University Archives announces Rare Autographs, Manuscripts & Books auction

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University Archives announces Rare Autographs, Manuscripts & Books auction
Biblical verses handwritten by the renowned Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890), in English and Dutch, over 220 words, once owned by Maurice Sendak (est. $35,000-$40,000).

WILTON, CONN.- Extensive and historically significant archives pertaining to Civil War generals (one for the Union, one for the Confederacy), a typed letter signed by Albert Einstein concerning God and science and pertaining to one of his most famous quotes, and Bob Dylan’s handwritten lyrics to the timeless classic The Times They Are A-Changin’ are just a few of the highlights in University Archives’ next big online-only auction, slated for Wednesday, June 22nd.

The Rare Autographs, Manuscripts & Books auction, starting promptly at 10:30 am Eastern time, features historical material from multiple collecting categories. All 481 lots are up for viewing and bidding now (on the University Archives website, as well as, and Phone and absentee bids accepted.

“The June 22nd auction is particularly rich in presidential, science, Civil War, art and music autographs and memorabilia,” said John Reznikoff, the president and owner of University Archives. “Collectors of aviation/space, sports, early American, literature, and international will also have ample opportunity to enrich and expand existing collections. It’ll be a great sale.”

The list of major categories is indeed extensive, to include Presidential (Washington to Biden); Science (Einstein, Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Carl Sagan, James Watson, others); Art (Van Gogh, Gauguin, Picasso, Matisse, Monet, others); Music (Dylan, Enrico Caruso, Billie Holiday, Huddie Ledbetter, Tupac Shakur, others); and Civil War (the Union and Confederate generals).

Other categories include Early American (Hamilton, Burr, Hancock, John Peter Zenger, others); Aviation & Space (Earhart, Igor Sikorsky, Howard Hughes, Wright Brothers, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Apollo XII, Apollo XV, Apollo-Soyuz, Skylab, others); and World Leaders (Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Leon Trotsky, David Ben-Gurion, Castro, Jawaharlal Nehru, Juan Peron, others).

Still other categories include Literature (Emile Zola, D.H. Lawrence, Hermann Hesse, Thomas Mann, Aldous Huxley, Thomas Wolfe, Sylvia Plath, Orwell, Vonnegut, others); Civil Rights (John Brown, Malcolm X, Eldridge Cleaver, Muhammad Ali, Alex Haley, Rosa Parks, others); and Sports (baseball, including Mickey Mantle, Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays, Sandy Koufax).

The Civil War archives are an astounding collection of signed documents, cards, letters, clipped signatures, cartes-de-visite and more, of every general listed in Ezra J. Warner’s two exhaustive compilations: Generals in Grey for the Confederacy (528 items in six binders) (est. $300,000-$350,000) and Generals in Blue for the Union (630 items, 12 binders) (est. $175,000-$200,000).

The Confederate archive features Robert E. Lee, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, Pierre G.T. Beauregard, James Longstreet and Wade Hampton. The Union archive includes items signed by U.S. Grant, Melancton Wade and Abraham Lincoln, George Meade, James A. Garfield, and Winfield Scott Hancock. Both archives are meticulously researched, organized and presented.

In a typed letter in English, signed and dated April 29, 1954, Albert Einstein explains the origins of his scientific motto, “Subtle is the Lord, but not malicious,” which encapsulates his personal attitude towards God and spirituality. Einstein first used the motto when responding to another scientist’s claims to have disproved relativity by discovering “ether-drift” (est. $60,000-$70,000).

In another Einstein-related item, a signed a first edition copy of his German language book Mein Weltbild (or The World As I See It) contains an inscription in which Einstein refers to the “Fall of the German Goyim.” It is the only instance known where Einstein employs the controversial Hebrew / Yiddish word for Goyim, or “non-Jew” (est. $12,000-$14,000). The book is from 1934.

Bob Dylan wrote The Times They Are A-Changin’ in the fall of 1963, shortly after Martin Luther King Jr.'s March on Washington, wanting to create an anthem for social justice. The singer’s handwritten lyrics, penned on one page in 2013 on “The Dorchester” stationery from London, is accompanied by a full LOA from JSA (est. $50,000-$60,000).

America’s most famous presidents will be represented in the sale by the following offerings, among many more:

• George Washington’s boldly signed (as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army) free frank to Rhode Island Governor Nicholas Cooke in March 1775, just three months after crossing the Delaware River to surprise British and Hessian forces at the Christmas-time Battle of Trenton. (est. $12,000-$14,000). Comes with an auction PSA/DNA LOA.

• Abraham Lincoln’s signed, Civil War military appointment dated April 13, 1863, nicely framed, promoting John G. Barnard as Lieutenant Colonel of the Corps of Engineers. Barnard and his fellow engineers ensured the safe water crossing of Union troops, in addition to planning siege tactics to best sap Confederate defenses (est. $7,500-$10,000).

• Thomas Jefferson’s signed dinner invitation as President in December 1805, accompanied by a Jefferson-owned Chinese Export rare oval serving bowl, from the collection of Thomas Jefferson Coolidge, Jefferson’s great-grandson. The serving bowl features a “J” monogram and early Republican imagery such as the 13 stars (est. $18,000-$20,000).

Biblical verses handwritten by the renowned Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890), in both English and Dutch, over 220 words total, once owned by another famous artist, Maurice Sendak (1928-2012), should bring $35,000-$40,000. Also, a one-page typed letter signed by Vladimir Lenin (as “V. Ulyanoc/Lenin”), in Russian, dated Dec. 19, 1919, addressed to Artemic B. Khalatov, the later-executed People’s Commissariat, has an estimate of $30,000-$40,000.

A large archive of notes and drafts of speeches pertaining to Black Panther Eldridge Cleaver, plus more routine notes, spanning a dozen years (1976-1988), comprising 42 pages and more than 2,000 words, should realize $15,000-$20,000; while a 1790 U.S. Treasury Department circular handwritten and signed by Alexander Hamilton (as “A. Hamilton”), regarding the documentation of tonnage of imports and exports, is expected to make $12,000-$15,000.

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