or otherwise, for the Kingdom of Great Britain, & Ireland, of and in the following works, Op. 35. Grande Sonata pour le pianoforte, Op. 36. Seconde Impromptu…Op. 37. Deux Nocturnes." Signed at the conclusion by Chopin. In very good to fine condition, with light creasing, intersecting folds, and some staining and archival reinforcement to the right edge, far from Chopin's bold signature.
Founded by Christian Rudolf Wessel in London, Wessel & Co. began publishing Chopin’s work in 1833, and, in 1836, acquired the exclusive rights to publish Chopin's compositions in Great Britain. Each published in June 1840, the three opuses referred to in this letter, Ops. 35, 36, and 37, were written between the years 1837 and 1840, a period that dates to when Chopin was recovering from a tubercular infection and enjoying the companionship of his famous lover, the novelist George Sand. Opus 35, Piano Sonata No. 2 in B minor, and Opus 37, Nocturnes in G minor and major, remain archetypal works in the oeuvre of Chopin; his use and development of the nocturne, he wrote 21 during his career, are among his most beautiful and recognized compositions. The somber third movement of Op. 35, Marche funèbre: Lento, has become a permanent fixture within popular culture, having been used at the funerals of John F. Kennedy, Sir Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher, and Leonid Brezhnev. Chopin remains among the most desirable autographs of all composers.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.