Our Veterans Day sale was a phenomenal success! Attracting over 7,200 bidders from around the world, we generated over $300,000 in sales and sustained our industry-high sell-through rate of 91%. Collectors, dealers, and history buffs placed bids on four online platforms including our website, via absentee bids, and by phone.
November sale highlights reveal that University Archives is the best place to obtain rare twentieth-century photography; foreign autographs and relics; and John F. Kennedy family collectibles and ephemera.
What do Marilyn Monroe, Sigmund Freud, and Lee Harvey Oswald have in common? Nothing, except that unusual photographs signed by each respective celebrity barnstormed our latest sale!
Lot 182 was a sultry black and white photo of blonde bombshell Marilyn Monroe, signed and inscribed by her as “To Joe / Love & Kisses / Marilyn Monroe.” The inscription was significant, as it may have been dedicated to Monroe’s second husband, Joe DiMaggio, and its unusually large size (11” x 14”) also energized the bidding. The signed photograph sold for $22,500 including the buyer’s premium.
Lot 91 was a sepia-colored silver gelatin photograph of Austrian psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, signed with an atypically large signature measuring over 4” long; it crossed the auction block above its high estimate at $11,875 including the tip.
Lot 196, an eerie black and white portrait of suspected presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, exceeded its high estimate by 25% ultimately commanding $10,000 including the buyer’s premium. The photograph was signed, inscribed, and dated just 18 months before JFK’s assassination as: "To Mother / Love Lee / June 6, 1962 / Minsk USSR."
Our 26 lots of Napoleon Bonaparte autographs and relics, nearly all from the Nicholson Napoleon Collection, yielded some of the most exciting results of the sale. Intense bidding was fueled by French language and foreign collectors.
Lot 17, an engraved silver and animal hair shaving brush used by Napoleon during his military campaigns in the Italian peninsula, 1796-1797, went to an American collector for three times its high estimate, or $2,200 excluding the buyer’s premium.
Lot 34 was a hair lock comprised of over 15 strands of the exiled French Emperor’s hair, originally collected by Napoleon’s Irish surgeon Dr. Barry O’Meara and later preserved by Richard Boys, the British Protestant chaplain on St. Helena. The hair lock was authenticated by John Reznikoff and sold for $2,375 including the tip.
Another highlight of our Napoleoniana category was Lot 27, an early letter signed by a 24-old-year-old Napoleon then serving as Artillery Commander for French Republican forces besieging the coastal city of Toulon. Napoleon’s letter requesting pine planks and carpenters from a nearby city is signed as “Buonoparte” and stamped with a monogramed “BP” wax seal. It crossed the auction block at $3,500 including the buyer’s premium.
Our November 11th sale saw the second installment of items from the collection of Father Ronald Hoskins (1949-2020), the noted assassinologist and collector of John F. Kennedy memorabilia.
Lot 134 was an ironic anti-Kennedy broadside entitled “Welcome Mr. Kennedy to Dallas” published in the Assassination Day--November 22, 1963--issue of the Dallas Morning News. JFK traveled to Texas to address overt criticism like this, and to bolster Democratic support there; unfortunately, he was killed during the attempt. It sold for double its high estimate.
Lots 141, 142, and 143 were unique items related to John F. Kennedy, Jr., including an autograph letter signed by him regarding his recently finished high school internship at a Boston juvenile court; his signed Manhattan District Attorney’s office badge; and his personally owned "Piper" brand baseball cap recovered from the hatchback of his Saab in the days following the Martha’s Vineyard plane crash. These three items together attained over $7,500 including the buyer’s premium.
These were just a few of our highlights; we were also quite proud of our Early American, Presidential, Civil War, Literary, Space, and Science offerings.
We’re always interested in hearing from you! Contact us today if you have items like these that you’d like to consign or sell.
Our next sale is scheduled for January 6, 2020.