WESTPORT, Conn. - A letter handwritten and signed by George Washington, a Walt Disney twice-signed stock certificate, JFK’s official schedule from the day of his assassination in 1963, a document signed by Russian czar Peter I, and a large Apollo 11 lunar landing photo signed by Neil Armstrong are just a few highlight lots in University Archives’ October 2nd online auction.
The auction will begin at 10:30 am Eastern time. Live bidding has already been posted online and bidding is available via LiveAuctioneers.com, Invaluable.com and Auctionzip.com. The auction is packed with an important selection of autographed documents, manuscripts, books and photos – 240 lots in all. Folks can visit the website and browse at www.UniversityArchives.com.
Categories include Americana (including presidents, Declaration and Constitution signers, Rev. War and Civil War), foreign leaders and royalty (featuring such luminaries as Napoleon, Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela, Lady Diana, Benito Mussolini, Nelson Mandela, Catherine II, Wilhelm II and Ferdinand & Isabella), business and finance, aviation and space, art, literature, music and crime.
“We have a massive amount of material relating to foreign leaders, particularly Russian,” said John Reznikoff, president and owner of University Archives. “There’s a long list of items signed by Romanov emperors and empresses. The sale is also strong in the history of American business and finance, with lots of documents that pertain to tycoons, bankers and speculators.”
In the early American history category, the sale features Civil War battlefield maps and materials relating to United States presidents and their wives. Aviation and space has items pertaining to Charles Lindbergh, Orville Wright and Robert E. Peary. Collectors of literary, artistic, and musical figures, as well as sports, entertainment and crime memorabilia, are almost certain to find what they’re looking for.
The letter penned and signed by then-General George Washington as Commander in Chief of the Continental Army, dated Jan. 28, 1781 and addressed “to the Officer Commanding the Jersey Troops at Pompton”, is historically important because he writes that his troops “have crossed the Delaware” – a reference to one of the key moments in American history (est. $50,000-$60,000).
The Walt Disney twice-signed, pre-IPO stock certificate for Walt Disney Incorporated, one of only six such certificates in existence, is expected to climb to $26,000-$28,000 (it previously sold at auction in 2002 for $26,800). The certificate, in the amount of 142 ½ shares of “Wed Enterprises, Inc.” (formerly Walt Disney, Inc.) is from 1955, the year that Disneyland opened.
The color photo inscribed and signed by Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong is 13 ¾ inches by 10 ¾ inches (less frame) and shows fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin on the moon, standing near the lunar module’s landing gear. Armstrong writes, “To Elton, With sincere thanks for being both one step ahead of us and one step behind us throughout ‘GIANT STEP’”. (est. $5,000-$6,000).
JFK’s official three-page “Schedule of the President, Texas, Nov. 21-22”, dated Nov. 20, 1963, was issued by the Office of the White House Press Secretary and shows changes in red pencil. A second copy, with no red pencil notes, is also included (est. $10,000-$12,000). The schedule is mounted on gray construction paper. It gives a full two-day itinerary for JFK and Mrs. Kennedy.
The two-page letter with five handwritten lines and the signature of Peter the Great (Tsar Peter I of Russia, 1672-1725) is expected to fetch $15,000-$20,000. The letter is in Russian. In it, Peter (or “Piotr”, as he signed it) discusses naval artillery. It was issued from St. Petersburg, Peter’s newly constructed capital, in 1715. The lot includes three vintage portrait engravings of Peter.
Another noteworthy George Washington lot is a letter written by the then-General on June 11, 1783, to Jonathan Trumbull, explaining his request for half pay for life for Revolutionary War officers. It has a pre-sale estimate of $14,000-$15,000. Also, a manuscript document signed by John Witherspoon, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, from 1773. Witherspoon was the then-President of the college that would later become Princeton University (est. $6,000-$8,000).
Another Declaration signer – Joseph Hewes, one of three delegates from North Carolina – is represented in the sale with a one-page signed document from 1765, boasting a perfect, elegant signature (est. $5,000-$6,000). The same estimate has been assigned to a Civil War Battle of Chancellorsville (Va.) set of maps, showing the battlefield situation at 7:30 pm on May 2, 1863, after Stonewall Jackson’s bold flank assault, drawn by the Union surgeon Augustus C. Hamlin.
A single-page autograph letter signed on White House letterhead by Franklin D. Roosevelt, to Norman Davis, President of the Council on Foreign Relations, in which he writes to help his longtime mistress Lucy Mercer’s daughter, boldly signed “FDR”, should reach $8,000-$9,000. Also, a black and white photo of the renowned American architect frank Lloyd Wright, signed and inscribed “To Arthur” by Wright and dated “Aug 12/52”, should sell for $4,000-$5,000.
University Archives has become world-renowned as a go-to source for rare items of this kind. It is actively seeking quality material for future auctions, presenting a rare opportunity for sellers.
“We can offer up to a 100 percent cash advance and a highly competitive commission structure,” Reznikoff said. “We’re only able to do this owing to our position in the industry as the premier auction house for signed historical documents, letters and manuscripts. Our reputation is rock-solid worldwide and has been earned over a period of four decades. People respect us globally.”
Anyone who has a single item or a collection that may be a fit for a future University Archives auction may call Mr. Reznikoff at 203-454-0111, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
University Archives was founded in 1979, as a division of University Stamp Company, by Mr. Reznikoff, who started collecting stamps and coins in 1968, while in the third grade. Industry-wide, Reznikoff is considered the leading authenticity expert for manuscripts and documents. He consults with law enforcement, dealers, auction houses and both major authentication companies.
For more information about University Archives and the Wednesday, October 2nd Internet-only auction, please visit www.universityarchives.com. For phone bidding, please call 203-454-0111.
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