Courtesy of Rick Black

The Amichai Windows, Rick Black's limited edition artist book of Yehuda Amichai's poems.

Arlington, VA – Rick Black, a book artist, poet and director of Turtle Light Press, was named the winner of the 2019 Isaac Anolic Jewish Book Arts Award.

“The award panel was very impressed with all of Black’s artwork,” said Rita Rosen Poley, director and curator of the Temple Judea Museum in Elkins Park, Pa, who headed the awards panel. “It is always a tough decision as there are so many talented artists who apply but he submitted a very compelling proposal.”

“I was very pleased to hear that I won the award,” said Black, 62, who works out of his studio at home in Arlington, Virginia, and prints at Pyramid Atlantic Art Center in Hyattsville, Maryland. “It is wonderful to have the support and appreciation of the committee.”

Black, a former journalist with The New York Times in Israel, plans on exploring the Biblical story of the binding of Isaac. He will use letterpress printing techniques to play with individual voices, gaps and silences in the text as well as Japanese sumi-e ink painting to convey the stark landscape. He will integrate traditional midrashic interpretations as well as his own questions about the story.

“I want to reflect the sacred geography of the Biblical text,” said Black, “and to capture the ambiguities of the story, many of which are still facing us today, such as that between faith and morality.
The award, which comes with a $1,500 grant, was largely based on Black’s most recent artist book, The Amichai Windows, a bilingual limited edition of Yehuda Amichai poems with multi-layered collages. A number of major institutions, including the the Library of Congress, Yale University and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, have acquired it so far.

The Isaac Anolic Jewish Book Arts Award is named in honor of Isaac Anolic, a practicing attorney who was dedicated to all aspects of Jewish law and culture. His intense support of his families’ artistic endeavors have led, in turn, to support for those creating art out of the book form. The award is meant to highlight the love of books by the Jewish people, who are often called the “people of the book.”

The Anolic Family also named two other award-winners: Addam Yekutieli won the Naomi Anolic Early Career Jewish Visual Arts Award and Hannah Altman took home the Bertha Anolic Israel Travel Award. Please see for more information about all of the awards; or to learn more about Black's most recent artist book. 

Courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries

Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, Il Guercino, The Holy Spirit Appearing to St. Gregory, red chalk, late 1640s. Sold for $21,250.

New York—Swann Galleries’s curated sale of Old Master Drawings on Tuesday, November 5 brought original works, studies and preparatory drawings from the most sought-after European draughtsmen from the past several centuries.

Leading the auction was Il Guercino’s late-1640s red chalk study of St. Gregory being greeted by a dove—likely a drawing related to an unfulfilled commission for a painting of the saint. The Holy Spirit Appearing to St. Gregory sold for $21,250.

Additional Italian drawings included Christ’s Charge to Peter from the circle of Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino. Based on one of Raphael’s seven large cartoons painted as designs for tapestries, the work represented the Italian Renaissance at $10,625. Mannerism featured a red chalk drawing A Figure Scene with a Woman Feeding a Monkey, a Seated Man, Putti and a Boar from the school of Francesco Primaticcio at $5,460, and a pen and brown ink study An Allegory of Summer from a follower of Il Salviati at $6,500.

Henri-Edmond Cross’s circa-1890 pointillist watercolor The Sower topped the French offerings at $19,500. French Baroque works found success with Laurent de la Hyre’s St. Peter Healing the Sick, circa 1635, a black-chalk and pencil preparatory drawing for the artist’s painting for the May Notre Dame of 1635, which earned $15,000. Works from the estate of Eric Carlson included Théodore Géricault’s Le Giaour, an 1820 preparatory pen, ink and pencil drawing for the same-titled lithograph, brought $5,000.

Drawings by Eugène Delacroix were well received with two pencil works based loosely on figures in Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel frescos reaching $9,375, as well as Delacroix’s first large-scale government commission—an 1833 ink, wash and pencil preparatory study created for the allegorical decorations of the Salon du Roi in the Palais Bourbon in Paris, which brought $5,250.

Todd Weyman, the house’s Director of Prints & Drawings, noted of the sale, “We were pleased to offer this fine group of Old Master and nineteenth-century drawings, a category we'd not had an auction for in the past five years, built around the collection of the late New York art dealer Eric Carlson. This incredible selection of drawings, together with the Old Master prints from the previous week's auction, combined for a total of nearly $1.3 million, a very strong showing for the Old Masters overall.”

Swann Galleries is currently accepting quality consignments for the spring 2020 season. Visit or download the Swann Galleries App for more information.


Amherst, MA — What can the art of childhood reveal? Does it show burgeoning talent, exciting potential or, perhaps, simply the beginning of a love to create? Those are some of the questions explored in an exhibition co-curated by award-winning illustrators Grace Lin and Jarrett J. Krosoczka. Together, with 17 other artists, they honor childhood creativity in Now & Then: Contemporary Illustrators and their Childhood Art, on view from December 14, 2019 to May 10, 2020 in The Carle's Central Gallery. Visitors will see examples of each artists' childhood drawings and how they foreshadow their current artistic interests. From stick drawings and crayon animals to beautiful watercolors and digital illustrations, the pairings will inspire young visitors to make connections to their own creations--and their future potential.

In addition to Lin and Krosoczka's own work, the featured artists include Cece Bell, Nidhi Chanani, Jason Chin, The Fan Brothers, Julie Flett, Jeff Kinney, Elisa Kleven, Barbara Lehman, Rafael López, Oge Mora, Juana Martinez-Neal, Raúl the Third, Shadra Strickland, Don Tate, Evan Turk, and Tillie Walden. Lin and Krosoczka selected artists working in myriad formats--picture books, chapter books, and graphic novels--and chose contemporary artists since,"one of the purposes of the exhibition is to show kids where their own artistic journey could take them, and if the artists are familiar to them, then the pairings of childhood and professional artwork becomes much more resonant," notes Lin, "That said, I also hope the exhibition introduces people to some new favorite illustrators too."

Despite the different book forms and artistic styles, certain similarities among the artists soon became evident to the curators. Lin observes that many of the artists made books as children. "As someone who was folding and stapling sheets together for a book as a child," she said, "I find it charming that so many of us were already in love with bookmaking." Krosoczka makes another connection: "It's amazing how much work from childhood was archived by these artists and their families."

Planning for the exhibition proved a trip down memory lane for several of the featured artists. Oge Mora, author and illustrator of Thank You, Omu!, recipient of a 2019 Caldecott Honor Award, pairs a cut-paper collage from the book with a self-portrait completed in first grade. Mora recalls how proud she felt seeing her six-year-old brown face on the page: "My skin, my story, were things to be celebrated," she observes. "It is interesting looking back at this early class project and reflecting on how much a later class project [in college] became my very first picture book, Thank You, Omu!"

Jeff Kinney, best known for his cartoon-style illustrations in the popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, may have the most dramatic change from childhood. Kinney submitted a hyper-realistic graphite drawing of Bedouins that he made at age 11, although it looks executed by a much older artist. He pairs it with a humorous, frenetic scene from Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Meltdown, in which Kinney deliberately adopts a childlike style.

Brothers Terry and Eric Fan illustrated their dinosaur story, Many Years Ago, when they were ages four and five. Their mother helped them spell out the text and staple the book together. "Mom always encouraged us to tell stories, even as kids. She was our biggest champion as far as our art," said Terry in a Publisher's Weekly interview. Terry and Eric include a facsimile of Many Years Ago in the exhibition paired with an artwork depicting dinosaur topiary from The Night Gardener, their first published picture book. "A lot of time has passed between the two books, but I like to think they share a common thread," says Eric.

Elisa Kleven's childhood artwork, done at age eight, is a birthday card for her mother. It shows a pastoral landscape of farms and horse-drawn wagons. Kleven says, "Growing up in sprawling, smoggy, 1960s L.A., I often wished I could live in the worlds of the books I loved, where animals talked, humans were closely intertwined with nature, cars had not yet been invented, and seasons changed. Because I couldn't live in these places, I created them in my drawings." Kleven's adult illustration, from her recent publication Hiro's Hats, is a masterful, textural collage of snow monkeys frolicking in cherry blossom trees. She observes, "A visual echo of my mother's birthday card can be seen in the top right corner, where a mother snow monkey and her child sit happily in a blossoming tree."

Lin and Krocozska, former classmates at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), are also experiencing a "now & then" moment. As alumnai, they curated two shows at RISD, including one on the same premise: "The process wasn't vastly different," notes Kroscoczka, "but the level of support The Carle has provided has been awe-inspiring." The Carle's chief curator Ellen Keiter says, "Now & Then is an exhibition to inspire our youngest visitors to compare past and present, and to imagine what their art might look like in the future."

Lin and Krocozska observe that their first art studios were in their family's kitchens and their first exhibitions were on the refrigerator doors. Riffing on this shared experience, they designed the gallery with a distinct 1980's kitchen flair. Visitors to the exhibition can enjoy drawing activities at a "kitchen table" and display their own work on a "refrigerator door" There are numerous books by the participating artists to enjoy on a custom-designed "window bench."

From refrigerator doors to museum walls--Now & Then celebrates a child's potential. "Every artist has their own journey to travel and there is no way to know where the path will go," say Lin and Krosoczka. "But by connecting these childhood works to those made in adulthood, we hope to show young artists what is possible, and what could be just beyond the horizon."

Courtesy of The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Ms. 48, fol. 59

Georges Trubert. French, active Provence, France 1469 – 1508. The Adoration of the Magi, about 1480 – 1490. Tempera colors, gold leaf, gold and silver paint, and ink on parchment.

Los Angeles — Early medieval legends report that one of the three kings who paid homage to the Christ Child in Bethlehem was from Africa. Written accounts sometimes describe Balthazar, the youngest magus, as having a dark complexion. Nevertheless, it would take nearly 1,000 years for European artists to begin representing him as a Black man.

Balthazar: A Black African King in Medieval and Renaissance Art, an exhibition at the Getty Center Museum on view from November 19, 2019 to February 16, 2020, examines how representations in European art of Balthazar as a Black African coincided with the increased interaction between Europe and Africa, particularly with the systematic enslavement of African peoples in the fifteenth century.

“This exhibition examines the illuminated manuscripts and paintings in the Getty’s collection that tell the story of Balthazar, placing this artistic-religious narrative in the context of the long history of material trade networks between Africa and Europe,” says Timothy Potts, director of the Getty Museum. “By exploring how his representation coincided with and was furthered by the rise of the slave trade, we can begin to understand the works of art in our collection, and the broader historical and cultural phenomena they reflect, in new ways.”

According to the Gospel of Matthew, “magi from the East” paid tribute to the newborn Christ with offerings of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Magos is an ancient Greek word for a Persian priest-astrologer or dream interpreter. Revered as wise men, they came to be known as three kings because of the number and richness of their gifts. European writers later assigned names to these individuals, Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar, and specified that the kings came from the three then-known continents of the world: Europe, Asia, and Africa. Despite further written descriptions of Balthazar as a Black African, European artists continued for centuries to represent him as a White king. Such treatment was not exclusive to the magi. Medieval European artists typically (and potentially inaccurately) represented biblical figures as White, indicating cultural or racial difference only though costume or attribute.

In the earliest example of the Adoration of the Magi (about 1030-40) in the Getty’s collection, the three kings are virtually identical and are represented as three White men. Only Caspar, the eldest, is distinguished by his gray beard and slightly longer robes. The exhibition contains other examples in which Balthazar’s African origin was communicated through his turban, which resembled that of the Mamluk sultan of Egypt, or his leopard-pelt headdress. The materials that the magi held and gifted, including hardstone vessels and gold, also carried powerful geographic associations with lands distant from Europe.

Trade was an essential way people knew the world during the Middle Ages and Renaissance. African elephant ivory and gold circulated across the Sahara Desert and up the Swahili Coast into the Mediterranean and Europe. Commerce in gold brought inhabitants of both continents into frequent contact, and Black African soldiers served in the courts of medieval European rulers. Diplomacy offered yet another point of contact. In the fifteenth century, Ethiopian rulers sent church delegations to Italy in an attempt to forge alliances, both religious and military, with Rome. In the exhibition this story is presented through a Gospel book from the northern monastery of Gunda Gunde.

In the 1440s, with the Portuguese incursions into West Africa, the slave trade escalated in unprecedented ways, industrializing the practice and bringing thousands—ultimately millions—of subjugated Black Africans into Europe and the Americas.

It was at precisely this historical moment that artists began representing Balthazar as a Black African with some frequency. European artists also often alluded to his African identity by depicting him as White but with a Black attendant. This frequent juxtaposition of White ruler and Black servant in fifteenth-century images of the magi reflects the very real commodification of Black Africans in Europe at the time.

One intriguing manuscript in the exhibition provides a tangible case study for the emerging interest in depicting Balthazar as Black. The manuscript, first painted about 1190-1200, had included several images of the magi as White men. Some time in its later history, likely when the book was modified in the fifteenth century, Balthazar’s face was tinted with a brown wash in several places (the opening on display will show The Magi Approaching Herod). Such changes to illuminated manuscripts reveal the evolving worldviews of their audiences. Could the increased number of Black Africans in England at this time have prompted the later artist to revise the figure of Balthazar in the older manuscript?

Potts concludes, “There is so much that cannot now be known about the countless Africans who inspired works such as those on view in the gallery. Although many of their names have been lost to time, we are hoping, through case studies, that this exhibition will pull back the veil on the long history of Africans in pre-modern Europe.”

Balthazar: A Black African King in Medieval and Renaissance Art is curated by Kristen Collins, curator in the Manuscripts Department and Bryan C. Keene, associate curator in the Manuscripts Department, and will be on view November 19, 2019 through February 16, 2020 at the Getty Center Museum. The curators of the exhibition shared their inspiration for the project on the Getty Iris, and they are developing further social media content for the run of the show.

Related programming includes a conversation with Dr. Guy Casely-Hayford on Sunday, January 12, 2020.

Courtesy of Southern & Northern California Chapters of the ABAA

California — Most great collectors started when they were young, and most great collections started with a passion for a particular object or subject. When these objects are books and manuscripts, the collectors are called bibliophiles, or lovers of the book.
The purpose of The California Young Book Collector’s Prize is to nurture the next generation of bibliophiles. The competition is open to collectors aged 35 and under who are living in California. All collections of books, manuscripts, and ephemera are welcome, no matter their monetary value or subject. The collections will be judged on their thoroughness, the approach to their subject, and the seriousness which with the collector has catalogued his or her material.
The winner of the competition will be awarded:
    •    A gift certificate of $500 to spend at the 2020 California International Antiquarian Book Fair
    •    An exhibition of the winner’s collection to be presented in a showcase at the book fair
    •    A stipend of $250 towards exhibition expenses (to help cover travel costs, showcase labels, and insurance)
    •    A year’s membership to the Book Club of California
    •    A year’s membership to the Bibliographical Society of America
    •    A year’s subscription to The Book Collector
    •    A year’s subscription to Fine Books & Collections magazine
The deadline for receipt of submissions is December 1st, 2019, and the winner will be notified by January 6th, 2020. The exhibit will be at the 53rd California International Antiquarian Book Fair held in Pasadena, CA, from February 7-9, 2020. The winner will be responsible for insuring his or her collection and for setting-up their exhibition on February 6th and taking it down on the evening of February 9th. The showcase will be for exhibition only; no parts of the collection can be offered for sale during the fair. Because this year’s book fair will be held in Pasadena, the jury will be comprised of the executive committee of the Southern California Chapter of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America.
To participate, please submit the following materials as a pdf file:
    •    Your age and contact information, including mailing address, telephone number, and email.
    •    A list of no more than twenty entries from the catalogue of your collection.
    •    A statement of no more than 1000 words concerning your collection. This should include a summary of your collection; your reason for forming the collection; a description of one or two of your most prized items (supported by photographs); and a description of a few desiderata, those works that you lack, but hope to find one day to add to your collection. All items in the collection must be owned by you, the collector.

Courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries

Rembrandt's Pieter Haaring, etching, drypoint & burin, 1655. Sold for $81,250, a record for the print.

New York — With an offering from the past five centuries, Swann Galleries’s Tuesday, October 29 sale of Old Master Through Modern Art brought collectors exceptional works from key artists and included Rembrandt etchings from the John Villarino Collection.

Rembrandt van Rijn was the highest selling old master in the sale with seven etchings selling among the top 20. Leading the auction was Pieter Haaring, etching, 1655—the scarce lifetime impression brought a record for the print at $81,250. One of the earliest dated landscape etchings by Rembrandt Landscape with a Cottage and a Large Tree, 1641, saw a price of $40,000.

“Certainly the highlight of the Old Masters was the distinguished John Villarino collection of Rembrandt etchings, with 25 lots from the collection finding buyers internationally, for a total of more than $275,000,” noted Todd Weyman, the house’s Director of Prints & Drawings. Most notable from the collection was A Beggar Seated on a Bank, 1630, a likely early self-portrait of the artist that earned $60,000; A Beggar with a Cripples Hand Leaning on a Stick, circa 1630, set a new record for the etching at $15,000; Two Tramps, a Man and a Woman, circa 1634, realized $14,063; and sheet studies from 1632 and 1641-42 brought $21,250 and $35,000, respectively.

“A significant focus of this auction was the selection of Old Master prints, which at $900,000 accounted for nearly half the day's total, indicating that the market for old master prints, for which Swann is the only auction house in the U.S. to devote semiannual auctions, is still relevant despite the ascendancy of contemporary art,” continued Weyman. Albrecht Dürer’s circa 1496-97 woodcut Samson Fighting with the Lion, brought $21,250, and Lucas Cranach’s 1508 woodcut The Judgment of Paris, found success at $20,000.

Modern European stalwarts featured Paul Klee’s rare 1905 etching Der Held mit dem Flügel—Inv. 2. The work from his Inventionen series reached $75,000. Der Tod im Krankenzimmer an 1896 lithograph by Edvard Munch based on the artist’s same-titled 1895 painting sold for $43,750. René Magritte’s Ceci n’est pas une Pipe, etching 1962, exceeded its high estimate selling for $17,500.

Among American printmakers Martin Lewis found success with two 1930 drypoints of New York City scenes: Shadow Dance ($42,500), and Spring Night, Greenwich Village ($18,750).

Additional highlights included Henri Matisse’s 1946 aquatint Tête de jeune garçon, Masque ($25,000), and Pablo Picasso’s 1934 etching from the Vollard Suite Taureau ailé contemplé par Quatre Enfants ($22,500).  

Swann Galleries is currently accepting quality consignments for the spring 2020 season. Visit or download the Swann Galleries App for more information.


A poster from Abraham Lincoln’s 1864 presidential campaign set a record for the most ever paid for a political poster when it sold for $250,000.

Dallas, TX – A massive jugate poster from Abraham Lincoln’s 1864 presidential campaign set a record for the most ever paid for a political poster when it sold for $250,000 to push the final total for Heritage Auctions’ Lincoln and His Times Americana & Political Auction to $1,853,301.

The Lincoln & Johnson: Awesome, Mammoth 1864 Jugate Campaign Poster, which also established a new standard for any Lincoln campaign item, is massive – it measures 41 inches wide by 54 inches high – and spectacular, one of just three known examples of what is considered the finest campaign display item for the 16th President. It features 12-inch portraits of both Lincoln and Andrew Johnson, his Vice Presidential candidate and eventual successor as President. The demand for the poster allowed it to race far beyond its pre-auction estimate of $100,000+.

“This poster is simply stunning, and an unquestioned rarity that commanded the attention of serious collectors of American Political and Abraham Lincoln memorabilia,” Heritage Auctions Americana Director Tom Slater said. “There are only two others known to exist, and one is in the New York Historical Society. This poster is the ultimate Lincoln display item, a lot that immediately becomes the centerpiece of an elite Lincoln or political collection.”

Multiple bids also poured in for Abraham Lincoln: A Highly Important, Seminal 1858 Political Letter, Ex: Malcolm Forbes, Jr. Collection until it realized $225,000. The letter was sent by Lincoln when he was a U.S. Senator from Illinois to Henry Asbury of Springfield, Illinois. A virtual unknown outside of Sangamon County, Lincoln was campaigning to unseat Stephen A. Douglas in 1858, and was urged by Asbury to pin down Douglas on the issue of the extension of slavery in the territories. Lincoln’s political savvy in trying to frame the issues of the campaign was nothing short of brilliant. Douglas’ response, known as the Freeport Doctrine, claimed to take “no moral position” on slavery while admitting of the necessity of local police authority to enforce the practice… positions which managed to alienate anti-slavery voters and slavery advocates at the same time. While Douglas won re-election to the Senate, the Freeport Doctrine undermined his chances in the 1860 presidential election which Lincoln handily won

The only known example of the Finest And Rarest Texas General's Grade Houston-Made Confederate Sword finished at $93,750. This custom weapon has a blade styled after the famous 18th-century Turkish blades, making it unique among Confederate swords. Patterned after a “Kilij,” the blade is fashioned in a manner designed to significantly increase the sword’s cutting power. Signed on the ricasso by Confederate sword maker “J.C. Wilson, Houston,” this is one of only three known maker-marked Wilson swords known to exist.

[United States Sanitary Commission]: Autograph Album Sold at New York Metropolitan Fair to Benefit Wounded Soldiers, Including Note Signed by Abraham Lincoln topped its pre-auction estimate by more than 50% when it closed at $68,750. This extensive scrapbook was sold in April 1864 at the Metropolitan Fair in New York City, a public event organized by the United States Sanitary Commission to raise funds to treat wounded and disabled Union soldiers. The album includes approximately 150 autographs, some with inscriptions, quotations, notes and drawings, by politicians, generals, artists and writers, primarily from the Civil War era (most written between 1861 and 1864). Also included are two small fragments from the Confederate flag that flew over Georgia’s Fort Pulaski which was torn down by Union soldiers under the command of General Egbert Ludovicus Viele.

Abraham Lincoln: A Wonderful Signed Carte de Visite Photo, Thrice Authenticated, which brought $62,500, is another in the always-popular category of signed photos. This “inkwell pose” was taken by famed Lincoln photographer Mathew Brady shortly after Lincoln assumed the presidency. With a “certification” on the reverse by John Hay, Lincoln’s personal secretary, the lot was sold along with a letter of authentication by autograph expert Charles Hamilton.

Other top lots included, but were not limited to:
$50,000: Extraordinary Burnside Carbine Presented to Kentucky Senator John J. Crittenden
$40,000: Charleston Mercury: The Iconic “Union is Dissolved” Broadside Which Announced the Onset of the Civil War
$40,000: Battle of Antietam: 4-Page Soldier's Letter Graphically Describing the Battle
$32,500: U.S. House of Representatives: Circa 1857 Desk and Chair
$27,500: Abraham Lincoln: Very Distinctive Parade Flag with Bold Colors
$25,000: Abraham Lincoln: Wonderful Folk Art “Rail Splitter” Parade Axe

Courtesy of University Archives

Letter written and signed by author J.D. Salinger dated 1955, to Rose-Ellen Currie, a young writer in New York City, mentioning Holden Caulfield and Franny. Est. $10,000-12,000

Westport, CT – A rare letter written and signed by Catcher in the Rye author J.D. Salinger from March 1955, a letter handwritten by Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart regarding his saber attachment invention, and an original life ring from the battleship U.S.S. Arizona retrieved after Pearl Harbor are just a few top lots in University Archives’ Wednesday, December 4th auction.

The 263-lot online-only auction, starting promptly at 10:30 Eastern, is brimming with unique relics, autographs, photos and ephemera, delivered just in time for the holidays. Categories include Civil War, literary, militaria, presidential, music, entertainment and foreign. Bidders may consider lavishing their loved ones with historical items this Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.

“This sale is particularly strong in Civil War history, literary and militaria,” said John Reznikoff, president and owner of University Archives, adding, “Buyers will also find the high-quality and historically important items that routinely cross the auction block at University Archives, such as presidential, foreign, signers, music, sports, entertainment, early printed material and ephemera.”

The catalog has already been posted online and bidding is available via, and Telephone and absentee bids will also be accepted. The auction is packed with an important selection of autographed documents, manuscripts, books and photos. Folks can visit the website and browse the catalog now at

The Civil War material includes letters, documents, archives, military registers, cartes de visite, memorabilia and even an untranslated cypher book. The autograph letter signed by J.E.B. Stuart (1833-1864), is accompanied by an example of his personally designed saber attachment, plus an artist signed limited edition print depicting Stuart’s Ride (lot est. $7,000-$8,000). In the Kansas Territory, in 1859, Stuart invented and patented a saber holder that the U.S. Army later licensed.

The original and unrestored life preserver from the U.S.S. Arizona, dating from its last pre-attack overhaul, circa 1940-1941, was almost certainly employed during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941. Salvaged from a rubble pile in the 1970s, the ring was then passed on by descent to the current owner. The buoy was reviewed by experts from the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument Pearl Harbor Museum in Hawaii (est. $30,000-$100,000).

The literary category is led by three giants: J.D. Salinger, Ian Fleming and Ernest Hemingway. The Salinger letter, with envelope, is two pages, written in Salinger’s hand and dated March 2, 1955, in which he writes to Rose-Ellen Currie, a young writer in New York City, about his recent wedding, Currie’s progress as a writer and his recently published story, Franny (est. $10,000-$12,000). Salinger also mentions Holden Caulfield and ends the letter “With all affection, Jerry”.

Returning to the Civil War, a letter penned and signed by Confederate Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson (1824-1863), dated Jan. 10, 1862 (but misdated by Jackson as “1861”) addressed to Gen. J.E. Johnston, relating to the location of Jackson’s troops during the Romney Expedition, carries a pre-sale estimate of $12,000-$14,000. The superb letter, written from Morgan County, Va., is signed by Jackson as “T.J. Jackson / Maj. Genl PACS Comd”. It comprises two pages of a bifold.

A highly important and rarely seen group of 17th century documents from Plymouth, Mass., chronicling the growth of the New World, is expected to change hands for $10,000-$12,000. An example is a signed manuscript document from 1669, regarding “an agreement of several of ye neighbors living at and about Rockey Nooke in the Township of Plimouth (sic), respecting ye bounds of their lands.” The agreement is signed by several of the townspeople with their “x”.

A three-page typewritten contract signed by the American songwriting team of George Gershwin (1898-1937) and Ira Gershwin (1896-1983), in which the brothers entered into an agreement to write a song for the planned movie Girl Crazy (RKO Radio Pictures), has an estimate of $3,000-$3,500. The contract was signed in 1931 but the movie, with Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland, wasn’t released until 1943. The contract was also signed by RKO Vice President Lee Warrens.

A remarkable signed typed letter with autograph annotations by Ernest Hemingway, written in 1955 from his home in Cuba and touching on subjects ranging from his father’s suicide to his mother to Africa to his hunting boots, should bring $3,000-$3,500; while a single page typed letter by James Bond author Ian Fleming, also from 1955, in which he ponders the whereabouts of Albert Paegels, the enigmatic Nazi fisherman and otter hunter, should sell for $2,000-$2,400.

An oversized ship’s passport dated January 23, 1801, signed by Thomas Jefferson when he was President and written in four languages (French, Spanish, English and Dutch), measuring 22 ½ inches by 17 inches, is expected to earn $4,000-$4,500. Also, an archive of five documents, all relating to the British blockade of Boston Harbor between March and May 1776, nine pages in total, including letters to and by Vice Admiral Molyneux Shuldman, should make $2,400-$2,600.

A spectacular glossy color photo signed by four former U.S. Presidents – Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and Richard Nixon – depicting the men standing in front of a wooden door, flanked by American flags, should go for $2,000-$2,400. Also, a glossy black and white photo of Harry Houdini shown piloting his biplane, signed by him, with the caption, “The first successful aviator in Australia wins the Australian Aero League’s Trophy”, should command $1,000-$1,200.

An 1883 stock certificate for Standard Oil Trust, signed by John D. Rockefeller, Henry Flagler and Jabez Bostwick, measuring 15 ¾ inches by 7 ¾ inches and exhibiting just some minor soiling and wear, has an estimate of $2,000-$2,400. Also, a bank check boldly signed by Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain), with a large vibrant signature (as “Saml. L. Clemens”) in the lower right corner, dated May 24, 1875 and in the amount of $21.15, should realize $1,000-$1,200.

University Archives has become world-renowned as a go-to source for rare items of this kind. It is actively seeking quality material for future auctions, presenting a rare opportunity for sellers. Anyone who has a single item or a collection that may be a fit for a future University Archives auction may call Mr. Reznikoff at 203-454-0111, or email him at

University Archives was founded in 1979, as a division of University Stamp Company, by Mr. Reznikoff, who started collecting stamps and coins in 1968, while in the third grade. Industry-wide, Reznikoff is considered the leading authenticity expert for manuscripts and documents. He consults with law enforcement, dealers, auction houses and both major authentication companies.
For more information about University Archives and the Wednesday, December 4th online-only auction, please visit For phone bidding, please call 203-454-0111.

Courtesy of Soulis Auctions

Alphonse Mucha (Czech, 1860-1939), lithograph poster in colors with gold embossing, circa 1928, created for The Slav Epic exhibition of 1930. Estate of Robert Allan Haas. Estimate $8,000-10,000

Lone Jack, MO – A collection of superb Alphonse Mucha period graphics from the estate of Hallmark Cards senior master artist Robert Allan Haas (American, 1950-2018) is the centerpiece of Dirk Soulis’ much-anticipated December 7 Winter Fine Art Auction. Approximately 60 of the sale’s 210 lots come from the prestigious Haas collection. Many of the works are quite rare and were exhibited at Hallmark’s headquarters and at eight US galleries as part of a traveling museum exhibition from 1998 through the early 2000s.

It is an important collection, said auctioneer Dirk Soulis, not only because of its inherent quality but also because Haas was an eminent scholar and authority on the subject of Alphonse Mucha (Czech, 1860-1939). “Robert Haas discovered Alphonse Mucha while a student at the Ringling College of Art and Design. Throughout his life as he pursued examples of period art by Mucha, he also maintained a friendly correspondence with Mucha’s family,” Soulis said. “His extensive archive of papers indicates that the Mucha family often sought his opinion on matters of authentication. He was extremely knowledgeable and very highly regarded in art circles.”

Top entries from the Mucha collection include classic, lifesize lithograph posters of famed stage actresses of the turn of the 20th century. One is a dramatic portrayal of Sarah Bernhardt in the Greek tragedy Medee (Medea), staged in 1898 at Le Theatre de la Renaissance in Paris. Estimate: $5,000-$10,000 Another highlight, a Mucha poster printed in the United States in 1908, depicts “the American Sarah Bernhardt,” actress Caroline Dudley, who intentionally used the stage name “Mrs. Leslie Carter” following an acrimonious divorce. The 89½-inch-tall Art Nouveau poster of Carter in the play Kassa is estimated at $10,000-$15,000.

Robert Haas also had an interest in the work of American artist Rose O’Neill (1874-1944) and was even an officer of the International Rose O’Neill Club Foundation. Although O’Neill was best known for the endearing Kewpie characters that brought her fame and fortune, she was also a “serious” artist who mixed fantasy characters with allegorical themes. The Haas collection includes 10 mixed media on paper works by O’Neill that were exhibited in Paris in 1921 and later at the Brandywine River Museum of Art. Her ink and watercolor work Perseus with the Head of Medusa, circa 1900-1920, is estimated at $3,000-$5,000.

The auction is impressive in its breadth, with fine consignments of American, European, Midwest regional paintings, watercolors, pencil-signed prints and bronzes from several Midwestern estates and collections. Of special note is a grouping of Thomas Hart Benton (American, 1889-1975) studies and lithos, as well as works by Benton’s students, which were collected from the 1920s-1960s by a framer/art dealer who knew the Benton family.

Leading the collection of works by Kansas artists is an early oil-on-canvas by Birger Sandzen (Swedish/American, 1871-1954) that brilliantly captures the distinctive purple, rose and earth tones of the Rocky Mountain West. Titled At The Timberline Pike’s Peak Colo, it measures 20¼- by 24¼ inches, is artist-signed at lower left and pencil-signed and dated on verso. Estimate: $30,000-$50,000. “We see Sandzen paintings from the 1940s and ’50s with some frequency, but this particular one is from 1925 and is a Rocky Mountain landscape,” said Soulis. “In addition, it has an excellent line of provenance. It was acquired directly from the artist by a student of Sandzen’s, then passed by descent through a couple of generations of her family. With all these points considered, it checks off a couple more boxes than usual and makes the painting even more appealing to Sandzen collectors.” The Sandzen offering also includes linocuts, drypoints and block prints.

There are several fine examples of art with a Native American theme. A signed William Standing (Native American, 1904-1951) oil-on-board depiction of a brave on horseback, 11½ x 14½ in (sight), is estimated $3,000-$4,000; while the highest-estimated of four Taos school oil paintings by Fern Knecht, the vibrant Portrait of Toulepela (Swift Lightning), is expected to reach $3,000-$5,000.

Dirk Soulis’ Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 Winter Fine Art Auction will begin at 1 p.m. CT / 2 p.m. ET, with all forms of bidding available including absentee and live online through LiveAuctioneers. The gallery preview will be held on Friday, Dec. 6 from 2-5 p.m., on auction day from 11 a.m. till start time, or by appointment. Gallery address: 529 W. Lone Jack Lee’s Summit Rd., Lone Jack (suburban Kansas City), MO 64070 Questions: tel. 816-697-3830, email

Courtesy of the California International Antiquarian Book Fair

The 2020 California International Antiquarian Book Fair will celebrate the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage with a special exhibit, Votes for Women.

Los Angeles — From February 7 - 9, 2020, thousands of book lovers, booksellers, and scholars will converge in Southern California for the 53rd California International Antiquarian Book Fair, the nation’s largest exhibition and sale of rare books. The 2020 Book Fair celebrates the 100th anniversary of Women’s Suffrage with a special exhibit -- Votes for Women -- documenting women’s effort to secure political equality. Materials will be on display from the special collection libraries of The Claremont Colleges, University of Southern California, University of California, Los Angeles, California State University, Dominguez Hills and the Los Angeles Public Library.

Recognized as one of the world's pre-eminent exhibitions of antiquarian books, this eagerly anticipated bi-annual fair gives visitors the opportunity to see, learn about and purchase the finest in rare books, manuscripts, autographs, maps, fine prints, photographs and more. 

Featuring more than 150 booksellers from the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA) and International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB), the Book Fair presents volumes from six centuries of printing, as well as original manuscripts that predate Gutenberg. Books cover every imaginable area -- from the history of travel and exploration to early science and medicine to classic literature, modern first editions and children's and illustrated books. Prices range from just a few dollars to six figures.

"As we look ahead to the important role women will play in the 2020 election, it is particularly relevant to shine a light on the long struggle for women to secure the right to vote,” said Jennifer Johnson, Book Fair Committee Chair. "Through the writings of leaders of the movement such as Susan B. Anthony, graphics and imagery designed to advance the cause, and archival news coverage from the Los Angeles Times, the Votes for Women exhibit paints a fascinating portrait of this revolutionary crusade for social change. For those who want to go home with a piece of women’s history, many of the exhibiting booksellers will also be showcasing items with significance to women’s suffrage and the ongoing fight for equal rights.”

This weekend extravaganza of rare and beautiful books will also include a special tribute marking the 100th birthday of legendary author Ray Bradbury, a panel discussion related to the Votes for Women exhibit, and seminars on various aspects of book collecting. Discovery Day on Sunday lets attendees present three items to experts for free evaluation. Designed with the budding collector in mind, Book Fair Finds is a program in which dealers spotlight collectibles priced at $100 or less.

The Book Fair takes place at the Pasadena Convention Center at 300 East Green Street, Pasadena, CA. Tickets on Friday, February 7 are $25 for three-day admission. Proceeds from Friday tickets benefit Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Tickets on Saturday or Sunday are $15 and permit return entry to fair. Book Fair tickets also offer a $5 discount into the Huntington Library during February 2020.

For more information, visit or call 800-454-6401.