Rare Book Monthly

Articles - September - 2014 Issue

Huge Sale of Paper and Ephemera Related to Famous People, Major Events, Concludes Sept. 9-10 at Alexander Historical Auctions


A massive auction of collectible works on paper and ephemeral items will be held at Alexander Historical Auctions on September 9 and 10. Online bidding has already opened, so there is no need to wait until the closing day to place your bids. This is an enormous auction, with 1,568 lots up for sale. Most pertain to personalities you will immediately recognize.


Where to begin describing this auction is an enormous challenge. How do you describe an auction with material from Mother Theresa and Adolph Hitler? Other than disproving the old adage that opposites attract, this infinite gap displays just how wide the selection of material there is to be found. There are other killers here, even if comparatively small – Charles Manson, John Wayne Gacy, Mark Chapman, James Earl Ray, John Dillinger, the James Gang. If this is depressing, there are others who were equally heroic figures – Martin Luther King, John and Robert Kennedy, Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, Eleanor Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, Rosa Parks, Neil Armstrong. Some will bring differing reactions depending on your own viewpoint, or mixed reactions, people we have trouble deciding whether we like – Douglas MacArthur, Ronald Reagan, William Clinton, Donald Trump, Charles Lindbergh, Eva Peron, Mikhail Gorbachev, George W. Bush. Some make us feel a bit creepy, even if they don't fall into the first rank of bad people – Richard Nixon, J. Edgar Hoover, James Hoffa, Spiro Agnew, James Buchanan, Lester Maddox.


Other people we find represented are not so much heroes and villains as they are celebrities. Sports brings us personalities such as Joe Dimaggio, Mickey Mantle, Muhammad Ali, Joe Louis, Jim Thorpe, Arnold Palmer. From film come greats like Henry Fonda, Humphrey Bogart, Bette Davis, Marlene Dietrich, Groucho Marx, Bob Hope, Grace Kelly. Music offers Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Cash, Liberace, Louis Armstrong, Pete Seeger, Leonard Bernstein. Artists can be found, such as Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Norman Rockwell, Marc Chagall. Naturally enough, some writers also make their way to paper, including Ernest Hemingway, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Peter Benchley, Eugene O'Neill, James Thurber, Ray Bradbury. From Science we find Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Watson and Crick, from politics a whole host of famous people, including Ulysses Grant, Andrew Johnson and Lyndon Johnson, Theodore Roosevelt, Daniel Webster, Henry Clay, William Jennings Bryan, Golda Meir, Benito Mussolini, Anwar Sadat, Ho Chi Min, “Che” Guevara, Leonid Brezhnev, Emperor Hirohito.


We have only touched on the personalities represented in this sale. There are many more. Many items pertain more to events than specific people. There is all sorts of political propaganda. Some items pertain to the slave trade, and some offensive items pertaining to African-Americans whites once thought humorous are found. There is a great deal of material related to wars, America's Civil War and the Second World War in particular. The latter brings us items related to the allies and their heroic struggle against one of the greatest evils ever known to man. It also reveals items related to those who perpetrated such unspeakable evil. Hitler, Goring, Himmler and the like are to be found among the lots. As horrible as it is, this part of history must not be forgotten. Its horrors must be told, yet one cannot help but look at pictures and documents from these monsters and wonder how could such things ever be? It is a question we ask, but answers don't come easily.


Here are just a few of the items you will find in this huge auction.


Lot 165. An amazingly detailed map prepared for the Allies' D-Day landing in France in 1944. Not only does it map out the various beaches where the landings would occur, but provides detailed information about German guns, radar, fortifications, lookouts, and such along the stretch of coast. Alexander notes, “It is frankly amazing the amount of information that was gathered from locals and resistance members in order to prepare the map and annex.” Estimated $8,000 - $12,000.


Lot 167. D-Day bombing plans, the map shows “Omaha” and “Utah” beaches, along with German artillery locations, their firing range, and the Allies' planned targets. Estimated $4,000 - $6,000.


Lot 1. The awarding of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross to German Field Marshal Kesselring in 1939. The cross was personally presented to Kesselring by Hitler, who has signed this document. Kesselring led German air forces during the invasion of Poland that year, and Hitler was undoubtedly very pleased with the successful performance. The award was made the same day as German forces conducted a victory parade through the streets of Poland. Kesselring would be sentenced to death after the war for atrocities his troops committed in Italy, but this was later commuted and Kesselring freed. Estimated $30,000 - $40,000.


Lot 147. A signed photograph of Hitler, taken during a 1931 interview with a correspondent from the New York Evening Post. The future Fuhrer is shown from the waste up in profile view, wearing a dark business suit, his hands clasped together. It is chilling. Estimated $2,000 - $3,000.


Lot 440. The summer uniform and boots worn by U.S. General Robert C. Richardson, Jr., in Hawaii and likely at the Japanese surrender ceremonies in Tokyo on September 2, 1945. Richardson commanded U. S. forces in the Pacific. Estimated $2,000 - $3,000.


Lot 164. A collection of material from the estate of Gen. Richardson. It includes such items a certificate testifying to Gen. Richardson's presence at the formal surrender of Japan, photos of the surrender ceremony, the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, MacArthur with Hirohito, Tokyo Rose, along with a very rare card bearing an image of the Japanese naval flag, and Richardson's diary of events leading up to the surrender, which shows infighting among officers, including a claim by MacArthur that Eisenhower did not support the Army. Estimated $4,000 - $5,000.


Lot 347. Two general's stars, given by Gen. George Patton to Gen. Geoffrey Keyes. Gen. Keyes had served as Patton's chief of staff, and when he was promoted to Lieutenant General, Patton sent him two of his own silver stars. Estimated $3,000 - $4,000.


Lot 456. A hand-decorated jacket belonging to a flier from the 40th Bombardment Group, 315th Bomber Wing, Squadron 25 (S. Hamilton). The group flew supply missions over the “Hump,” part of the Himalaya Mountains. Hamilton has sewn on various patches representing bases where he was stationed, and various other events and logos. One has an image of a tailgunner saying “Hi.” That was likely Hamilton's position. Estimated $2,500 - $3,500.


Lot 494. A Luftwaffe helmet, captured by a black soldier in Normandie. Sgt. Strong's race is revealed by the notations he has painted on the helmet, including his membership in the 333rd Field Artillery Group, a black unit. Strong has painted the names of several locales where they fought along with allied insignias. Estimated $1,500 - $2,000.


Lot 220. A Vichy France poster, captioned (in French), “With de Gaulle there, you will get nothing, ladies and gentlemen.” A leaky boat bearing the name “Rule Britannia” is seen approaching a Vichy French battleship and brave French sailor. On the boat Churchill extends a fishing line to the French sailor, with the lure being an image of de Gaulle. Next to Churchill sits a stereotypical Jew with a bag of money, adding some anti-Semitism to the poster for good measure. Estimated $300 - $400.


Lot 1357. A one-of-a-kind hand-painted poster promoting the Beatles' appearance in Australia in 1964. It is believed to be the only existing poster of any kind, hand-painted or printed, from the band's only tour of Australia. They appeared in four cities, with this poster specifically promoting their June 12th appearance in Adelaide. Estimated $4,000 - $6,000.


Lot 1439. A collection of signatures (separate) of the four stars of what may still be the funniest TV series ever produced – the Honeymooners. It aired as a separate series for only one season – 1955-56, though it was a recurring skit on Jackie Gleason's show. The signatures are that of Gleason, and co-stars Art Carney, Audrey Meadows, and Joyce Randolph. It includes a picture of the four leaning out of Ralph Kramden's (Gleason) bus. Estimated $100-$150.


Lot 1024. A photograph of Jacqueline Kennedy as you've never seen her. She is dressed in a riding outfit and is being thrown, head first, over a fence by the horse she was riding. One guesses the horse did not care to jump. She was photographed by her photographer, Marshall Hawkins, whose timing was perfect, perhaps because he was waiting to take a shot of her jump. Estimated $1,000 - $1,500.


Lot 1040. A collection of Lincoln assassination relics, matted for display. There is a reward poster, a picture of Lincoln, a picture of the hanging, a chip of wood from the gallows, and three strands of Lincoln's hair. Estimated $300 - $400.


You will find a complete catalogue of Alexander Historical Auctions' Summer 2014 Auction at the following link: auctions.alexautographs.com/asp/searchresults.asp?st=U


A tab near the top right of the page (“Register to Bid”) takes you to instructions on how to place a bid.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 7. Ritter's unusual sun-dial world map, 1607. Est. $3500 to $4500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 16. Fascinating Japanese satirical map published prior to WWII, 1932. Est. $1400 to $2000
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 30. Newton's 2" miniature terrestrial globe, 1833. Est. $3500 to $4500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 318. Braun & Hogenberg's first plan of Moscow in contemporary color, 1575. Est. $2750 to $3500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 346. One of the most decorative 18th century maps of Malta, 1680. Est. $1200 to $1500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 412. The first printed map devoted to the Pacific in full contemporary color, 1589. Est. $8000 to $10000
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 425. Rare set of celebrated explorers of the New World, 1592. Est. $1900 to $2300
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 436. Two superb miniature atlases bound in one volume with 98 maps, 1682. Est. $5500 to $7500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 445. Part IV of de Bry's "Grand Voyages" by Girolamo Benzoni, 1613. Est. $2000 to $2500
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 447. Tallis' "History of the United States of America" in six volumes, 1850. Est. $1500 to $1800
    <b>Old World Auctions (March 21-28):</b> Lot 448. Mallet's miniature military masterpiece, 1672. Est. $1400 to $1700
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29: Printed & Manuscript African Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Malcolm X, Autograph Letter Signed, from prison, 1950. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Letter from Moses Walker, an enslaved Georgia man, to his mother at another plantation, 1854. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Signed cabinet card of Frederick Douglass, albumen photograph, Boston, circa 1879. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29: Printed & Manuscript African Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Placard from the Memphis Sanitation Worker's strike, 1968. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b><br><i>The North Star,</i> volume 1, issue 27, Rochester, NY, 1848. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Hand-tinted tintype of John Brown, circa 1860. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29: Printed & Manuscript African Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Poster signed & inscribed by Huey Newton, circa 1967. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Album of aerial views of the march on Montgomery, taken by federal troops, 1965. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 29:</b> Poster for the SNCC, photograph by Danny Lyon featuring John Lewis, circa 1962. $3,000 to $4,000.
  • <b>Bonhams: Fine Books and Manuscripts. March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> BEETHOVEN, LUDWIG VAN. Autograph Manuscript sketch-leaf part of the score of the Scottish Songs, "Sunset" Op. 108 no 2. [Vienna, February 1818]. Inscribed by Alexander Wheelock Thayer. $80,000 to $120,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. $100,000 to $150,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> EINSTEIN, ALBERT. Autograph Letter Signed ("Papa") to his son Hans Albert, discussing his involvement with the atomic bomb, September 2, 1945. $100,000 to $150,000
    <b>Bonhams: Fine Books and Manuscripts. March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> HAMILTON, ALEXANDER. Autograph Letter Signed, to Baron von Steuben, with extensive notes of Von Steuben's aide Benjamin Walker, June 12, 1780. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. $200,000 to 300,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. $80,000 to $120,000
  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>
  • <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Jenner (Rev. George Charles). <i>The Evidence at Large...Respecting Dr Jenner's Discovery of Vaccine Inoculation,</i> presentation copy from Edward Jenner to Rev. Rowland Hill, 1805. £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Houdini (Harry).- Maggi (Girolamo). <i>De tintinnabulis liber postumus...de equuleo liber,</i> Harry Houdini's copy, Amsterdam, H. Wetstein, 1689. £600 to £800
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Meyer (Henry Leonard). Coloured Illustrations of British Birds, and their Eggs , 7 vol. in 2 plus Illustrations of British Birds, 4 vol., 1842-50 and [1835-51]. £5,000 to £7,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Dickens (Charles). <i>An Entirely New Romantic Drama, in Three Acts, by Mr. Wilkie Collins, called The Frozen Deep,</i> 1857. £3,000 to £4,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Lighthouses and Islands of Ireland, c. 125 drawings, 1867. £6,000 to £8,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Shelley (Lady Jane). Diary, 1853 & 1860. £1,500 to £2,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Scottish Binding.- The Holy Bible, Containing the Old and New Testaments, bound in contemporary brown polished calf decorated with the figure of a Chinese spearman, by ?James Scott of Edinburgh, 1778. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Greene (Graham). <i>The Man Within,</i> first edition, signed by the author, 1929. £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Mellan (Claude, 1598-1688). The Holy Face, or the Veil of St Veronica, [c. 1649 and later]. £800 to £1,200
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. March 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Desaguliers (John Theophilus). <i>A Dissertation concerning Electricity,</i> W. Innys, and T. Longman, 1742. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Le Jeune (Paul). <i>Relation de se qui s'est passé en la Nouvelle France en l'anné 1636 enuoyée au R.Pere Provincial de la Compagnie de Iesus en la Province de France,</i> 1637. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Mar. 22:</b> Stumpf (Johann Rudolph). <i>Gemeiner loblicher Eydgnoschafft Stetten, Landen und Völckern Chronicwirdiger thaaten beschreibung, </i> Zurich, Froschauer, 1586. £3,000 to £4,000

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