Auctions | February 23, 2024

JFK, Elvis Presley, George Gershwin, and Marilyn Monroe Autographs to Auction

Swann Galleries

George Gershwin, piano solo and second piano score for Rhapsody in Blue, signed and Inscribed on title-page. Estimate: $6,000 - $9,000

The Autographs sale next month at Swann Galleries will contain property from the Forbes Collection, reflecting a keen interest in American history, world leaders, American entertainers between the 1930s and 1960s, and writers. 

Among the presidential items is a copy of As We Remember Joe, signed and inscribed by John F. Kennedy to the book’s publisher, together with the publisher’s mailing list for over 250 of the 500 copies that were printed, and related correspondence (estimate: $15,000 - $25,000). Other presidential autographs include Eisenhower, Truman, and F.D.R. Autographs by leaders in other parts of the world include sizable archives of letters by prime ministers Georges Clemenceau and William Gladstone. 

Entertainer autographs from the collection include two lots by Elvis Presley, an agreement signed with Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation for the 1961 film Wild in the Country (estimate $4,000 - $6,000), and a photograph signed and inscribed in the 1960s (estimate $6,000 - $9,000). Also going under the hammer is the complete sheet music for Rhapsody in Blue, printed soon after the piece’s 1924 premiere, signed and inscribed by George Gershwin. There are also items signed by Cary Grant, Betty Grable, and Katharine Hepburn.

Other highlights include:

  • an autograph letter signed by an elderly and reflective Alfred Nobel to his brother in which he explains that duty prevented an earlier reply
  • John Lennon and Yoko Ono, printed lyric sheet for their co-authored song Attica State signed by both, 1971. 
  • a business card signed by Marilyn Monroe
  • an autograph musical manuscript of Dixie signed by its author, Decatur Emmett
  • a valentine signed by Andy Warhol

Bidding closes on March 7.