University Archives November 29, 2023 Sale Results

    University Archives welcomed collectors to its last sale of 2023 on November 29th. At 472 lots, Rare Autographs, Manuscripts, Books, and Sports Memorabilia clocked in at over six hours. Bidders showed sustained and competitive interest in Music, Art, Literature, U.S. Presidents, Early America/Declaration of Independence signers, Civil Rights, Science, and Sports. While many sale bidders continue to come from the English-speaking world, we also had significant numbers registered out of Hong Kong, Germany, Poland, and Switzerland. A warm welcome to approved bidders from Mauritius, the Cayman Islands, and Gibraltar!

    Please see below for a summary of some of the sale highlights.


    Lot 289 was the lyrics to “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” handwritten by Bob Dylan, ca. 2009, on a leaf of “The Carlyle” hotel stationery. The song was featured in the 1973 movie Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid and enjoyed tremendous popular and commercial success. Accompanied by a COA from Jeff Rosen, Dylan’s manager, the item easily surpassed its low estimate, selling to an American collector for $42,500 including the buyer’s premium. Another strong return from the Music category was Lot 291, a 6pp autograph letter signed by folk singer and musician Woodie Guthrie, which sold for three times over its high estimate, or $18,750 including the tip.


    An American bidder also snapped up Lot 126, a PSA/DNA certified and encapsulated envelope endorsed by French Impressionist painter Claude Monet in one of the artist’s favorite colors, purple. It exchanged hands for $3,072 including the buyer’s premium, or six times over its high estimate. Lots related to Pablo Picasso, Shel Silverstein, Andrew Wyeth, and other artists also attained high prices.


    Lot 408 was a small metal camping cup personally owned and used by Jack Kerouac, accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity from executor of the Kerouac estate John Shen-Sampas. The cup--which was most likely used by Kerouac during his time as a U.S. Forest Service fire lookout in 1956--inspired spirited bidder interest. The item sold for more than 500% of its high estimate, or $2,816 including the tip.

    Lot 408, Jack Kerouac's camping cup

    Lot 405 was a signed limited first edition copy of James Joyce, Finnegans Wake (London and New York: Faber & Faber and The Viking Press, 1939), number 328 of only 425 copies, boldly signed in blue ink on the limitation page as "James Joyce.” The rare book sold to an American collector for 20% higher than its high estimate, or $5,937.50 including the buyer’s premium.


    Our November 29th sale featured over 100 lots relating to U.S. Presidents, First Families, and presidential hopefuls. Democratic Party politician William Jennings Bryan, who would unsuccessfully run a total of three times for president in 1896, 1900, and 1908, was featured alongside first running mate Arthur Sewall in a colorful 1896 presidential campaign poster measuring over 21” x 27.” The jugate portrait printed in colors on linen sold for five times over its high estimate, or $3,750 including the tip.


    John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, Samuel Adams, Lyman Hall, Francis Lewis, Francis Lightfoot Lee and other Declaration of Independence signers constituted an important subsection of our November sale. Lot 249 was a document signed by John Hancock on July 1, 1775, just two weeks after the Battle of Bunker Hill, appointing Crispus Graves as an Ensign under Col. Phinney’s command, “in the Army of the United Colonies, raised for Defense of American Liberty, and for repelling every hostile Invasion thereof…” The stately signed document sold for its high estimate, or $11,250 including the buyer’s premium.

    Lot 249, John Hancock DS

    Lot 360 was a document signed by British military leader Banastre Tarleton on January 12, 1804, more than 20 years after he made his mark during the American Revolutionary War through the capture of Patriot General Charles Lee in 1776, the attempted kidnapping of Virginia Governor Thomas Jefferson in 1781, and other heart-stopping acts of audacity. The item sold for more than three times its high estimate, or $3,840 including the buyer’s premium.


    Lot 450 was a 1p autograph document signed by German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, dated October 14, 1820. In it, Hegel directed an important Berlin bookstore and publishing house to send a text--quite probably his The Philosophy of Right, or Natural Law and Political Science In Outline, which was published that same month--to a number of Hegel’s current and former students. The document exceeded its high estimate, selling for $4,687.50 including the tip.


    Lot 205 was a copy of the April 6, 1855 issue of “Frederick Douglass’ Paper,” an anti-slavery newspaper published in Rochester, New York containing such articles as "How Slavery Was Abolished in the British Colonies" and "Slavery A Curse." The item sold for $6,875 including the buyer’s premium, or over double its high estimate.

    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 tentatively scheduled for January 10, 2024. We hope you can join us!