University Archives is proud to announce its next 410+-lot sale, Rare Manuscripts, Books & Sports Memorabilia, on March 15, 2023. The auction features an exceptional array of U.S. Presidential material from Washington to Obama; unique Science material from Einstein, Hooke, Feynman, and others; and a marvelous miscellany encompassing Early American, Art, International, and Sports collecting categories. Whether you are looking for important historical documents, rare books, original artwork, early photography, or autographed sports memorabilia, University Archives has you covered!
Lot 105 is an autograph album signed by three current and future U.S. Presidents–Lincoln, Grant, and Garfield–and collected by a Civil War veteran from Peoria, Illinois. The extraordinary album is further enhanced by its provenance, an 1896 local newspaper article describing the collector’s son’s recollections of when Lincoln signed the album in Washington, D.C. in 1862. Among the details the then 8-year-old shared was how Lincoln “plac[ed] his foot on the seat of a chair and rest[ed] the book on his knee while marking the signature.” The album also contains approximately 140 additional signatures of mostly Civil War-era military personnel, politicians, and other notables.
Lot 1 is a scarce John Adams autograph letter signed while president addressed to Treasury Secretary Oliver Wolcott, Jr. alluding to America’s middling position in the international marketplace. “If you find any usefull hints in it, you know how to make use of them better than your humble servant,” Adams wrote to Wolcott. Adams’ letter was written in response to a bold cover letter from a Baltimore man who claimed he knew how to make the United States more competitive against its rivals England, France, and Portugal.
A remarkable Bill Clinton archive, Lot 14, includes over 30 pieces of correspondence exchanged between the future president and a faithful campaign staffer named Gloria O’Donnell from Clinton’s time as Arkansas governor through his second presidential term.
We have five powerhouse Albert Einstein lots in our March sale which should spark significant interest. Lot 384 is a typed letter signed by Einstein explaining his monumental scientific formula, E = mc2. The formula, which Einstein articulated after conducting research into the theory of relativity, ultimately led to the development of nuclear weapons, an unintended catastrophic result of his research. Einstein deeply regretted the link between his “formula…[and] energy which can be freed by nuclear reactions.”
Also crossing the auction block is Lot 386, an extremely rare document signed by British polymath Robert Hooke relating to the Great Fire of London of 1666. In addition to being one of the greatest scientists of Early Modern Europe, Hooke also served as a Surveyor of the City of London and settled many claims following the conflagration.
Marvelous Miscellany – Early American, Art, International, Sports, Etc.
Lot 223 relates to Paul Revere’s purchase of 4 chaldrons (over 5 net tons!) of coal to fuel his metal-working furnaces in 1787, the same year the U.S. Constitution was signed. Revere signed the receipt issued by a Boston merchant and included a 9-word endorsement in his hand. With remarkable provenance from Revere’s great-great-grandson!
Lot 244 is a colorful Walt Disney signed Sante Fe & Disneyland Railroad and monorail pass issued to NYC transit authority director Sidney H. Bingham ca. 1959, granting him free access to the railway for five years as an “honorary Vice-President.” The Sante Fe & Disneyland Railroad was inaugurated at Disneyland in Anaheim, California in 1955, while the high-tech, German-designed monorail opened in 1959 in conjunction with the rededication of Tomorrowland.
Lot 330 is an elegant manuscript document in Latin signed by French monarch Louis VII at Senlis in 1177, with an interesting connection to the Crusades. The document granting property rights was witnessed/signed by two future French Crusaders, Raoul I, Count of Clermont-en-Beauvaisis and Theobald V, Count of Blois, who were both killed during the Siege of Acre fourteen years later. With outstanding provenance from a Dutch manuscript collector, ex-Charles Hamilton.
Lot 417 is an official baseball signed by 26 New York Yankees players including Thurman Munson during the 1975 season. 20+ lots in the auction are sports collectibles (baseball, boxing, and gymnastics) including autographs, vintage photographs and newspapers, as well as signed or game-worn apparel.
We hope you can join us on March 15, 2023. Please view our lavishly illustrated and keyword-searchable catalog for further details!