Mar 29, 2018 - Sale 2471

Sale 2471 - Lot 297

Price Realized: $ 812
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 1,200 - $ 1,800
"IF YOU SHOULD STOP MAKING THE SALVE, I SHALL QUIT PLAYING THE TRUMPET" (MUSIC.) Armstrong, Louis. An enthusiastic personal letter to the manufacturer of his favorite lip balm. Letter Signed "Louis Armstrong, Satchmo," to [Erich] Kauffmann of Mannheim, Germany. 2 pages, 10 1/2 x 8 inches to sight, on illustrated "Satchmo in Africa" letterhead; mailing folds. Matted and framed with a lobby card for the film Satchmo the Great; not examined out of frame. Corona, NY, 2 June 1961

Additional Details

German trombonist Franz Schuritz developed and marketed a special lip balm for horn players in the 1930s. Armstrong became a devoted customer, and by the mid-1950s it was sold as "Louis Armstrong Lip-Salve." See "Louis Armstrong's Lip Balm," New York Times, 26 August 2016. This letter was written to Schuritz's son-in-law Erich Kauffmann, who managed the family business: "I received the lip salve. Thanks very much. I was getting down to just a few tins left." Armstrong continues with health advice for Kauffmann, particularly recommending an antacid called Bisma-Rex: "With your lip salve, Bis Ma Rex, and a good laxative, I shall be happy healthy a long long time. They are the rudimentals of life. . . . Don't ever stop making salve. When and if you should stop making the salve, I shall quit playing the trumpet." He looks forward to receiving Schuritz's trombone as a keepsake, and hopes to tour through Mannheim once more.