University Archives is delighted to announce its next sale on February 21, 2024. At 469 lots, Rare Signed Manuscripts, Books, Photos, and Relics will feature our usual dazzling array of important autographs, historical documents, rare books, artwork, photographs, relics, sports memorabilia, currency, exonumia, and scripophily. A full one-third of our sale is dedicated to U.S. Presidents, in particular Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, and John F. Kennedy. We also have a strong selection representing the best of the Science, Entertainment, Old West, Military, Art, Music, Literature, International, and Sports collecting categories.
Lot 159 is a Woodrow Wilson signed declaration designating the date of a Red Cross fundraising drive for European Jews in January 1916, over a year before the U.S. officially entered World War I. The declaration names January 27, 1916 as “Jewish Relief Day,” stating in part: “… the people of the United States will … aid the war-stricken people of a race which has given to the United States so many worthy citizens.” Ironically, January 27th later became International Holocaust Remembrance Day, commemorating the 1945 Soviet liberation of the Nazi death camp Auschwitz.
Lot 84 is a handsomely displayed Abraham Lincoln signature as “A. Lincoln” on a blank leaf of “Executive Mansion” stationery, flanked by an etching in a gilt frame, ex-Goodspeed’s Book Shop.
Lot 128 is a 12pp early speech draft by Ronald Reagan of the address he later delivered on March 30, 1981, the day of his near assassination by John Hinckley, Jr. Reagan extensively edited and annotated the speech draft with 770+ words in his hand, signing it with his initials in one of the margins. Reagan read the final version of the speech--boasting about being the first U.S. President to be a lifetime member of the AFL-CIO--before a group of AFL-CIO members at the Washington Hilton Hotel just moments before being shot. If Hinckley had been more successful, this would have been the last speech Reagan ever made. There are many other wonderful Reagan items in the sale including autographed letters and typed letters signed, signed photographs and ephemera, and relics.
Lot 128, Ronald Reagan signed and annotated speech draft
Lot 40 is a 3pp manuscript document inscribed and signed by then Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson as “Examined & believed to be right / Th: Jefferson.” The document, ca. January 13-23, 1792, lists itemized expenses of the nascent federal government, including a charge for “two drafts of the federal town,” that is, the designs of French architect Stephen Hallet for the U.S. Capitol. Jefferson is charged with executing the “direction of the president,” George Washington.
Lot 157 is a blank certificate of the Society of Cincinnati signed by George Washington in his role as society president, and countersigned by society secretary Henry Knox. The Society of Cincinnati was a fraternal society of Continental Army veterans created in 1783.
Science & Technology
Lot 431 is a 2pp autograph letter in German signed by Albert Einstein explaining that he fled Europe in September 1933 because “there were plans for my assassination.” Einstein’s shocking revelation modifies preconceptions about assassination as being the fate of only presidents, politicians, or Civil Rights leaders. The letter illustrates how Einstein became a political refugee after the Nazis took over Germany in January 1933, sheltering first under police protection in Belgium until he escaped to coastal England en route to the United States. Einstein’s letter to youngest son Tetel, which has been fully translated, describes Einstein’s safe house on the English moors, his occupations, and his thoughts on the future. Also offered in our February sale is a 1p autograph manuscript in German by Albert Einstein relating to his development of the Unified Field Theory, as well as an interesting vintage photograph of Einstein dedicated in an unknown hand in Hebrew almost certainly dating from Einstein’s 1923 trip to modern day Israel.
Lot 431, Albert Einstein ALS
Lot 432 is a Steve Jobs signed release authorizing the use of audio of his NeXT demonstration in November 1988 as part of an educational series relating to computers and information technology; exciting demos like these later became a hallmark of Jobs’s Apple products marketing machine. PSA/DNA slabbed and graded GEM MINT 10. This demo marked the East Coast debut of the NeXT computer “cube” as well as the NeXTSTEP operating system.
Lot 285 is Marilyn Monroe’s Connecticut driver’s license, boldly signed by her as “Marilyn Monroe Miller,” and PSA/DNA slabbed and certified authentic. The ca. July 28, 1958 license lists Monroe’s birthday, height, and address in Roxbury, Connecticut, where she lived with playwright husband Arthur Miller from 1956-1961.
Lot 285, Marilyn Monroe signed driver's license
Lot 188 is a 1p typed letter signed by William “Bat” Masterson, dated February 4, 1914, in which the aging Dodge City lawman praises author Robert Wright’s recently published autobiography, Dodge City, the Cowboy Capital. Handsomely presented in a commanding frame, Masterson’s letter is also accompanied by a 3pp manuscript by Wright describing the murder of Masterson’s brother Ed.
Lot 318 is an autograph endorsement by George A. Custer, recommending a soldier who served under him at the Battle of Gettysburg, PSA/DNA slabbed and certified authentic. Captain James G. Birney IV served with Custer in the 7th Michigan Cavalry, or “Wolverines,” at Gettysburg, during which time Birney “was severely wounded while defending the colors of the regiment.” Also countersigned by General Wesley Merritt, ex-Phillip Sang / Sotheby’s.
Lot 335 is a Robert E. Lee signature clip displayed below an enormous 17” x 14” albumen photo of Lee and his beloved warhorse Traveller. Civil War collectors will prize the combination of the crisp Lee signature with the huge photo depicting Lee on horseback, an image so widely associated with the Confederate general.
These are just a few of the unique lots that will be offered in our February 21, 2024 sale. We hope to see you there!