Fabulous Autographs & Art, From Van Gogh to Hendrix, are in University Archives’ Auction Sep 29

Wilton, CT, USA, September 14, 2021 -/DailyVoice/- University Archives’ next major online-only auction, slated for Wednesday, September 29th at 10:30 am Eastern time, is titled Fabulous Autographs & Art, From Van Gogh to Hendrix. The 410-lot auction is jam-packed with historical autographs, rare books, artwork, posters, photographs, ephemera, collectibles, and relics – something for every level of collector.

“About one quarter of the sale is devoted to artists and is part of the collection of Chicagoan Noel Goldblatt, of the famous Goldblatt’s Department Store,” said John Reznikoff, the president and owner of University Archives. “Another large segment is comprised of vintage posters and photographs amassed by a Connecticut collector. We have superb material in many categories.”

The catalog is up for viewing and bidding now, on the revamped University Archives website (www.UniversityArchives.com), as well as the platforms LiveAuctioneers.com, Invaluable.com and Auctionzip.com. Phone and absentee bids will also be accepted. It’s the fourth auction that will be conducted from University Archives’ new, 6,000-square-foot facilities in Wilton, Conn.

Major categories include Art (Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne others); Posters and Photographs (music, movies, TV, sports, others); Music (The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, others); Entertainment (Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, others); Early American (John Hancock, Alexander Hamilton, George A. Custer, others); and Presidential (from Washington to Obama).

Other categories include Sports (Babe Ruth, Bruce Lee, Cy Young, Jack Johnson, others); Literature (Samuel Clemens, Steinbeck, Whitman, others); World Leaders (Stalin, Russian czars, others); Space / Aviation (Apollo and Mercury programs, Wright brothers, Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart, Enola Gay, others); and Science (Einstein, Marconi, Richard Feynman, others).

U.S. Presidents will be led by a three-page letter signed by George Washington, addressed to his nephew Bushrod Washington, dated March 8, 1798, with three other Washington signatures in the body of the letter, which references Robert E. Lee’s father (estimate: $28,000-$35,000); and a military commission signed by Abraham Lincoln on February 6, 1862, promoting West Point graduate Thomas Walker to the rank of Captain, the 3rd U.S. Infantry (estimate: $7,000-$8,000).

The Early American category will feature a Mathew Brady carte de visite of George A. Custer, signed with rank as “Yours Truly / GA Custer / Bt Maj Genl / U.S.A.,” maybe the finest example University Archives has ever sold (estimate: $20,000-$26,000); and a ten-foot-tall vintage totem pole from the Pacific Northwest or Canada, intricately carved on all sides in a 360-degree-round, depicting humans and animals in a traditional primary color palette (estimate: $9,000-$10,000).

A one-page letter typed in German and signed by Albert Einstein in 1921, the year he won the Nobel Prize, regarding his theory of relativity as it pertains to the motion of Foucault’s pendulum and the rotation of the Earth, should reach $18,000-$20,000. Also, a Russian language diploma (or award) signed by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, circa 1942, presented to a Soviet scientist who would later propose melting the polar ice caps, carries a pre-sale estimate of $8,000-$10,000.

A highlight of the Goldblatt collection is also the auction’s expected top lot: a paper fragment inscribed on both sides with about 115 full and partial words in the hand of Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh (estimate: $40,000-$50,000). Van Gogh had copied out two verses in English of one hymn and also two stanzas in Dutch from another hymn. Van Gogh’s quest for spiritual fulfillment led him to nature, where he was most at peace and informed his artwork.

Also from the Goldblatt collection is artist Paul Cézanne’s two-page letter, signed and addressed to the subject of his famous painting, Portrait of Gustave Geffroy, mentioned funding fellow artist Auguste Rodin, whose maquette of Honoré de Balzac had just been denounced by the literary organization that commissioned it (estimate: $15,000-$20,000); and a document signed by Paul Gauguin sometime during the last three years of the artist’s life, when he was living on the Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia. The receipt mentions Ambroise Vollard, Gauguin’s agent and patron, and could have represented payment for one of Gauguin’s last completed paintings of such exotic subjects as witch doctors and nude women (estimate: $15,000-$20,000).

Goldblatt’s collection also includes autographed items from Mary Cassatt, Edvard Munch, Piet Mondrian, Diego Rivera, Pablo Picasso, Gilbert Stuart, Joseph M.W. Turner, and many others.

A Wilton, Connecticut collector with a penchant for rock ’n roll and pop culture collected dozens of vintage posters and photographs, some of them autographed. The collection represents the last seven decades of popular music, from Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, and Janis Joplin to David Bowie, Aerosmith, The Rolling Stones and the Goo Goo Dolls. The items include:

  • A 1968 Jimi Hendrix Fillmore East concert poster in exceptional condition. Poster artist David Byrd’s representation of Jimi Hendrix and his bandmates in psychedelic pink and orange is one of the most iconic rock music posters of all time (estimate: $6,000-$7,000).
  • An oversized black and white photograph of The Beatles, taken in Hamburg, West Germany in 1960, signed by photographer Astrid Kirchherr, the fiancée of bass guitarist Stuart Sutcliffe, who tragically died of an aneurysm in 1962 (estimate: $2,400-$2,600).
  • An 22 inch by 28 inch photograph of Grace Slick and Janis Joplin, the two Queen Bees of San Francisco rock, taken by Jim Marshall for an article in Teen Set magazine, twice signed by Marshall and annotated, “Grace + Janis – 1967” (estimate: $2,000-$2,400).

A two-page letter written and signed by martial arts legend Bruce Lee, dated Nov. 22, 1972, to his Fists of Fury co-star Bob Baker, asking if he can send him some cocaine (“air-mail me some fine ‘C’ if you can swing it”), is expected to bring $10,000-$12,000; while a baseball signed on the sweet spot by Babe Ruth, dated 1932, inscribed “World Champs” (perhaps by the owner), and signed by three others (including Yankee pitcher Lefty Gomez), should hit $4,000-$5,000.

A rare, partial one-page document signed by Peter Stuyvesant on January 3, 1651, in Dutch, while he was serving as Director-General of the New Netherland colony (now New York City), later seized by the English in 1664, has an estimate of $4,000-$6,000. Also, a swatch of fabric from the Wright Flyer, the first airplane that made its debut flight at Kitty Hawk, N.C., on Dec. 17, 1903, 2 ¼ inches by 3 3/14 inches, encapsulated and certified, should rise to $3,000-$4,000.

University Archives’ new offices are located at 88 Danbury Rd. (Suite 2A) in Wilton, Conn. For more information about University Archives and the online-only Fabulous Autographs & Art, From Van Gogh to Hendrix auction slated for Wednesday, September 29th, please visit www.universityarchives.com.

Rare Scientific Manuscript Penned by Sir Isaac Newton Brings $118,750 in University Archives’ May 26th Online Auction

Wilton, CT, USA /DailyVoice/ — A manuscript penned by Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727), with mathematical notes and calculations relating to Book III of his iconic scientific work Principia, changed hands for $118,750 in University Archives’ online-only auction of rare autographs, manuscripts, artwork and comic art held on May 26th. It was the top-selling item of the 409 lots in the sale.

“We’re still experiencing strong prices and keen new interests in many areas,” said University Archives president and owner John Reznikoff. “We’ve sold over three million dollars of items at auction so far this year, and we are not even at the halfway mark. This is another banner year.”

The rare and important two-page (front and back) manuscript, written by Newton circa 1715-1725, was believed to relate to Newton’s De Mundi Systemate (or Book III of the Principia). It was a set of mathematical notes containing several types of calculations and data points. One side was just calculations; the other side had a short note by Newton along with a calculation.

The text of the note reads, in part, “And that of Aldebaran and of Spica and that of Arcturus counting these longitudes not from the middes of the signes but from the Vernal Equinox/ And so of the rest of the fixed stars.” Newton was referencing the longitudinal position of Aldebaran and other stars, plus data points relating to his revolutionary study of comets.

Isaac Newton is widely recognized as one of the greatest mathematicians and most influential scientists of all time and was a key figure in the scientific revolution. In Principia, he formulated the laws of motion and universal gravitation that formed the dominant scientific viewpoint (until it was superseded by Einstein’s theory of relativity). Einstein was also featured in the auction.

Items pertaining to Newton are exceedingly rare and highly sought after by collectors. The last time a Newton Principia-related autograph manuscript came on the market was October 1999 and, before that, 1991 and 1979. Newton was a notorious hoarder of paper and of his own manuscripts; the preservation of this manuscript note was unusual even for him.

Following are additional highlights from the auction, which was a success by any yardstick. Nearly all lots (396 of 409) found new owners, for a 97 percent sell-through and a total gross of $678,043. The 4,654 people who registered to bid on Invaluable.com and Auctionzop.com placed 1,224 bids, while the 4,239 people who registered to bid on LiveAuctioneers.com placed 596 bids. All prices quoted include the buyer’s premium.

The items relating to Albert Einstein included a three-page scientific manuscript pertaining to his Unified Field Theory from the 1940s (“I want to try to show that a truly natural choice for field equations exists”) ($68,750); and a black and white photo signed by Einstein, taken in 1955 by photographer Yousuf Karsh, who said the image reveals the “brief moment when all there is in a man’s mind and soul and spirit are reflected through his eyes, his hands, his attitude” ($34,375).

A Victorian autograph album compiled by Pennsylvania Congressman William M. Davis that contained 226 signatures of Lincoln administration officials as well as members of the 37th U.S. Congress, including President Abraham Lincoln himself and seven of his eight cabinet members (Hamlin, Seward, Chase, Bates, Welles, Cameron and Smith), and the autographs of about 217 statesmen, including Lincoln’s eventual successor, Andrew Johnson, hammered for $37,500.

A typed letter signed by Vladimir Lenin as Chairman of the Workers’ and Peasants’ Defense Council during the Russian Civil War was addressed to a future victim of Stalinist Purges, the People’s Commissariat Artemic B. Khalatov. The letter, dated Dec. 19, 1919, was in Russian and typed in the Cyrillic alphabet. Lenin wished Khalatov a speedy recovery and a swift return to work. Ironically, Lenin’s successor, Josef Stalin, later ordered Khalatov’s execution ($25,000).

A one-page, partly printed ship’s paper dated Nov. 25, 1794 boldly signed by George Washington as president, issued to “James Humphrey master or commander of the Sloop called Hiram”, printed in three languages, brought $15,000. Also, a rare autograph letter signed by Woodrow Wilson as president on White House stationery, dated May 19, 1913, addressed to author and editor James Grant Wilson regarding the dedication of a U.S.S. Maine monument, fetched $13,750.

An Act of Congress signed in type by George Washington as President and John Adams as Vice President on May 8, 1794, permanently establishing the U.S. Postal Service and making robbing the mails a crime punishable by death, rose to $12,500. Also, a one-page autograph letter signed by the prominent British Methodist preacher John Wesley (1703-1791), written at Derby, England on July 12, 1788 with content regarding a children’s school, knocked down for $5,938.

A two-page letter typed and signed by author J.D. Salinger (as “Jerry”), dated May 5, 1972, in which he offers his thoughts on a dating interest of a friend and aspiring writer, Eileen Paddison, including the original “Air Mail” envelope, reached $8,125. Also, Beat writer Jack Kerouac’s personal advance copy of The Twelfth Anniversary Playboy Reader (1965), gifted to Kerouac (as a contributor) by Hugh Hefner and accompanied by a typed letter signed by Hefner, hit $8,125.

An 8 inch by 10 inch photograph signed by Civil Rights icon Rosa Parks, showing Parks getting fingerprinted after her arrest in 1955 for not relinquishing her seat to a white person, signed in felt-tip pen on her sleeve, finished at $5,000; while three items related to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and its first president, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., including a letter in which King questions the wisdom of the “Black Power” slogan, sold for $4,375.

An actual piece of fabric from the Wright Flyer, the first airplane that made its debut flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina on Dec. 17, 1903, famously giving wings to mankind, 1 ¼ inch square in a CAG case, flew away for $6,875. Also, a map of Israel hand-drawn and signed by former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, drawn during the time of the 1993 Oslo Accords and providing detail to both the West Bank and Gaza Strip, 5 ½ inches by 9 inches, hit $4,688.

Future online auctions for University Archives will feature presidential items (from Washington to Trump), literary giants (Kerouac, Shelley, Proust and others); space and aviation (U.S., the Soviet Union, etc.) and other categories. Visit www.UniversityArchives.com for more details.

For more information about University Archives please visit www.universityarchives.com.