News | June 3, 2024

First Hugo Ever Awarded to Auction with $7,000 Estimate

Freeman's Hindman

Martian War Machine prop from the film War of the Worlds produced by Paramount Pictures, 1953. Fiberglass, paint, metal, resin.

The first Hugo ever awarded and props from the 1953 movie War of the Worlds are among items celebrating the relationships between technology, literature, and film in the 20th Century at the latest Freeman’s | Hindman auction. 

It is part of the newly-merged firm's ongoing month of books, manuscripts, and historical ephemera auctions this month across five sales which will offer more than 1,400 lots with a total estimated value of nearly $2.5 million.

The June 7 Fine Books and Manuscripts, including Worlds of Tomorrow, and Americana sale features 379 lots of historic photographs, artifacts, and manuscripts alongside works of literature, film props, posters, and literary archives. Highlights include:

* the first Hugo ever awarded, given to Forrest J. Ackerman by Isaac Asimov at the 11th World Science Fiction Convention aka WorldCon in 1953 for being the #1 Fan Personality (estimate: $5,000 - $7,000) which is accompanied by a photograph of Ackerman receiving the award

* the lavishly illustrated, four volume catalogue made by Pierre-Francois Hugues d'Hancarville (1719-1805), Collection of Etruscan, Greek and Roman Antiquities from the Cabinet of the Hon. William Hamilton, Naples, Francois, Morelli, 1766, first edition, estimate: $70,000 - $90,000

* various first edition associated copies of Langston Hughes’s works presented by him to his patron and friend Noël Sullivan and his family with Hughes’s warm inscriptions, including Scottsboro Limited, 1932, first edition, estimate: $6,000 - $8,000. Inscribed: “For Noel – whose sympathies embrace all the living world – these poems of the nine poor boys at Scottsboro – Sincerely, Langston. Los Angeles, June 4, 1932.” 

The sale follows the Fine Literature from the Collection of Richard C. McKenzie auction the previous day on June 6 featuring important first editions and works from 19th and 20th century including:

  • Emily Dickinson, Poems, Poems Second Series, Poems Third Series, Boston: Robert Brothers, 1890, 1891, 1896, together, three works in three volumes,housed in a morocco-backed folding case, estimate: $10,000 - $15,000
  • Herman MelvilleMoby-Dick; or, The Whale, New York, Harper & Brothers, 1851, first American edition in the BAL first binding, estimate: $12,000 - $18,000
  • Syliva PlathThe Bell Jar, London, Heinemann, 1963, first edition, estimate: $3,000 - $4,000

The firm will present Books and Manuscripts in Philadelphia on June 25, and Western Manuscripts and Miniatures on June 27.