WILTON, Conn. – University Archives will hold back-to-back online auctions on Wednesday and Thursday, August 25 and 26, beginning at 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on both days. The August 25 auction will be a general sale offering collectors a variety of autographs, rare books, historical documents and memorabilia. The August 26 auction will be a small, specialized Judaica sale.
“Our August 25 sale provides collectors with an excellent opportunity to acquire exceptional items from the Presidential, Scientific and International categories,” said John Reznikoff, President and Founder of the University Archives. “Early American enthusiasts, military collectors, and lovers of art, music, and literature will also find many treasures. The auction will be organized by category.
Reznikoff added, “The August 26 Judaica auction, 100 lots in total, will feature many unique items related to the history of Judaism, the formation of Israel and World War II, including autographed documents. from Judah P. Benjamin to Ariel Sharon. There will be dozens of lots relating to the founding fathers and mothers of Israel. The sale will be organized in alphabetical order.
The catalogs are now open for viewing and auction, on the revamped University Archives website (www.UniversityArchives.com), as well as on the LiveAuctioneers.com, Invaluable.com and Auctionzip.com platforms. Telephone and correspondence bids will also be accepted. Both auctions will take place in the new, state-of-the-art 6,000 square foot facility at the University Archives in Wilton.
With 363 lots, the August 25 auction is the larger of the two. Top categories will include presidential (from Washington to Biden); Science (several batches of Einstein, plus Robert Hooke, Marie Curie, Richard Feynman, others); Sports (Olympics, Muhammad Ali, Ty Cobb, Michael Jordan, others); and Literature (Robert Frost, James Joyce, Ivan Turgenev, Jules Verne, others).
Other categories include world leaders (Russian Tsars, Soviet leaders, Kim Il Sung, Victoria I, others); Art (Henry Moore, Alberto Giacometti, Norman Rockwell, others); Space and aviation (Apollo/Soyuz program, Neil Armstrong, Orville Wright, Soviet cosmonauts, others); Early American (Rev War, John Hancock, Hamilton, Burr, others; and Music (Bob Dylan, others).
More than a third of the sale is dedicated to the presidents and first ladies of the United States. One of the best expected lots is a one-page autograph letter signed by Abraham Lincoln and dated just weeks after the Battle of Gettysburg, July 22, 1863. It is addressed to Freedmen’s Survey Commissioner Robert Dale Owen and contains slavery-related content. In it, Lincoln refers to Union General Ulysses S. Grant, the Supreme Court, and the plight of American “freedmen” (estimated at $50,000-$60,000).
The original Lincoln free franked transmission sign that accompanied the aforementioned letter is offered as a separate set. The sign, inscribed throughout and signed by Lincoln (as “A. Lincoln” at upper right), is expected to fetch between $7,000 and $8,000. Also, a 346-acre survey in Augusta County, Virginia, drawn, signed, and recorded by a 21-year-old George Washington in 1752, the same year the future president would inherit Mount Vernon, has an estimate of 30 $000 to $40,000.
A working scientific manuscript inscribed in German and signed by Albert Einstein circa 1938, before a later co-authored work by him and Peter Bergman titled On a generalization of Kaluza’s theory of electricity, has an estimate of $40,000 to $50,000. In the Judaica auction, a letter written and signed by Einstein in German in 1921, discussing Rutherford-Bohr’s atomic theory, the theory of relativity and the Stark effect of electricity, is expected to reach 12,000 at $14,000.
A very rare document signed by British scientist and polymath Robert Hooke, relating to the Great Fire of London of 1666, has an estimate of $24,000-30,000. Hooke served as the City of London’s surveyor and settled claims after the fire. Also, fellow physicist Richard Feynman’s personal copy of TS Eliot Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, signed in his name by his wife Arline, is expected to fetch $7,000-8,000.
A beautifully illuminated document signed by Tsar Alexander II, in Russian, granting a heraldic device to a Crimean War veteran and naval surgeon, featuring many lavish hand-decorated details, is expected to change hands for $5,000 at 6 $000. In addition, a copy of the first edition of Korean historical relics, a book celebrating the flourishing of Korean arts and culture, signed and inscribed by Kim Il Sung, the elusive former leader of North Korea, has an estimate of $12,000-14,000.
A small photocard dated 1864, featuring a seated portrait of slave, abolitionist and women’s rights advocate Sojourner Truth, signed by her with an “x” as her mark, is expected to fetch $24,000 to $28,000. Also, a handwritten copy of the beautiful poem Getting to know the night by Robert Frost, signed by the famous poet and dated January 5, 1937, composed for Mrs. Emmaline Jones, with a printed photo of Frost, is expected to cost between $7,000 and $8,000.
A four-page document dated October 20, 1789, signed by Alexander Hamilton (as Secretary to the Treasury), addressed to Stephen Smith, Esq., regarding payment of tonnage and other dues on ships, is estimated for sale for $7,000-$8,000. Also, a ship’s passport in four languages signed by Thomas Jefferson (as President) and James Madison (as Secretary of State), dated September 29, 1802, requesting safe passage for a ship bound for London , should be flipped for $3,000-$3,500.
In addition to Einstein’s letter, highlights of the Judaica sale will include an archive of thirteen letters handwritten by Moshe Dayan on flimsy prison cloth and smuggled out of jail while he was held in prison. of Acre in British-controlled Palestine between 1939 and 1941 (estimate $30,000-$40,000); and a fabulous archive of artefacts related to the British Army’s Jewish Brigade Group during World War II, including uniforms, equipment and awards (est. $3,000-$3,500).
University archives have become globally recognized as a go-to source for such rare objects. She is actively seeking quality material for future auctions, presenting a rare opportunity for sellers. Anyone with a single item or collection that may be suitable for a future University Archives auction can call John Reznikoff at 203-454-0111 or email him at [email protected]
The University Archives was founded in 1979, as a division of University Stamp Company, by John Reznikoff, who began collecting stamps and coins in 1968, when he was in third grade. Industry-wide, Reznikoff is considered the leading authenticity expert for manuscripts and documents. He consults with law enforcement, dealerships, auction houses, and the two major authentication companies.
The University Archives’ new offices are located at 88 Danbury Rd. (Suite 2A) in Wilton, Conn. Updates are released often.
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