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>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Frances Palmer, <i>Battle of Buena Vista,</i> chromolithograph, New York, 1847. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Antonio Colmenero de Ledesma, the earliest publication concerned solely with chocolate, first edition, Madrid, 1631. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Romans Bernard, <i>An Exact View of the Late Battle at Charlestown, June 17th, 1775,</i> engraving, 1776. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> <i>A Short Narrative of the Horrid Massacre in Boston,</i> English edition, London, 1770. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> William Soule, <i>Lodge of the Plains Indians,</i> albumen print, 1872. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Manuscript document to enforce New York’s “Agreement of Non-Importation” during the heyday of the Sons of Liberty, New York, 1769. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Clarence Mackenzie, <i>Drummer Boy of the 13th Regiment of Brooklyn,</i> salt print with applied color, 1861. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Moses Lopez, <i>A Lunar Calendar,</i> first Jewish calendar published in America, Newport, RI, 1806. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b><br>The Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, 1830. $30,000 to $40,000.
  • <center><b>Gonnelli Auction House<br>Books and Graphics<br>19th, 20th and 21st April 2021</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 19-21<br>Books from XVI to XX Century</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 20<br>Atlases and Maps</b
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br> Veneto and Venice, a Selection of Books from the XVI to XX century</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 20<br></b>Rossini Gioachino, Baguette de chef d'orchestre appartenuta a Gioachino Rossini, dono del Comune di Passy. 1500 €
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br></b>Manetti Saverio, Storia naturale degli uccelli trattata con metodo. Cinque volumi. 1767. 18.000 €
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br></b>Poe Edgar Allan, Double assassinat dans la rue morgue. Illustrations de Cura. 1946.
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 19-21<br>Books from XVI to XX Century</b>
  • <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 54. Fanciful engraving of earth's interior with magma core and errupting volcanoes (1682). $1500 to $1800.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 165. Rare state of Jefferys' influential map of New England in contemporary color (1755). $8000 to $9500.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 177. Mouzon's foundation map of the Carolinas (1775). $10000 to $13000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 183. Very rare first state of De Fer's map of the Lower Mississippi Valley (1715). $20000 to $25000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 253. Scarce Scottish edition based on Ellicott's plan of Washington, D.C. (1796). $2400 to $3000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 313. Stunning view of Philadelphia by John Bachmann (1850). $3250 to $4250.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 338. Rare Civil War map based on Bucholtz map of Virginia (1862). $9500 to $12000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 667. First map to accurately show Luzon in Philippines (1590). $6000 to $7500.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 682. Rare map of Shanghai International Settlement published just after WWI (1918). $7000 to $9000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 738. Coronelli's superb map of the Pacific showing the Island of California (1697) Est. $2400 - $3000
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 743. A cornerstone piece in the mapping of Australia and New Zealand (1726) Est. $6000 - $7500
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 781. An uncommon signature during Jefferson's Governorship of Virginia (1779) Est. $9500 - $11000
  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Collection of a Connoisseur:<br>History in Manuscript, Part 2<br>27 April 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Ronald Reagan. Series of 37 letters to Senator George Murphy, and related material, 1968-90. £50,000 to £70,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Chaim Weizmann. Autograph letter signed, to General Sir Gilbert Clayton, 6 September 1918. £20,000 to £30,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Sir Winston Churchill. Autograph letter signed, to Pamela, Lady Lytton, 1942. £20,000 to $30,000.
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Collection of a Connoisseur:<br>History in Manuscript, Part 2<br>27 April 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Oscar Wilde. Five autograph letters signed, to Alsager Vian, 1887. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Napoleon I. Letter signed to Admiral Ganteaume, ordering the invasion of England, 22 August 1805. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Horatio, Viscount Nelson, and Emma Hamilton. Two autograph letter signed, to Catherine and George Matcham, 1805. £6,000 to £8,000.

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