September 28, 2022 Rare Autographs, Manuscripts & Books Sale Results

    University Archives held its first sale of the official autumn season, Rare Autographs, Manuscripts & Books, on September 28, 2022. Bidders flocked from around the world to place absentee and live bids on our website,, as well as on Invaluable, AuctionZip, and LiveAuctioneers. Most online bidders hailed from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada, though we also attracted customers from Germany, the Netherlands, Australia, Greece, Italy, Singapore, and South Africa! 414 lots crossed the auction block at a dizzying rate of 82 lots an hour, and 97% of these were sold. Our sell-through rate so far in 2022 (over seven consecutive sales) is an industry-topping 96.57%.

    Collectors, dealers, and history buffs showed a decided proclivity for items relating to Aviation / Space, U.S. Presidents, Civil Rights, and Art, among other collecting categories.

    Aviation / Space

    Lot 111 was a large pen sketch hand-drawn and signed by Apollo XI astronaut Neil Armstrong, ca. 1990. The drawing, depicting important elements of the Apollo XI moon landing, including the trajectories of the command and lunar modules, and even the dark side of the moon, came with provenance from Armstrong’s friend as well as from Steve Zarelli Space Authentication. The autographed sketch rocketed to $118,750 including the buyer’s premium. Lot 104 was an extremely scarce entrance ticket to the Apollo XI mission launch at John F. Kennedy Space Center, ca. July 16, 1969. The ticket’s low issue number of 67 made it especially coveted among space collectors. It sold for $1,875 including the tip--that’s over three times its high estimate!

    U.S. Presidents

    Lot 78 was a double-sided manuscript fragment comprising over 60 words in George Washington’s hand from the draft of his First Inaugural Address, ca. January 1789. It was authenticated by Washington’s biographer, Jared Sparks, who compiled the 11-volume “The Writings of George Washington” (1833-1837.) The manuscript fragment discussing the Constitution among other things sold for $93,750 including the buyer’s premium, or 25% higher than its low estimate. A carte de visite twice signed by Andrew Johnson and dated 1868, the year of his impeachment trial, exchanged hands for $8,750 including the buyer’s premium, with the hammer price alone nearly doubling the high estimate.

    Civil Rights

    Lot 178 was a first edition copy of Rosa Park’s memoir, “Rosa Parks: My Story” (New York: Dial Books, 1992), signed and dated by the author on the half title page. It crossed the auction block at $2,600, or over five times its high estimate (including the buyer’s premium, the total purchase price was $3,250.) Lot 169 was an archive of several riveting firsthand accounts written by Free State settler Luke Fisher Parsons, who had fought under John Brown at the Battle of Osawatomie in Kansas Territory on August 30, 1856. Parsons dodged Brown’s enlistment campaign for the doomed Harpers Ferry raid in 1859, instead becoming a Colorado gold prospector. The archive fetched $2,500 including the tip, or more than 25% higher than its high estimate.


    A first edition copy of Maurice Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things Are,” signed and with an original monster sketch on the half title page, sold for $3,250 including the buyer’s premium, outstripping its high estimate by nearly three times. Lot 94 was a Norman Rockwell autograph as “Your faithful friend / Norman Rockwell” appearing beneath an original pen sketch of the famous “Rockwell Dog,” based on the artist’s beloved pup Butch. It sold for $3,000 including the tip, or six times its high estimate!

    These were just a few of the highlights from our sensational September sale.

    Thank you so much for your interest. 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 November 2022.