Rare Book Monthly

Articles - November - 2015 Issue

One of a Kind Collectibles Auctions Features Amazing Rare Autographs, Manuscripts, and Sports

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Geronimo's autograph.

One of a Kind Collectibles Auctions has an online auction this month that is filled with amazing rare autographs, manuscripts and sports. Bidding has already opened and will be accepted through November 19. These are the sorts of things you wonder where they came up with these items, if not wonder that they exist at all. Rare if not unique are the watchwords, and these items are fascinating.

 

What is particularly enticing about One of a Kind auctions is that starting bids are so low. There are no high reserves here. That doesn't mean that you will win what you want for an absurdly low price, but you might, and if not, it will be at a price others are willing to pay, not some predetermined level beyond what the market thinks it is worth. Auctions where everything is priced to sell are hard to pass up. And, One of a Kind makes it easy to find what you want by providing a subject index alongside the listings.

 

In this auction, three types of personalities stand out. There are political leaders, many of whom were U.S. Presidents. There are other people who became celebrities, particularly in the field of arts and entertainment. Finally, there are sports legends, particularly baseball players. Here is a look at a few of the lots we found particularly intriguing, but with over 200 items, there is far more to be found.

 

No one should expect politicians to keep their word. So we should not be surprised by this 1957 letter from Senator Lyndon Johnson to a newspaper columnist claiming, "I have no intention of conducting any campaign for the presidency – now or in the future." Evidently, the future lasted only three years, maximum. Starting bid $100. LBJ's predecessor, John F. Kennedy, wrote a thoughtful letter to sociologist/scientist Lewis Mumford a few months after taking office. JFK was pleased to receive Mumford's book about cities. $100 start.

 

There is a signature and lock of hair from a different American leader. He was not a president, but a chief. Geronimo led his band of Apaches against Mexicans and Americans, but eventually was forced to surrender to the latter. He was taken from his homeland to prison in 1886, never allowed to return, though later he went on tours, a celebrity among Americans. He even rode in President Theodore Roosevelt's inaugural parade. His signature, accompanied by a lock of his hair, was written on September 30, 1904, when the old Indian appeared at the St. Louis World's Fair. $1,000 start.

 

This photograph brings back one of the greatest performances in sports history, a feat that can never be topped. It shows Yankee pitcher Don Larsen throwing a pitch. It was the 97th and final pitch of game five of the 1956 World Series. On it, Brooklyn batter Dale Mitchell struck out, completing the one and only perfect game in World Series history. If I'm not mistaken, that's legendary future Yankee manager Billy Martin, playing second base, behind Larsen. Larsen has signed the photograph. $100 start. Also offered is a photograph of Yankee catcher Yogi Berra jumping into Larsen's arms shortly after that pitch ended the game. Both Larsen and Berra have signed the picture. $100 start.

 

There is a collection of material pertaining to Charles Guiteau, famous, or infamous, as the assassin of President James Garfield. There is a letter written to the Congressional Librarian, seeking a copyright for a book he was writing. The title was to be The Life and Theology of Charles Guiteau Prepared by Himself, with installments first published by the New York Herald. Guiteau thought be would become a celebrity (true), and that people would be interested in his thoughts (false). The Herald did print some of his writings, though it does not appear a book was ever published. Guiteau thought all would go well for him after his fatal act, misreading public anger and the legal reaction. Instead, he was executed. There are also four photographs of Guiteau, and amazingly, a document attesting to his conviction signed by all 12 jurors. Separately, there is a page of images of those jurors from Frank Leslies Illustrated Newspaper. $500 start.

 

There is also a relic from an even more notable assassination, that of Abraham Lincoln. It is a .75" x .75" piece of linen snipped from Lincoln's death bed. It is stained with blood. It includes a 1961 letter explaining its provenance. It came from Charles Tuckerman, America's first Minister to Greece, who was in Washington at the time of Lincoln's assassination. $200 start.

 

If any television series has ever topped the humor The Honeymooners, I've missed it. It played but one season – 1955-1956, though specials featuring the characters aired occasionally for another two decades. It starred Jackie Gleason as bus driver Ralph Kramden. Co-stars were Audrey Meadows as Alice, his wife, Art Carney as sewer worker Ed Norton, and Joyce Randolph as Ed's wife Trixie. Offered is a photograph of the four sticking their heads out the window of Ralph's bus, Gleason in the driver's seat. This photograph is signed by Meadows, Carney, and Randolph. A second photograph, from a 1970's version, shows Ralph with an astonished look on his face, as he looks at a copy of "Plaything" magazine. Norton looks on. This photo has been inscribed by Gleason. $100 start.

 

The entire auction can be viewed at this link: oakauctions-com.si-sv2521.com/catalog.aspx

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Chiswick Auctions: Autographs & Memorabilia. February 28, 2019</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 28:</b> Autograph album featuring signatures by prominent actors, politicians, musicians and authors, including Rudolph Valentino. £1,000 to £1,500
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 28:</b> An extremely rare working radio script for Crazy People No 29, the first series of <i>The Goon Show.</i> £600 to £800
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 28:</b> Manuscript prayer book, in German. 8vo, 1755 £800 to £1,200
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 28:</b> Italian Manuscript on Geometry, with diagrams, 18th century. £500 to £700
    <b>Chiswick Auctions: Ornithology, Zoology & Voyages. February 27, 2019</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 27:</b> Thorburn (Archibald). Sparrowhawk, original watercolour & gouache, signed & dated lower right, 1917. £1,500 to £2,000
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 27:</b> Burton (Sir Richard Francis). <i>Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to El-Medinah and Meccah.</i> 3 vol., FIRST EDITION, 1855-56. £1,000 to £1,500
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 27:</b> [Mount (Richard) & Page (Thomas)]. <i>The English Pilot. Describing the Sea-Coasts…</i> 31 engraved maps, W. & J. Mount, T. Page, 1756 £4000 to £6000
    <b>Chiswick Auctions: Ornithology, Zoology & Voyages. February 27, 2019</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 27:</b> D’apres De Mannevillette (Jean-Baptiste Nicolas Denis). <i>Le Neptune Oriental.</i> Paris & Brest, [1775 – 1781]. £10,000 to £15,000
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 27:</b> Loring (Josiah). Terrestrial Globe Containing all the Late Discoveries and Geographical Improvements. Boston, Gilman Joslin, 1846, £800 to £1,200
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 27:</b> Shelley (G. E., Capt.). <i>A Monograph of the Nectariniidae, or Family of Sun-birds,</i> FIRST EDITION, by the Author, 1876-80. £4,000 to £6,000
  • <b>Bonhams: Treasures from the Eric C. Caren Collection: How History Unfolds on Paper, Part VII (Online). March 6-14, 2019</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Albert Einstein A remarkable letter on God in English, one of his most eloquent and quoted, 1 p, July 2, 1945. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Benjamin Lincoln's commission as Major General in the Continental Army, February 19th, 1777. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Broadside. A Poem Upon the Bloody Engagement That Was Fought on Bunker's-Hill. 1775. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Early, full printing of the Star-Spangled Banner in The Yankee, October 7, 1814. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Paul Revere. Engraving, “The Boston Massacre Perpetrated on March 5, 1770," in <i>Massachusett's Calendar 1772.</i> $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Bonhams: Treasures from the Eric C. Caren Collection: How History Unfolds on Paper, Part VII (Online). March 6-14, 2019</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Earliest known newspaper coverage of Babe Ruth, "a St Mary's schoolboy," Baltimore, April 4, 1914. $6,000 to $9,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Franklin, Benjamin. <i>The Independent Whig.</i> First Magazine Published in America, Philadelphia: Keimer, 1723-4. $15,000 to $20,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Smith, Joseph. <i>The Book of Mormon.</i> Palmyra: Printed by E.B. Grandin for the Author, 1830. First printing. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Last Words of Joseph Smith. Autograph Letter Signed from a Mormon disciple, conveying a contemporary account of the Prophet's final words, Nauvoo, July 27, 1844. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> John Brown's Body. Autograph Letter Signed from the daughter of John Brown attempting to arrange the return of her father's body, North Elba, Essex Co, NY, November 29, 1859. $4,000 to $6,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Powell Expedition. Autograph diary of Rhodes C. Allen kept during the Powell Expedition of 1868, June 29, 1868 - November 16, 1868. $20,000 to $40,000
  • <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Walt Whitman. <i>Leaves of Grass.</i> First edition, first issue, SIGNED in block letters by Whitman. 1855. $200,000 to $300,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Isaac Newton's copy of John Greave's <i>Pyramidographia,</i> London, 1646. $50,000 to $70,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Colonel John Mosby. Robert E. Lee's autograph letter to Samuel Cooper reporting on Mosby's exploits, with Cooper's autograph note ordering his appointment to Major.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Gyula Halasz Brassai. Large archive of autograph and typed letters, over 260, to his family including his wife Gilberte, 1947-1978. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Archive of drawings and letters from Harper Lee to Charles Carruth, including an inscribed first edition of <i>To Kill a Mockingbird.</i> $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 11:</b> VESALIUS, ANDREAS. 1514-1564. <i>De humani corporis fabrica libri septem.</i> Basel: Johannes Oporinus, June 1543. $300,000 to $500,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 11:</b> HARVEY, WILLIAM. 1578-1657. <i>De motu cordis & sanguinis in animalibus Anatomica Exercitatio.</i> Leiden: Joannis Maire, 1639. $25,000 to $35,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 11:</b> BERENGARIO DA CARPI, GIACOMO. 1460-1530. <i>Isagogae breves perlucide ac uberrimae in Anatomiam humani corporis.</i> Bologna: Benedictus Hectoris, 15 July 1523. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Bonhams NY, Mar 11:</b> FRANKLIN, BENJAMIN. 1706-1790. <i>Experiments and Observations on Electricity, made at Philadelphia in America…</i> London, 1769. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams NY, Mar 11:</b> BENIVIENI, ANTONIO. 1443-1502. <i>De abditis nonnullis ac mirandis morborum et sanationum causis.</i>Florence: Filippo Giunta, 1507. $8,000 to $12,000
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, <i>El Ingenioso Hildalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha . . . Nueva Edición,</i> first Ibarra edition, Madrid, 1780. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Illuminated Prayer Book in Latin and French, France, 1530-40s. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Illuminated Book of Hours in Latin, France, mid-15th century. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b><br><i>Die Ernsthaffte Christenpflicht,</i> earliest known edition of the first complete Mennonite prayer book, 1708. $300 to $500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Georg Agricola, <i>De ortu & causis subterraneorum Lib V.,</i> first edition, Basel, 1546. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Frederick Ruysch, <i>Icon durae matris in concava [convexa] superficie visae,</i> with 2 mezzotints by Jan Ladmiral, first edition, Amsterdam, 1737. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, <i>Eine Neue Art von Strahlen,</i> Würzburg, 1895. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Pietro Carrera, <i>Il Gioco de gli Scacchi,</i> first edition, Militello, 1617. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> William Lithgow, <i>The Totall Discourse, of the Rare Adventures</i> [etc.], London, 1632. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Michel de Nostradamus, <i>The True Prophecies or Prognostications,</i> first complete edition in English, London, 1672. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Pseudo-Methodius, <i>De revelatione facta . . . beato Methodio,</i> Basel, 1504. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Hrabanus Maurus, <i>De laudibus sancte crucis opus,</i> Pforzheim, 1503. $1,000 to $2,000.

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