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MARTHA (DODD) STERN - AUTOGRAPH NOTE SIGNED CIRCA 1946 CO-SIGNED BY: HENRY DREYFUSS, DAVE APOLLON, ALFRED K. STERN - HFSID 17875

ALFRED STERN, MARTHA DODD STERN, DAVE APOLLON and HENRY DREYFUSS Remarkable guest roster from cabaret singer Hildegarde Sell's show in 1946. Signing autograph notes on one side are jazz mandolin legend Dave Apollon and industrialist Henry Dreyfuss (creator of many, many successful consumer products).

Sale Price $467.50

Reg. $550.00

Condition: fine condition
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ALFRED STERN, MARTHA DODD STERN, DAVE APOLLON and HENRY DREYFUSS
Remarkable guest roster from cabaret singer Hildegarde Sell's show in 1946. Signing autograph notes on one side are jazz mandolin legend Dave Apollon and industrialist Henry Dreyfuss (creator of many, many successful consumer products). Signing on verso are Alfred Stern and Martha Dodd Stern, revealed a decade later to be high-level Soviet spies! (Mrs. Stern had been a Soviet asset since her father was Ambassador to Nazi Germany, and Alfred was a prominent New York banker and Democratic Party contributor.)
Signatures:
"Martha Dodd Stern", "Alfred K. Stern". Ink note (unknown hand): Oct. 18. Two unidentified signers are present from a previous date. Two pages (front and verso), 9½x5½. Autograph Notes signed on verso: "For my dear friend Hildegard./Dave Apollon/Thank you for/having me on your/show.", "Henry Dreyfuss [He has drawn a nude woman with prominent breasts.]". Famed cabaret singer Hildegarde Sell (1906-2005) was performing in the Campbell Room in New York City in 1949. On Sunday evening (October 13) her show was a live radio broadcast. Hildegarde typically kept a roster of her guests, and this roster yields some extraordinary signers! MARTHA (DODD) STERN (1908-1990) was the daughter of diplomat William Dodd, who was US Ambassador to Germany (1933-1937). Martha was initially an admirer of Adolph Hitler, and developed high-level friendships in the Nazi leadership. When she grew disillusioned with the Nazis, she had an affair with Boris Vinogradov, a Soviet intelligence agent. Recruited by the Soviets, she began reporting on what she learned from her Nazi "friends", and also transferred copies of her father's reports to Washington. She recruited other Americans for spy work. Vinogradov was recalled to Moscow and secretly executed during the Great Purge, his death not disclosed to Martha Dodd. She kept up her spy work, continuing in the US after her father's diplomatic mission ended. In 1938, Martha married wealthy New York investment banker ALFRED STERN, who was contributing to the Democratic Party in hopes of becoming an Ambassador. (He was never nominated to a post.) Martha Dodd Stern recruited her husband, who became an enthusiastic agent and secretly joined the Communist Party. Mr. Stern established a music publishing house which became a cover for Soviet illegals operating in the US. When their network began to unravel in 1957, Alfred and Martha Stern fled to Czechoslovakia, and lived in Cuba during the 1960s. Disillusioned with life under communism, they sought to negotiate a return to the US, but were unsuccessful. The signers on verso are of great interest too. Russian-born mandolin virtuoso DAVE APOLLON (1897-1972), who came to the U.S. in 1919, released his first recording in 1932. He is especially noted for his 1946 New York jam session with guitarist Django Reinhardt, who was in the city at the time with Duke Ellington's band. (The date of this performance is undetermined, but it must have been very close to the date of this signing.) After moving to California in the early 1950s, Apollon signed a contract at the Desert Inn in Las Vegas, playing there from 1956-1963. Industrial engineer HENRY DREYFUSS (1904-1972) designed consumer products, but his emphasis was not on styling but on practical human use based on ergonomic principles. His designs included Hoover vacuum cleaners, Westclox alarm clocks, John Deer tractors, and many telephones for Western electric, including the long-standard desktop and table top models, and the Princess and Trimline phones. He designed "Democracity," a city of the future, for the 1939 New York World's Fair. He was the first President of the Industrial Design Society of America, and wrote influential books on product design. Left edge frayed from binding. Right edge toned. Bottom edge irregularly cut. Pencil note (unknown hand) at left edge. Pencil markings (unknown hand) around edges. Multiple signatures bleeding and lightly smudged but legible. Otherwise, fine condition.

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