Auctions | October 13, 2022

Watergate Scandal Signature Collection at PBA Galleries

PBA Galleries

Fortress Monroe, Old Point Comfort and Hygeia Hotel, Va. ($2,000-3,000)


On October 20, 2022, PBA Galleries will be hosting a sale with nearly 450 lots of rare materials on history, exploration, conflict, cultural development, social progress, technical innovation, and more, both in the Americas and around the globe. Included are books, manuscripts, maps, prints, views, photographs, ephemera, and more. Explorers by sea and land are joined by those in the sky, with aviators and lighter-than-air pioneers. And for collectors of California, there are selections from the Zamorano Eighty.

One featured lot is a rare lithographed bird's-eye view of Fort Monroe, Virginia in 1861. Though Virginia was a confederate state, the fort remained under Union control throughout the Civil War. The Chesapeake Bay full of sail and steamboats including the "U.S.S. Adelaide" is also on full display ($2,000-3,000).

An extensive collection of works signed and/or inscribed by principals involved in the Richard Nixon Watergate scandal, numbering some 154 items in all, graces the auction. Included are signatures of the family of alleged “Deep Throat” Mark Felt, the burglars themselves, and the many political figures involved in some way. A one-of-a-kind collection of material relating to the greatest presidential scandal of the 20th century, it is possibly one of the largest selections in the world ($15,000-25,000).

Also being offered is an official contemporary copy of the Japanese Instrument of Surrender signed aboard the USS Missouri in 1945. On the rectos of 8 leaves of watermarked “parchment” paper, the document marks the end of the seminal armed conflict of the 20th century ($15,000-25,000).

•	Official copy of the Japanese Instrument of Surrender aboard the USS Missouri ($20,000-30,000)
PBA Galleries

Official copy of the Japanese Instrument of Surrender aboard the USS Missouri ($20,000-30,000)

Earliest account of the first aerial voyage, 1783-4 ($2,000-3,000)
PBA Galleries

Earliest account of the first aerial voyage, 1783-4 ($2,000-3,000)

The Unique Map of California, 1885 ($2,000-3,000)
PBA Galleries

The Unique Map of California, 1885 ($2,000-3,000)

Another notable lot is Robert Ker Porter’s Travels in Georgia, Persia, Armenia, Ancient Babylonia, &c…, 2 volumes in the first edition, dated 1821-22. It includes 90 plates of drawings by the author, and two important maps ($3,000-5,000).

A highlight in the Zamorano 80 section of the auction is Noticia de California by Miguel Venegas, 3 volumes of the 1757 first edition. This first history of California with the four important engraved maps, is bound in period full vellum ($5,000-8,000).

A manuscript listing of some 5,000 owners requesting identification papers for their slaves in Cuba is also being offered. Likely from the 1850s, there are approximately 250 pages of enslaved peoples of both African and Chinese origin ($3,000-5,000).

The Unique Map of California, 1885, is another featured lot. A captivating, illustrated map with 20 vignette views shows places of interest such as the Golden Gate, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite Valley, and more. ($2,000-3,000).

In the Aeronautics & Lighter Than Air section, a first edition of the earliest account of the first aerial voyage in history is another notable offering. The Montgolfier brothers were the passengers in the first successful hot air balloon in November 1783. The two volumes include a combined 14 engraved plates ($2-3,000).

An important piece of history, a first edition of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, with a bound in autograph note signed by Harriet Beecher Stowe is also available. From 1852, the 2 finely bound volumes contain one of the most popular and influential books in United States history ($3-5,000).

PBA is open by appointment only. Live auction participation is available via online or phone bidding. For more information about upcoming sales, to schedule a Zoom preview or phone bidding for a future auction, please contact the galleries at 415.989.2665 or