Ocean Liner Memorabilia at Philip Weiss Auctions, June 22
LYNBROOK, N.Y. - Ocean liner memorabilia will take center stage at Weiss Auctions’ June 22nd sale, as a letter handwritten aboard the RMS Titanic on April 13, 1912, an original life ring from the SS Andrea Doria, and a glass clock given to first class passengers on the maiden voyage of the SS Normandie in 1935 will all come up for bid in the firm’s gallery at 74 Merrick Road.
The Thursday auction has a 10 am (Eastern) start time and is packed with hundreds of lots of antique advertising, rare books, historical memorabilia, autographs and more. Along with the ocean liner items is the lifetime coffee advertising collection of Lowell and Barbara Schindler, featuring not just coffee items but also syrup dispensers, talcum tins, signs and other rare pieces.
The Schindler collection is so massive it will be spread out over several sales. For those unable to attend in person, online bidding will be facilitated by Proxibid.com and LiveAuctioneers.com. Previews will be held on June 19th (10-5), June 20-21 (10-8) and June 22nd, from 8am-9:45 am.
Any item from the doomed ocean liner RMS Titanic is certain to generate buzz throughout the gallery. The letter up for bid, handwritten aboard the ship two days before it sank after striking an iceberg as it crossed the Atlantic on its ill-fated maiden voyage, was penned on actual RMS Titanic stationery. It was written by a member of the Holverson family, en route to New York.
The SS Andrea Doria, an ocean liner for the Italian Line named after the 16th century Genoese admiral of the same name, was a symbol of national pride for a country still recovering from World War II. But it sank in 1956 and 46 people lost their lives when the vessel collided with a Swedish ship off the coast of Nantucket. The life ring up for bid reads, “Andrea Doria, Genova.” The ring was recovered by an officer aboard the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Yakutat WAVP 380.
The French ship SS Normandie also sank in US waters, but under much different circumstances. She entered service in 1935 as the world’s largest and fastest passenger ship, but during World War II, she was dispatched to New York and renamed the Lafayette. While being converted to a troop ship, the vessel caught fire and capsized, at Pier 88. The cost to repair her was so great she was scrapped, in 1946. The glass clock up for bid from the 1935 maiden voyage is quite lovely.
Another Titanic-related item will also come up for bid: an original photo, framed, of Major Archibald Butt, an aide to Presidents Roosevelt and Taft, who died during the ship’s sinking.
Rare books will include a copy of The Story of the Exodus, one of 250 copies signed by the renowned Russian-French painter Marc Chagall (1887-1985); and signed limited edition art books, to include Henry Spencer Moore’s Nudes (1976), with 10 lithographs, each signed and numbered (2/50); and Jacques Villon’s Lionello Venturi (Paris, 1962), signed, one of 175 copies.
The sale will also feature a collection of Civil War cartes de visites, a Civil War draft broadside printed in New York in 1864 and a terrific collection of Alamo-related material, to include Davy Crockett, a Santa Anna autograph, a Ramon Musquiz autograph, a Juan Almonte autograph, a Thomas R. Miller autographed document and copies of the Texas Independence newspapers.
Advertising signs will feature a Hartford Fire Insurance Company self-framed tin sign, a Fidelity Phenix Fire Insurance Company sign, a Niagara Fire Insurance Company reverse glass sign, a Germania Life Insurance Company sign, and an Aetna Insurance Company 1896 paper calendar.
Other items set to cross the auction block will include a Diamond Dyes oak general store cabinet, a rare poster for the magician Niuqsar from the 1920s, a circa 1930s window card for the famous magician Howard Thurston, original cover art for the December 1922 issue of The Wireless Age by O.J. Schulz, and an animation cel setup for Disney’s Little Toot with Courvoisier background.
Rounding out just a few more of the day’s more intriguing lots is a grouping of Queen Victoria items (including a signature on a document, a handkerchief and a pair of stockings with the Royal insignia), a pair of weight-lifting beer steins and a grouping of Kentucky long rifles.
Weiss Auctions’ next big sale after this one will be held on Wednesday, July 19th, also online and in the Lynbrook gallery. Headlining that sale will be Part 1 of the Jerry and Nina Greene collection of toys, trains, soldiers and toy castles, as well as European trains and accessories from the Finger Lakes collection, toy soldiers and accessories from all makers, Lionel trains and more.
Also offered will be a Steiff collection (including larger pieces), dolls (including French fashion dolls, German bisque, vintage Barbie dolls and more), die-cast vehicles (including mint-in-box Matchbox and Dinkys), and pressed steel (including boxed Tonka, Structo, Buddy L railroad pieces, NyLint, Doepke and Smith Miller). There will be something for every taste and budget.
Weiss Auctions is always accepting quality consignments for future auctions. To consign an item, estate or a collection, you may call them at (516) 594-0731; or, you can send an e-mail to Philip Weiss at Phil@WeissAuctions.com. For more information about Weiss Auctions and the big auctions planned for June 22 and July 19 visit www.WeissAuctions.com. Updates are posted often.
Image: Handwritten letter, penned on actual RMS Titanic stationery and written aboard the ship by a member of the Holverson family, en route to New York.