University Archives announces Rare Autographs, Manuscripts, Photographs & Books auction
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University Archives announces Rare Autographs, Manuscripts, Photographs & Books auction
John Adams signed document dated January 27, 1801, promoting an artillery engineer, with an unusually large Adams signature measuring 3 inches by 1 inch (est. $5,000-$6,000).

WILTON, CONN.- A 197-page book manuscript written entirely in the hand of Israeli military commander and statesman Moshe Dayan, two items pertaining to Albert Einstein (a photograph and a manuscript), an autograph letter signed by Robert E. Lee and a document boldly signed by John Adams in 1801 are just a few of the expected highlights in University Archives’ online-only auction planned for Wednesday, March 30th, starting promptly at 10:30 am Eastern time.

“Presidential, Science, Technology, Aviation, Space, Sports, and World Leaders are among our leading categories, though novice and veteran collectors alike are certain to appreciate the outstanding cross-section of Early American, Civil War, Literature, Art, Music, Entertainment, Business, and Civil Rights material,” said John Reznikoff, the president and owner of University Archives. “There’s something for everyone. Exceptional historical items range from manuscripts, letters, documents and rare books, to photographs, relics, artwork and even military mementoes.”

The list of major categories is indeed extensive, to include Presidential (from Adams to Biden); Science & Technology (Einstein, Wilhelm Roentgen, Marie Curie, Freud, Bill Gates, others); World Leaders (Dayan, Catherine II, Mary Stuart, Napoleon, Mussolini, George III, others); Sports (baseball: Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mantle; chess: Bobby Fischer; and soccer: Pelé); and Notorious (the Dalton Gang, Al Capone, Whitey Bulger, Saddam Hussein and other figures).

Other categories include Aviation, Space & Exploration (the Wright Brothers, Enola Gay, Apollo and Mercury programs, the Hindenburg, Soviet cosmonauts, Edmund Hillary, Tenzing Norgay, Sven Hedin, others); Literature (Hemingway, Julia Warde Howe, Arthur C. Clarke, others); Civil Rights (Susan B. Anthony, MLK, Rosa Parks, others); and Early American (John Hancock, Rev War, the colonies (Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, etc.)

In 1966, Moshe Dayan spent a month embedded with U.S. forces in Vietnam. His often-critical observations of American military tactics were later published in his Vietnam Diary. A portion of his original manuscript -- 197 pages in Hebrew with some words in English -- is offered in a fine clamshell case, with a signed first edition copy of the published book (est. $60,000-$80,000).

An Albert Einstein manuscript in German from around 1942 is paired with a vintage Lotte Jacobi photograph of the physicist wearing his beloved bomber jacket. The manuscript, containing 91 words and 13 lines of mathematical calculations, relates to covariant bivectors, in what marked one of Einstein’s final attempts at articulating his Unified Field Theory (est. $27,500-$30,000).

A one-page letter written and signed by Robert E. Lee (as “R. E. Lee”) in Petersburg, Virginia, dated Nov. 14, 1864, is addressed to Mr. (Thomas Lee) Shippen. In it, Lee politely declines Mr. Shippen’s offer to continue to use Violet Bank for winter quarters, where Lee had resided since June 1864. Lee’s decision was prompted by fear that the exhausted Confederate troops would desert en masse if he didn’t personally encamp with them (est. $6,000-$7,000).

There are over 100 items relating to U.S. Presidents. One is the John Adams signed document dated January 27, 1801, promoting an artillery engineer. This military document features an unusually large Adams signature measuring nearly 3 inches by 1 inch. Adams had recently been defeated by Thomas Jefferson during the famous “Revolution of 1800” (est. $5,000-$6,000).

Part of the sheet from Abraham Lincoln’s death bed removed from the Peterson Boarding House, a blood-stained linen swatch measuring .625 inches by .25 inches, CAG encapsulated and with provenance from American diplomat Charles K. Tuckerman, has an estimate of $2,000-$3,000.

A one-page typed letter signed by Franklin D. Roosevelt on White House stationery, dated June 6, 1942, acknowledging receipt of a New York architect’s drawings relating to “a proposed net protection against torpedo attack for ocean going vessels,” should hammer for $5,000-$6,000.

A partially printed Planters National Bank of Louisville check, signed by George Armstrong Custer (as “G A Custer”), dated Feb. 15, 1873, several months before a skirmish along the Tongue River against Sioux leaders Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, made payable to Thomas Polk & Co. for the sum of $15.00, is estimated to bring $3,000-$4,000.

A fabric swatch taken from the Wright Flyer – the first airplane that made its debut flight at Kitty Hawk, N.C. on Dec. 17, 1903 by the Wright Brothers, famously giving wings to mankind, measuring 2.375 inches by 3.375 inches and CAG encapsulated, should realize $3,000-$4,000.

A large cream strip of lace removed from a dress belonging to Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, with provenance dating it to 1566, around the time that Stuart’s favorite Italian courtier David Rizzio was brutally stabbed to death in front of her, carries an estimate of $3,000-$4,000.

A 2 inch by 3 inch clip of paper containing the signatures of baseball legend Lou Gehrig, George Selkirk (who succeeded Babe Ruth as the right fielder of the New York Yankees) and Stephen R. Sundra (who pitched for three Major League teams over eight seasons) should hit $2,000-$4,000.

A blue ID card (number 632) for The Society of American Magicians, signed by president Harry Houdini (as “Harry Houdini”), identifying B. L. Gilbert as a member in good standing, also signed by Richard Van Dien as secretary, slabbed Mint 9, carries an estimate of $1,200-$1,400.

A Spanish-printed check signed by Ernest Hemingway (as “Ernest M. Hemingway”), dated July 28, 1955 and drawn on the First National Bank of Boston (Havana, Cuba branch), made out to his friend and secretary Roberto Herrera in the amount of 200 pesos, endorsed on verso, should realize $800-$1,000.

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