University Archives is excited to announce its next online-only sale on Wednesday, October 18, 2023 at 11 AM EDT: Rare Autographs, Manuscripts, Books & Sports Memorabilia. At over 420 lots, the sale offers an outstanding opportunity to acquire the exact historical item you are looking for. We have it all, from historical documents, autographed material, rare books, photographs, and artwork, to ephemera, relics, and sports memorabilia. Our October sale is particularly strong in U.S. Presidential & First Families, Early America, Science, Literature, and World Leaders/International. Military, Music, Art, and Sports are also well-represented.
U.S. Presidential & First Families
Regular followers of University Archives know that we are one of the industry’s best purveyors of exceptional presidential historical material. Our October sale features U.S. Presidents from George Washington to Joe Biden. First Ladies Martha Washington, Rachel Jackson, Eleanor Roosevelt, Jackie Kennedy, and Nancy Reagan are highlighted too, while presidential mothers, brothers, and relatives present a clearer picture of the leaders’ private lives.
Lot 88 is a Civil War-dated autograph endorsement by Abraham Lincoln as “Respectfully submitted to the Attorney General. A. Lincoln. June 4, 1862,” attractively matted and framed behind glass. Lincoln’s signed directive appears on the back of a petition from an Ohio abolitionist named Dr. Amos Pettijohn to Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase, asking him to expedite his application to become U.S. Marshal of Arizona Territory. The item tells a fascinating story about the early Republican Party in the Midwest, and the risks, both physical and financial, faced by anti-slavery activists like Dr. Pettijohn. Dr. Pettijohn did not receive the appointment, but Arizona was made into a separate territory within the year to protect U.S. gold interests from the Confederacy.
Lot 150 is a 4pp autograph letter signed by First Lady Martha Washington written on February 15, 1794 in Philadelphia, referring to her husband three times, as the “President.” Martha Washington letters are especially rare in the private sector, and this example is particularly rich in textual references to Washington. Martha writes in part: “The time is drawing near to the rising of the Congress but when it is probable that the President will have it in his power to come to Mount Vernon he cannot at this time tell… the President will not stay at Mount Vernon a moment longer than he has looked over his farms.”
Lot 150, Martha Washington ALS
Lot 57 is an Ohio land grant signed by Thomas Jefferson as President and James Madison as Secretary of State, authorizing the transfer of desirable lands adjacent to the Little Miami and Sciota Rivers to Duncan McArthur, a former Indian ranger and Northwest Indian War veteran, and a future U.S. Congressman from Ohio and Ohio Governor. The grant dated January 17, 1803 is beautifully presented in a matted frame.
Our October sale includes an abundance of historical material relating to Early America, signers of the Declaration of Independence, the Revolutionary War, etc.
Lot 212 is a first edition copy (Stoddard’s Edition 1) of Phillis Wheatley, Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, by Phillis Wheatley, Negro Servant to Mr. John Wheatley, of Boston, in New England (London: A. Bell, Bookseller, 1773), from the personal collection of John C. Shields, a college professor and well-known Wheatley scholar.
Lot 247 is a Dutch land grant signed by Director-General Peter Stuyvesant on April 16, 1654 granting a freehold in what is today’s Manhattan Financial District, just steps away from Wall Street. The land grant to Cornelis van Ruijven corresponded to approximately 10,000 ft sq. of sheep pasture located near the Broad Canal, or “Heere Gracht,” an important trade route and waterway built by free and enslaved Dutch and African laborers. The van Ruijven land grant can be cross-referenced with early Dutch maps and is located near modern day 55 Beaver Street in the heart of Lower Manhattan.
Lot 247, Peter Stuyvesant MDS
Lot 244 is a check signed by Polish Jewish émigré Haym Salomon, one of the most intriguing and elusive of all Early American signers, and considered even more uncommon than Button Gwinnett. Salomon, along with other Patriot financiers like Robert Morris (who co-signed this Revolutionary War-dated check for 656 livres tournois), personally funded the Continental Army. Salomon’s roles in financing the American Revolution and the Philadelphia Jewish community merit further investigation.
Christopher Nolan’s film Oppenheimer, which came out this past July, inspired us to look more closely at the intersection of Science, World War II, and the Atomic Age. We created a subgrouping within the October sale related to abstract theoreticians, practical scientists, and military policy leaders like Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman, and Leslie Groves, director of the Manhattan Project.
Lot 395 is a 1p typed letter in English signed by Albert Einstein dated November 3, 1942 discussing the influence of Johannes Kepler on Einstein’s research into his Special and General Theories of Relativity. Einstein’s explosive hypothesis that light and space curve was predicated on Kepler’s observations that planetary orbits were elliptical.
Lot 395, Albert Einstein TLS
Lot 396 is a photograph of Albert Einstein taken by Herman Landshoff later used for the 15-cent U.S. stamp commemorating Einstein’s 100th birthday in 1979, signed by Einstein with a full signature as “Albert Einstein 47” along the lower margin. Scottish actor Tom Conti plays Albert Einstein in Oppenheimer.
Lot 397 is a double-sided scientific manuscript in the hand of Richard Feynman, illustrating how a computer program can approximate a solution to a differential equation using Runge-Kutta methods. Both pages also include flow diagrams and a numbered sequence of computer commands. Richard Feynman is played by Jack Quaid in Oppenheimer.
Lot 371 is a first edition, second issue of Bram Stoker, Dracula (Westminster: Archibald Constable and Co., 1897), signed and dated by the author as “Bram Stoker / 15 Decr. 1899” on the front loose endpaper. This item is just one of the highlights of our Literature category, which also encompasses F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Boris Pasternak, Eugene O’Neill, Charles Dickens, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and George Bernard Shaw.
Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, George V, Nicholas II, Carlos I, Catherine II, Edward VIII, Winston Churchill, Benjamin Disraeli, and Mary of Modena are just a few of the world leaders highlighted in our October sale.
Lot 347 is an archive of 15+ documents belonging to Russian diplomat Egor Constantinovich Mussury, ca. 1891-1914, including four diplomatic appointments signed by Czar Nicholas II and two diplomatic appointments signed by King Carlos I of Portugal. The collection of documents in five different languages charts Mussury’s career in the Russian Imperial foreign service, which saw him stationed in Germany, Wales, Sweden, Norway, Portugal, and Lithuania.
Our October sale contains an interesting group of baseball, basketball, boxing, golf, hockey, dance, and martial arts items, featuring Jackie Robinson, Mickey Mantle, Muhammad Ali, Bruce Lee, Tiger Woods, and others.
Lot 419 is a Mickey Mantle Rookie card, 1951 Bowman #253, PSA graded and certified “Authentic Altered” and perfectly centered. The Bowman Mantle Rookie card is more prized and harder to find than the 1952 Topps Mantle Rookie card issued the following year.
These are just a few of the unique lots that will be offered in our October sale.
We hope to see you there!