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Historic Auction Result
Sir Isaac Newton Signed South Sea Bubble Document Fetches $106,000
A financial document signed by British physicist Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) as "Isaac Newton" changed hands for over $100,000 at our May 6th online auction. The partly handwritten and partly printed contract dated July 13, 1720 authorized Newton’s financial adviser Joseph Safford to obtain shares in the South Sea Company. The infamous joint stock company endorsed by the British monarchy and enriched by the transatlantic slave trade would later become the textbook example of a speculation bubble. In September 1720, just three months after signing this document, South Sea shares plummeted, and Newton lost £20,000. When asked his opinion of the prospect of South Sea stock, Newton replied that while he could calculate the motions of heavenly bodies, the madness of the people defied natural laws.
Auction activity for the Sir Isaac Newton signed document was intense. Total online demand on just one of our online platforms exceeded $194,000, and auction staff were riveted as three live phone bidders competed for supremacy. The Newton finally went to an international businessman at more than double its high estimate.
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"None of my other investments give me the joy that autographs do because they make me feel that I am holding a piece of history in my hands."
- Malcolm Forbes
Relatives of Malcolm Forbes, the multimillionaire magazine publisher and discriminating collector of Americana, selected University Archives to sell the balance of Forbes’s manuscript collection.
"Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity."
- George Patton, III
For nearly 30 years, University Archives has served as the sole estate appraiser and agent for Robert Patton, the grandson of World War II Allied commander George Patton.
"Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road."
- Jack Kerouac
University Archives was selected by John Shen-Sampas, the nephew and executor of the Jack Kerouac Estate by descent, to sell the remaining possessions of the famous Beatnik author.
About Our Founder
Leading Expert in the Field of Rare Historical Documents, Manuscripts and Relics
John Reznikoff, founder and President of University Archives, is a world-renowned collector and purveyor of historical items of significant value. His expertise, honed over forty years in the autograph industry, has served him well in his quest for exceptional documents, manuscripts, rare books, relics, and memorabilia. John has bought and sold over $200 million dollars’ worth of items over his career to institutions and individuals. His record-breaking monthly online auctions attract bidders from over 50 countries.
In addition to running a highly successful auction house, John is also one of the world’s most requested expert witnesses and autograph authenticators. His clients have included the U. S. Justice Department, the FBI, state law enforcement, top auction houses, and the largest rare book dealers in the world. John is regularly sought out by print and broadcast media to comment on current events relating to history, collecting, or the autograph industry in general.
A Historical Archive Like No Other at Our Wilton, CT Headquarters
At University Archives, our expertise is wide-ranging. Our strongest collecting areas, however, include Early American/Colonial; Revolutionary War; Declaration and Constitution Signers; American Presidents and First Ladies; Civil War; both World Wars; World Leaders; Science; Space; Literary; Music; Art.
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