Mucho Washingtons

With President's Day fast approaching here in the United States, it's no wonder that old George is popping up at auction this week. Yesterday, Arts and the Antiques reported on a fascinating, record-breaking auction of what is believed to be Washington's personal copy of the map of the Battle of Yorktown. Jim Julia of James D. Julia Auctioneers in Fairfield, Maine, said of it, "This is the most exciting thing I have ever handled."


A larger copy of the map exists at the National Archives and was always thought to be Washington's, however, now that this smaller version has come to light, it is assumed that the pocket-sized map was Washington's, while the larger was sent back to the Congress. The small map, which brought in $1 million (without premium), was owned by the family of Tobias Lear, Washington's aide-de-camp.

Heritage Auctions is currently offering (sale 6038, lot 37023) this scarce G. Washington bookplate (now hinged at top of the verso to a mat). Many forgeries and re-strikes have fooled collectors looking for original Washington bookplates, but this is the real deal. Starting bid is $1,500; estimate is $3,000. Absentee bidding ends today at 10:00 p.m. CT. 

Thanks to Jeffrey Murray and Stephen J. Gertz/Book Patrol for the presidential tips.