Auctions | April 30, 2020
Courtesy of Holabird Americana

Reno, NV – A massive collection of circus side show original photographs and ephemera – around 50,000 pieces in all and spanning over a century, from 1850-1960 – sold for $37,500 at a four-day, online-only Big Tent Auction held April 16th-19th by Holabird Western Americana Collections, LLC. The auction was packed with around 3,200 lots in many collecting categories.

The John Reynolds circus side show collection was the sale’s top lot and had three main parts:

•    The midget collection, nearly 3,000 pieces, a photographic history of how PT Barnum got the world to love midgets like the world-famous Nicu de Barcsy and Tom Thumb, and how circus and entertainment entities promoted the odd and curious to the world.
•    The circus freaks side show collection, about 2,000 pieces, including cartes de visite of every sort of human disfigurement (circa 1860s-1870s), cabinet cards (circa 1880s-1900), real photo post cards, a Fat Lady collection (200 pieces), handbills, signed photos, more.
•    The circus collection, including Ringling calendars, broadsides, tickets, promo material, circus programs from the 1940s, and a notebook of historical circus collectibles including many of the colorful letterheads of various circuses from the first half of the 20th century.

The auction was led by Part 2 of the John Reynolds collections. His circus side show collection was just for starters. They also featured California tokens, medals and shell cards, as well as his fabulous aviation mail (and California) postal history collection of more than 10,000 covers, plus his Pioneer postcard collection. The collections contributed to a highly successful online auction.

“This may have been a record-setting auction,” remarked Fred Holabird, president and owner of Holabird Western Americana Collections. “Over time, we have mined many statistical patterns associated with collector interests, bidding practices and Internet visibility. We used this data to guide our marketing for this sale, and it was a near absolute success. The numbers bore this out.”

Holabird likened the auction room to “a war room,” commenting, “With no live bidding in our gallery because of COVID-19, the room contained a complex array of computers and operators, with all phone participation handled by Zoom and our employees working remotely from home around the country. This high-tech approach to the business may well be the wave of the future.”

Following are additional highlights from the auction, which attracted more than 6,000 registered bidders, with just under 600 successful winning bidders and over 550 people participating online live over the course of the four days (with a high of just under 1,000 people online live at a time). The sale had less than ten lots reserved. All prices quoted are inclusive of the buyer’s premium.

Day 1 featured 754 lots of Native Americana, general America, art and books. The circus side show collection was offered on Day 1, as was the sale’s runner-up top lot: a 1901 wanted poster issued by The Pinkerton Detective Agency for the capture of Harvey Logan, alias Kid Curry, a member of Butch Cassidy’s famous ‘Hole-in-the-Wall Gang’ ($8,437). The reward was $5,000.

Other Day 1 highlights included a pastel on paper painting of a reptilian alien swallowing a phoenix by the noted Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo (1889-1991), signed and framed ($4,250); and a desert landscape oil on canvas painted circa the 1950s by Reno, Nevada artist George Carter, with an image area of 26 inches by 36 inches, larger when including the frame ($812).

Day 2 was just as busy, with 753 lots of mining equipment, minerals, mining artifacts and ephemera, stocks and bonds in multiple categories (to include mining and railroad), sports, militaria and firearms and weaponry. A top lot was the gold and quartz specimen, a native gold in quartz matrix with 0.75 percent gold content weighing 5.03 troy ounces that made $7,320.

Also sold on Day 2 was a stock certificate from 1924 for the Mt. Tamalpais and Muir Woods Railway, “the Crookedest Railroad in the World,” a scenic tourist railway operating between Mill Valley and the east peak of Mount Tamalpais in Marin County, California ($1,562). The certificate, in the amount of 100 shares, was signed by the company’s president and secretary.

Day 2 also featured an historic pair of telegrams from then-President Teddy Roosevelt to Nevada Governor John Sparks, dated Dec. 4 and 5, 1907, regarding Sparks’s request that federal troops be sent to mediate a labor dispute in Goldfield ($1,437); and a stock certificate for the Washoe Gold & Silver Mining Company in Comstock, Silver City, Nevada, dated Aug. 17, 1861 in the amount of ten shares, issued to Nathaniel Page, signed by the president and secretary ($1,000).

Day 3 consisted of 764 lots of philatelic and postal history collectibles, to include ephemera, first day and commemorative, first flight, airships, philatelic covers and postcards. Top lots included a 1905 cover addressed to a party in Guadalajara, Mexico, in very nice condition ($1,625); and a scarce, straight line cover from Carson City in the Utah Territory, dated July 21, 1861 ($1,000).

Day 4 also topped the 750-lot mark, with categories that included tokens, numismatics, cowboy and Western, and bargains and dealer specials in multiple categories. Coin lovers were drawn to lot 4270 – a nicely organized hoard of Indian head pennies covering the years 1858-1909, about 1,450 pieces total, all sorted ($2,625). It was a wide variety archive, with most coins post-1880.

Also sold on Day 4 was an advertising mirror for The Owl in Mojave, Calif. (“Best Brands of Liquors and Cigars Only / John Cross, Prop.), from the John Reynolds collections ($1,375); and the only known token for John Oliver in Llanada, Calif., near Panoche  (“Good For 1 Drink / John Oliver / Llanada / Estate of Germain”), 23 mm wide with a graphic of a pool table ($1,187).

Online bidding was facilitated by the popular platforms,,, and On Day 3, bidders were able to bid on philatelic lots via Phone and absentee bids were also accepted.

Holabird Western Americana Collections is actively seeking quality consignments for future auctions. Of particular interest are numismatics (coins, currency, ingots, tokens), rare postcards, postal history, rare art, rare three-dimensional antiquities (other than furniture), mining artifacts, gold specimens and nuggets, quality railroadiana (passes, stocks, bonds and artifacts), antique bottles, Native Americana, general Americana, cowboy collectibles, jewelry and other items.

To consign a single piece or a collection, you may call Fred Holabird at 775-851-1859 or 844-492-2766; or, you can send an e-mail to To learn more about Holabird Western Americana Collections, LLC, please visit Updates are posted often.

News | April 29, 2020
Courtesy of the Wolfson Foundation

London — The shortlist for the Wolfson History Prize 2020, the most valuable non-fiction writing prize in the UK, has been announced today, recognising the best factual history writing from the past year.
This year’s shortlist has a distinctly global focus, with five of the six titles exploring non-British history. International topics covered in the shortlist range from a human history of the oceans, to an  exploration of Chaucer’s relationship with Europe, to a history of West Africa from the rise of the slave trade to the age of revolution, to looking at Anglo-Indian relations through the untold history of the first All India cricket team, to a seminal study of the impact of the Bible on world religions and cultures. Meanwhile, the only exclusively British history on the 2020 shortlist sheds light on the untold lives of the women killed by Jack the Ripper.
The shortlist announcement comes as historical non-fiction sees a 14 per cent uplift in sales over the past five years, with World History experiencing phenomenal growth in the UK, with a 92 per cent increase in book sales since 2015, according to new data from Nielsen Book.
The books shortlisted for the Wolfson History Prize 2020 are:
·       The Boundless Sea: A Human History of the Oceans (Allen Lane) by David Abulafia
·       A History of the Bible: The Book and Its Faiths (Allen Lane) by John Barton
·       A Fistful of Shells: West Africa from the Rise of the Slave Trade to the Age of Revolution (Allen Lane) by Toby Green
·       Cricket Country: An Indian Odyssey in the Age of Empire (Oxford University Press) by Prashant Kidambi
·       The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper (Doubleday) by Hallie Rubenhold
·       Chaucer: A European Life (Princeton University Press) by Marion Turner
Chair of the judges and President of the British Academy, David Cannadine, said of the shortlist: “This year’s shortlist has a decidedly global theme. The list is a demonstration of the range and quality of history writing in the UK today, both within and without academia. These are books that engross, challenge and delight - and which draw the readers into worlds as diverse as Indian cricket, Victorian London and the kingdoms of West Africa. I am very grateful to my fellow judges for their time and wisdom, and it is with great enthusiasm that we announce the shortlist for 2020.”
Paul Ramsbottom, chief executive of the Wolfson Foundation, which awards the Prize, commented, “The Wolfson History Prize is awarded by the Wolfson Foundation as an expression of the importance of history to the life of the country. The Prize recognises books that brim with brilliance and that break new ground in our understanding of past societies across the globe. These are books which are compellingly written to appeal to all.
We are living in a strange and unsettling moment, but the value of books and reading is perhaps emphasised as never before during lockdown - when many of us are looking for distraction, entertainment and education.”
The shortlist demonstrates the incredible breadth and scale which can be found in historical writing, with titles examining centuries or millennia of human history appearing next to intimate explorations of individual lives and short periods of time which nevertheless had a profound impact on wider history.
Several of the shortlisted titles examine long swathes of history, putting in focus not only the impact of events on society, but also how these histories are then remembered later on. The Boundless Sea: A Human History of the Oceans by David Abulafia is an exploration of the relationship between mankind and the seas throughout history, tracing our interaction with the oceans from the Polynesians of the Pacific, one of the earliest seafaring societies, to now. In A History of the Bible: The Book and Its Faiths, John Barton tackles a similarly vast topic, charting the history of the bible from its origins to its interpretations today, examining who its authors were, how its interpretations have evolved over time, and the interplay between religion and text. A Fistful of Shells: West Africa from the Rise of the Slave Trade to the Age of Revolution by Toby Green similarly looks at how history is reinterpreted by later generations, and how this can result in a collective ignorance of entire countries’ pasts. Exploring the history of pre-colonial West Africa, Green dismantles the Western notion that Africa had little history before European colonisation, and reveals the rich and complex history of the region over a thousand years.
Meanwhile, more focused studies of the importance of individuals and specific historical periods which had a significant impact on history include: The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold, a nuanced reframing of the narrative around the infamous Victorian serial killer that shifts the focus to the victims and their lives, providing an insight into the five women whose identities have been largely been obscured by our cultural obsession with the Ripper’s identity. In Chaucer: A European Life, Marion Turner likewise queries how we traditionally view “well-known” historical figures and stories, shining a light on the distinctly European influences that shaped the life and work of The Canterbury Tales author. By following Chaucer’s adventures across Europe, Turner reveals how the “father of English literature” was in fact a cosmopolitan figure influenced heavily by the Continent, casting both his writing and his historical legacy into a new light, while showing that Chaucer’s life and writings have much to teach anyone with an interest in European cultural history. Finally, Prashant Kidambi’s Cricket Country: An Indian Odyssey in the Age of Empire first All India cricket tour of Great Britain and Ireland during the coronation summer of 1911 is a prism through which to explore colonial relations, the last days of the British Empire, and the beginning of Indian nationhood.
The winner of the Wolfson History Prize 2020 will be announced on Monday 15th June 2020 in a virtual ceremony. The winner of the Wolfson History Prize, the most valuable non-fiction writing prize in the UK, will be awarded £40,000, with each of the shortlisted authors receiving £4,000.
The Wolfson History Prize 2020 shortlisted authors will discuss their books and historical writing in a special edition of BBC Radio 3’s Free Thinking on a date to be announced.
The Wolfson History Prize is run and awarded by the Wolfson Foundation, an independent charity that awards grants in the fields of science, health, education, arts & humanities. The Wolfson History Prize 2019 was won by Mary Fulbrook for her exploration of justice in the wake of World War Two, Reckonings: Legacies of Nazi Persecution and the Quest for Justice.

Catalogues | April 29, 2020
Courtesy of Peter Harrington Rare Books

London — An affable if slightly bitter autographed letter from Charles Dickens to the British consul in Boston is among the highlights of Peter Harrington’s new Spring Catalogue, which also contains several rare items of interest including a first edition of The Worst Journey in the World by Apsley Cherry-Garrard; a first edition in English of Camoens’s Os Lusíadas, and a first edition, first issue of accounts of the voyages of HMS Adventure and Beagle by Darwin.

Charles Dickens first visited America on a six-month tour in 1842, partly as he had always admired the country, and also with the intent of publishing his observations. While he was welcomed by local dignitaries and was lined up with an itinerary including a visit to the White House, meetings with various literary and political figures, and numerous banquets, he soon found his literary stardom oppressive, being unable to keep up with the flood of correspondence and overwhelmed by the surge of admirers.

The letter also touches on the issue of international copyright which was the
greatest blight to his trip – Dickens’s critical views on the lack of an international copyright agreement met with widespread condemnation in the American press, and even led to a forged letter attributed to Dickens being published in the New York Tatler, which particularly irritated Dickens. The fascinating letter is, however, very friendly and ends with a comment that he came back to the UK to find that the only change in Britain was an increase in income tax.

The letter is just one of the storied inclusions in Peter Harrington’s Spring Catalogue, which features an eclectic selection of the book dealer’s recent acquisitions and has been curated to appeal to a wide variety of interests – from aviation to fine bindings, children’s books, computing, economics, literature, photography, poetry, polar exploration, private correspondence, Renaissance science, Russian classics, women’s suffrage, and more.

Commenting on the catalogue’s launch, Pom Harrington, owner of Peter Harrington says: “We’ve had a busy few weeks at Peter Harrington, keeping up with the rapid changes that have taken place in the past month and working hard to ensure that we can continue to present a wide range of books to appeal to our loyal customers and ardent collectors of rare books.

“We always try to represent a broad variety, ranging from entry-level first editions aimed at collectors who are just starting to nurture their passion, to highly desirable and incredibly rare finds sought after by seasoned collectors. I’m pleased to say that our Spring Miscellany selection this year represents a very strong offering that we hope will present many hours of enjoyment and discovery for lovers of rare and antiquarian books.”

Other highlights of the Spring Catalogue include:

•    Five volumes that include the first English editions to be illustrated of popular Jane Austen novels including Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion.

•    A hand painted silk handkerchief with original portrait of Josephine Baker. The delightful memento of La Baker, features a nicely executed portrait showing her smiling, wearing earrings and a pearl necklace and sporting her famous Eton crop.

•    First edition, sixth impression, of An Airman's Outings, the highly popular memoir of Alan Bott, a British ace credited with five aerial victories.

•    First trade edition of In Cold Blood, inscribed by the author Truman Capote to his friend Bob Thomas, a veteran Hollywood columnist who began writing for the Associated Press in 1944.

•    Inscribed first edition of Aleksandr Leonidovich Chizhevskii’s “Strukturnyi analiz dvizhushcheisia krovi" (The Structural Analysis of Moving Blood). Chizhevskii opposed the idea that red blood cells move chaotically in the bloodstream, proving that erythrocytes form rings, and the speed of their movement depends on the distance between the rings and the axis of the blood vessel.

•    First edition, limited issue, bound in publisher’s full red morocco and signed by George and Ira Gershwin, DuBose Heyward, and Rouben Mamoulian of Porgy and Bess, the opera in three acts that is considered to be Gershwin’s masterpiece.

•    First UK edition, published simultaneously with the US edition on 1 April 1988, of Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time, one of the most important scientific works of the second half of the 20th century.

•    First English edition of War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, rarely found complete in cloth, with each volume in first impression.

NOTE ON INTERNATIONAL DELIVERY: All items in the catalogue can be viewed and will be available for sale at

While our stores in Mayfair and Chelsea in London are temporarily closed on account of the evolving Covid-19 pandemic, our online store is open and our specialists are available to give consultations by Zoom video chat or FaceTime – buyers can email to set up an appointment, or if they have any other questions. Peter Harrington’s international mail order delivery service is also fully operational and all international online orders are being fulfilled as normal.

Auctions | April 29, 2020
Courtesy of Nate D. Sanders Auctions

Los Angeles – A lot featuring 15 presidents and historical figures, including two autographs by Abraham Lincoln, will be auctioned by Nate D. Sanders Auctions on April 30, 2020. Also being offered at auction are two rare George Washington free frank signatures.  

The lot features: (1-2) two Lincoln signatures, each signed ''Abraham Lincoln'' measuring 6'' x 1.25'' and 4'' x 1.'' (3-5) three signatures by James Madison, each signed ''James Madison,'' measuring 5'' x 2.5'', 5'' x 2'' and 4.75'' x 1.25.'' (6-7) two signatures by James Monroe, each signed ''James Monroe,’’ measuring 5.75'' x 3'' and 5'' x 1.'' (8) Andrew Jackson signature signed ''Andrew Jackson,’’ measuring 6'' x 1.375.'' (9) Martin Van Buren signature signed ''M Van Buren,’’ measuring 5'' x 2.'' (10-11) two signatures by Ulysses S. Grant, each signed ''U.S. Grant,’’ measuring 4'' x 2.5'' and 5'' x 1.5.'' (12-13) two signatures by James Polk, each signed ''James K. Polk,’’ measuring 5.25'' x 2'' and 4.25'' x 1.5.'' (14) Signature by Vice President John Calhoun, signed here ''J.C. Calhoun'' as Secretary of War under James Monroe. Measures 4.625'' x 2.'' (15) Signature by William L. Marcy, signed ''W.L. Marcy'' as Secretary of War under James Polk, measuring 3.5'' x 1.25.'' Bidding for the lot begins at $7,500.

Additional information on the lot can be found at:

George Washington Free Frank Signatures Both George Washington free frank signatures were signed during the Revolutionary War. The earliest one was addressed to Brigadier General Alexander McDougall on September 24, 1777 during Washington's Philadelphia campaign during the Revolutionary War, two days before the British captured Philadelphia. The later document was addressed to Major General Alexander McDougall at West Point, New York. The document is undated, but it was sometime after 1780 when McDougall commanded the Army at West Point after Benedict Arnold's defection. Both Washington documents start at $7,000.

News | April 28, 2020
Courtesy of the Library of Congress

Presidents Andrew Johnson, Chester Arthur and William McKinley are pictured top to bottom.

Washington, D.C. — Presidents Andrew Johnson, Chester Arthur, and William McKinley are pictured top to bottom. Photos from Library of Congress

The papers of Presidents Andrew Johnson, Chester Alan Arthur, and William McKinley have been digitized and are now available online for the first time from the Library of Congress. These papers can be accessed both at the website and on the new LOC Collections mobile app.

The three presidencies represented in these collections all began or ended with the trauma of a presidential assassination. The papers of each president, however, offer different types and levels of documentation as to how each man faced the challenges of his administration and the style in which he governed.

Papers of President Andrew Johnson (1808-1875)
The Johnson collection includes about 40,000 items mostly dating from 1865 to 1869, including correspondence, memoranda, diaries, speeches, courts-martial and amnesty records, financial records, newspaper clippings, scrapbooks and photographs. The collection is online at:

As vice president, Johnson, a native of Tennessee, succeeded to the presidency following the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln in April 1865. Lincoln’s death plunged the country into further turmoil even as the end of the Civil War was within sight. The task of guiding the nation through Reconstruction fell to Johnson as he became the 17th president.

Johnson had been affiliated with the Democratic Party but was added to a unionist presidential ticket with Lincoln, a Republican, in 1864. Ideological and political differences between Johnson and members of the Republican Party became quickly evident as they debated the conditions for Confederate states to rejoin the union as well as the rights and protections of African Americans after emancipation.

The issues of Reconstruction dominated Johnson’s presidency, and his disputes with Congress ultimately led to Johnson’s impeachment in 1868.

Johnson’s perspectives on Reconstruction are particularly well represented in his papers especially in the series containing correspondence, messages, executive documents, and amnesty records.

Papers of President Chester Alan Arthur (1829-1886)
The Arthur collection includes about 4,400 items mostly dating from 1870 to 1888, including correspondence, financial records, scrapbooks and other papers related to Arthur’s presidency. The collection is online at:

Arthur had become vice president as part of a presidential ticket that combined opposite wings of the Republican Party with President James A. Garfield in the election of 1880. A mentally disturbed office seeker, Charles J. Guiteau, assassinated Garfield to install the more patronage-friendly Arthur as president. Garfield survived for 80 days before dying on Sept. 19, 1881. Arthur would become the 21st president.
While many presumed Arthur would follow the path of political cronyism he had displayed as collector of the New York Customs House, he surprised his detractors by serving out his term with competence.

While Arthur ordered that most of his personal papers be burned shortly before his death in 1886, the papers held by the Library offer materials relating to the 1880 presidential election, his presidency, his service as collector of customs for the Port of New York and his work with the New York Republican State Committee. The collection also includes a series of 23 letters written to Arthur between 1881 and 1883 by Julia Sand, who appointed herself as Arthur’s conscience and liberally offered him advice, criticism and praise.

Papers of President William McKinley (1843-1901)
The McKinley collection includes about 131,000 items mostly dating from 1897 to 1901, including correspondence, speeches, scrapbooks and other papers related to McKinley’s presidential administration. The collection is online at:

After serving in the U.S. House of Representatives and as governor of Ohio, McKinley won the presidency in 1896 and became the 25th president. His papers at the Library are especially strong on the predominant issues of the day, such as the presidential elections of 1896 and 1900, the gold standard, tariffs, progressivism, the Spanish-American War, the Philippine-American War and territorial expansion.

Letterpress copybooks capture communications sent on McKinley’s behalf by secretaries John Addison Porter and George B. Cortelyou. McKinley’s own voice can be found in his speeches and messages, while scrapbooks and other papers preserve a record of his administration.

Despite warnings from friends who worried for his safety in unsettled times internationally, McKinley was shot on Sept. 6, 1901, by anarchist Leon Czolgosz at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. McKinley’s papers include documentation of the days until his death on Sept. 14, when Vice President Theodore Roosevelt became the 26th president of the United States.

The Library of Congress holds the papers of 23 presidents. The digitization of these collections is part of a larger effort to make historical materials available online. Other newly digitized collections include newspapers edited by Frederick Douglass, news dispatches of The Associated Press, the papers or records of suffragists Anna E. Dickinson, the Blackwell Family Papers including those of Lucy Stone, and the National American Woman Suffrage Association, President James A. Garfield, the records of landscape architects Olmsted Associates and others. The digitization reflects advancement toward a goal in the Library’s user-centered strategic plan to expand access, making unique collections available when, where and how users need them. Learn more about the Library’s five-year plan at

News | April 27, 2020

New York — To counter the hate that has surfaced against Asian American Pacific Islanders due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) announces the establishment of the MOCA OneWorld COVID-19 Special Collection (“OneWorld Collection”) documenting the proactive steps and incredible acts of generosity and support exhibited by the Chinese in America and the Chinese diaspora during this challenging time.

As MOCA joins alongside AAPI organizations to document all reported acts of discrimination against Asian American Pacific Islanders due to COVID-19, the Museum's OneWorld Collection will document the efforts of those who are raising money, procuring or donating personal protective equipment (PPE), and making efforts to reinforce the importance of one world.

The OneWorld Collection will feature acquisitions of a wide range of artifacts, including but not limited to photographs, letters, articles, journals, messages, notes, certificates, medical records, videos, and oral histories of Chinese Americans during this time. This collection will not only feature stories of community efforts but also highlight experiences of individuals and families during these unprecedented times.

"MOCA stands against racism in the classroom, on the streets, in all places. MOCA knows that the history of racism against Chinese Americans, Japanese Americans, and those mistaken for these groups is largely missing in textbooks. These omissions are unacceptable," said Nancy Yao Maasbach, President of the Museum of Chinese in America. "MOCA works tirelessly to share these painful episodes and document the occurrences, and now through its OneWorld Collection it will celebrate resilience and perseverance."

MOCA is inviting the public to send a write-up and photos to, with the subject line Submission for MOCA OneWorld COVID-19 Special Collection, to share a story that they believe should be recorded and documented. Participants will be asked to tell us how they, their association, or their community group organized to help during the current crisis.

As MOCA's main exhibition space at 215 Centre Street is temporarily closed to encourage social distancing amid COVID-19, the Museum is currently accepting only digital images or scans of artifacts and is asking the public to not send physical artifacts to the Museum at this time. MOCA will accept physical artifacts when such items can be safely added to the MOCA OneWorld COVID-19 Special Collection.

MOCA is eager to share our first two stories from the OneWorld Collection: Joanne Kwong of Pearl River Mart and Martin Lau of Tencent.

Pearl River Mart Uses Sourcing Capability to Give Back
As a family-owned business in New York City's Chinatown since 1971, Joanne Kwong had to temporarily close Pearl River Mart’s three stores, including the MOCA Shop by Pearl River at the Museum. Shortly after, Joanne and her parents-in-law Mr. and Mrs. Chen joined many Asian American community members to tap into their contacts, source masks, and other PPE. Early in the outbreak in NYC, Pearl River Mart made a substantial donation of KN95s to Elmhurst Hospital and then a second donation to Charles B. Wang Community Health Center. Pearl River Mart was supported by fellow NYC small businesses such as Nom Wah, Fat Witch Bakery, and BLACKBARN Shop. Joanne and Pearl River Mart are currently in the process of procuring a larger shipment of 30,000 KN95s.

Martin Lau and Tencent Partner with New England Patriots to Quickly Source and Supply PPE
In a similar spirit, Martin Lau, President of Tencent, organized a 12-member Tencent team to ensure a seamless handoff of PPE to the New England Patriots football team on its brief layover in Shenzhen, China. Assisted by Charlie Baker, Governor of Massachusetts, and Robert Kraft, CEO of the New England Patriots, Martin and Tencent provided 1.2 million N95s for delivery to Boston and New York City. When the New England Patriots were restricted to a quarantine waiver of three hours in Shenzhen, Tencent's crew ensured that all the respirator masks would be ready at the airport, securely passed through customs, and safely guarded prior to the plane's arrival. Martin, a graduate of the University of Michigan and Stanford University, also announced Tencent's US$100 million Global Anti-Pandemic Fund to support international efforts against COVID-19, which would initially focus on the sourcing and donation of medical supplies for hospitals and front-line healthcare workers.

Look for more extraordinary stories from the MOCA OneWorld COVID-19 Special Collection. Stories and photographs should be submitted to

Although MOCA is temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you can still experience the best of our content digitally and online through Digital Tours and Audio Guides, the Oral History Archive featuring video interviews from MOCA's Journey Wall collection, Collections Online with 35,000 digitized images from MOCA's archives, digital learning resources such as our new MOCA Heroes magazines, the My MOCA Story social media video series, MOCA Talks webcasts, and Listen With MOCA, our new website that tells the history of the Chinese in America through music, sound, playlists and virtual cassettes.

For the latest news and updates, go to MOCA’s website at or follow MOCA on Instagram and Twitter at @mocanyc, on Facebook at and on WeChat at MOCANYC_USA.

Auctions | April 27, 2020

John F. Kennedy's uncensored campaign notes, made while suffering from laryngitis, sold for $25,000.

Dallas, TX – A collection of John F. Kennedy’s personal campaign notes and a selection of letters signed by assorted U.S. presidents led the total result for Heritage Auctions’ Historical Manuscripts Auction to $1,164,278 April 22 in Dallas, Texas.

John F. Kennedy Uncensored Campaign Notes Made While Suffering from Laryngitis is a trove of 78 separate pages that sold for $25,000 to lead the sale. On these handwritten pages, the 35th American president addressed a number of topics, including his philosophies, campaign plans and his frustration with asking and answering questions with his staff. He cited specific events, such as his Sept. 12, 1960 speech to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association at the Rice Hotel, a performance that was important to his campaign and is widely considered one of his best speeches. He also alluded to specific people and reveals thoughts about the campaign, such as in his suggestion that it might be better not publicly debate Minnesota Senator Hubert Humphrey, because of the impact laryngitis had had on his voice, and the fact that Humphrey is "pretty good with a crowd.”

“This sale underscored the popularity of presidential manuscripts to collectors,” Heritage Auctions Historical Manuscripts Director Sandra Palomino said. "The demand and the results, especially for the materials written and signed by presidents, underscored their historical significance and their popularity among collectors.”

A pair of letters signed by George Washington sparked competitive bidding. George Washington Letter Signed "Go: Washington" – in which Washington explains to Brigadier General Alexander McDougall his displeasure with the apparent loss of clothing earmarked for troops – sold for $23,750. In George Washington Autograph Letter Signed "Go: Washington", which brought $21,875, Washington encouraged the inclusion of and support for the combat engineers who were the forerunners to what now is the Corps of Engineers.

Two dozen bidders pursued an Abraham Lincoln Autograph Letter Signed "A. Lincoln" to drive its final price to $20,000, against a pre-auction estimate of $12,000. The letter, written to Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy, Lincoln addresses how to proceed with resignations for those who wish to withdraw their resignation applications.

A John F. Kennedy Typed Letter of Condolence Signed "John Kennedy" more than tripled its pre-auction estimate when it finished at $20,000. The letter is addressed to Mrs. Rudolph Anderson, Jr., whose husband was killed while on an operational flight Oct. 27, 1962, when his U-2 spy plane was shot down while on a reconnaissance mission over Cuba.

Other top lots included, but were not limited to:
Benjamin Franklin Pay Document Signed "B Franklin Presidt": $18,750
John Hancock Autograph Letter Signed " John Hancock": $18,125
Meriwether Lewis Autograph Letter Signed "Meriwether Lewis": $18,125
Mahatma Gandhi Autograph Letter Signed "Bapu": $15,000
John Adams Autograph Letter Signed " John Adams": $15,000
Fuller Supreme Court Photograph Signed By All Nine Justices: $15,000

The sale also included nine lots from renowned physicist Albert Einstein, including but not limited to:
Albert Einstein Unsigned Handwritten Calculations: $13,750
Albert Einstein Autograph Letter Signed "A.E.": $13,125
Albert Einstein Typed Letter Signed "A. Einstein.": $12,500

Heritage Auctions’ next Historical Manuscripts Auction will be Oct. 21.

Auctions | April 27, 2020
Courtesy of Bubb Kuyper

An important collection of mathematical texts by Gerard Kinckhuysen. Estimate: €9,000-11,000.

Haarlem, The Netherlands — We are pleased to announce that the catalogue of our coming auction of 26-29 May is available online on our website It will be updated regularly, with extra photographs. The auction catalogues can also be viewed as pdf on our Homepage
The sale of 6473 lots comprises a broad array of subjects, i.a.
● a library on Medieval manuscripts (incl. facsimile editions)
● books from the library of Bram de Does
● Russian (avant-garde) books and periodicals
● a collection of fine printing and illustrated books
● botany (incl. a large collection of nursery catalogues), gardens and gardening, husbandry - the Collection of Jan Meemelink (part 2)
● natural history, i.a. books on horses and horsemanship and hunting
● manuscripts and autographs, i.a. a 15th century Dutch Book of hours, an important collection of mathematical texts by Gerard Kinckhuysen, a collection autographs by composers and musicians
● a large collection of old and rare books, incl. bindings, classical antiquity, emblemata, popular literature, travels, topography, theatre
● modern art, i.a. by Marlene Dumas, M.C. Escher, S. Jessurun de Mesquita, Lou Loeber, Karel Maes, Enzo Mari, Jozef Peeters, Antonio Saura, Jan Schoonhoven, Zao Wou-Ki etc.
● a large private collection of (19th century) photographs (part 3)
● a fine collection of drawings and watercolours
● a large section of old master prints, i.a. after P. Bruegel the elder, by P. Galle, W. Hollar, L. van Leyden, C. Lorrain, J. Matham, R. Nooms, C. de Passe, Rembrandt, J. Stradanus, A. Tempesta, J. van de Velde II etc. etc.
● children s books, Japanese prints, posters, popular prints, optical prints, maps and plans etc. etc.
Due to the regulations concerning the spread of the COVID-19 virus there will be NO VIEWING DAYS, and LIVE BIDDING IN OUR AUCTION ROOMS will NOT be possible. We will gladly supply any information requested concerning our lots by email (including photographs).
ABSENTEE BIDS. Participating in the auction is possible with written bids sent through our online catalogue or sent directly to us by email, or through (all without extra charges).

LIVE ONLINE BIDDING including the option of online absentee ("safe") bids are possible on  (when successful both charged with 5% extra over the hammer price).
Collecting of purchases BY APPOINTMENT ONLY (on the days of the auction it will NOT be possible to collect any purchases!).

Auctions | April 24, 2020
Courtesy of Potter & Potter Auctions

A first edition of Fleming's Casino Royale, published in 1953 by Jonathan Cape of London, reached $22,800.

Chicago, IL — Potter & Potter Auctions' Fine Books and Manuscripts Sale event, streamed live from the auction gallery and conducted entirely online and through telephone bidding, was a dramatic success, exceeding its high estimate by almost 20%. After the hammer fell silent, 61 lots realized $750-1,999; 27 lots made $2,000-4,999; and 7 lots broke the $5,000 barrier. Prices noted include the company's 20% buyer's premium.

Remarkable first edition James Bond spy novels by Ian Fleming took many of the top slots in this exciting sale - with some soaring wildly above their pre-auction estimates.

•    Lot #1, a first edition of Fleming's Casino Royale, published in 1953 by Jonathan Cape of London, was estimated at $8,000-12,000 and delivered $22,800. One of 4,728 printed, this copy retained its original first issue dust jacket and was housed in a matching custom cloth clamshell case, stamped in gilt and with red heart-shaped morocco inlays.  
•    Lot #35, a first edition, first printing copy of Fleming's 1963 Thrilling Cities, traded hands at $6,600. It was published in London by Jonathan Cape, and was inscribed and signed on the title page to Fleming’s personal friend and American spy, David Bruce: “Dave/To keep your mind/off your work!/Ian”.  
•    Lot #17, a first edition, first printing copy of Fleming's 1954 Live and Let Die was estimated at $1,000-1,400 and made $4,320. Also published in London by Jonathan Cape, this example included its first issue, second state unclipped dust jacket with credit to Kenneth Lewis and the author overprinted on the front flap.

Rare first editions, some hand-signed by the authors or illustrators, also delivered very impressive results at this this signature Potter & Potter event.  

•    Lot #286, George Herman Ruth's Babe Ruth's Own Book of Baseball from 1928 was estimated at $3,000-5,000 and sold for $5,280. This book was limited to 1,000 signed copies; this example was no. 434 and featured the Babe's clean and bold signature on its limitation page.
•    Lot #392, a near fine example of Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, The Astronomer-Poet of Persia…with an accompaniment of drawings by Elihu Vedder, delivered $6,600. This first edition, one of 100 copies published in 1884 in Boston by Houghton Mifflin and Company, was signed by the illustrator on its limitation page. 

•    Lot #314, W.Y. Evans-Wentz's first English edition of The Tibetan Book of the Dead from 1927 was estimated at $200-300 and scored $1,440. This rarity, published by Oxford University Press, featured a photograph frontispiece and was graphically illustrated with intertextual woodcuts and photographic plates.

This sale's offering of multiple volume book sets, works, and collections proved irresistible to bidders.

•    Lot #106, 24 volumes of Robert van Gulik's Chinese Detective Stories or Judge Dee Mysteries sold for $3,600 on its $600-800 presale estimate. This grouping included many UK and US first editions.
•    Lot #312, The Works of Charles Dickens, the Cruikshank Edition, was estimated at $200-300 but turned the page at $1,920. The set, published in Boston by Samuel E. Cassino at the turn of the 19th century, was limited to 500 copies, this set being no. 339.
•    Lot #389, William Hazlitt's four volume The Life of Napoleon Buonaparte realized $1,560 on its $200-300 presale estimated. This second edition, first printing quartet was published in 1852 in London by the Office of the Illustrated London Library.

Fine artwork selections framed this sale for success across multiple categories.

•    Lot #665, Sean Scully's (American/Irish, b. 1945) Heart of Darkness signed portfolio - created exclusively for the classic novella of the same name by Joseph Conrad - was estimated at $4,000-6,000 and sold for $9,000. This complete set of eight signed and numbered color aquatint etchings were produced in a 20 set limited edition; the complete edition had not before now been offered at auction.
•    Lot #666, a 25 ½” tall polystyrene on wood sculpture, by Victor Vasarely (1908–1997) was estimated at $3,000-4,000 and landed at $5,280. Titled MC 146, it was produced in 1974, signed by the artist on the lower front, and numbered 12/50.
•    Lot #652, a signed Théophile Alexandre Steinlen (1859–1923) etching from c.1898 brought $2,640 on its $400-600 preauction estimate. This work was signed in pencil by the artist and depicted a naked woman reading on a couch.
•    Lot #569, a large group of 26 original and signed Howard Finster (American, 1916–2001) limited serigraphs more than tripled their high estimate, selling at $4,080.

This successful sale closed the loop with outstanding selections of postcards, ephemera, antiques, and other rarities that bridged standard collecting categories.   

•    Lot #466, a 17th century book on eye disease by the father of modern ophthalmology Georg Bartisch (1535–1606) was estimated at $1,000-2,000 and came into focus at $4,320. This example was the last edition of the first systematic work on eye diseases and ophthalmic surgery and one of the earliest works to be published in the vernacular rather than the traditional Greek or Latin.
•    Lot #681, a collection of 120+ Playboy magazines from the 1950s and 1960s sold for $3,120 on its $300-500 estimate. This grouping included many desirable issues from 1954-1957 including the October and November issues of 1954.
•    Lot #285, a Babe Ruth real photo postcard from 1928 was estimated at $100-200 and rounded the bases at $2,400. It depicted the Babe leaning up against a car at Athletic Field in Kingston, New York.

According to Gabe Fajuri, President at Potter & Potter Auctions, "To say that we were heartened by the results of our book auction would be an understatement. Nine hours of competitive bidding demonstrated the voracious appetites of collectors, institutions, and dealers alike. I credit our book specialist, Chris Brink, for gathering together robust selections in a wide range of categories, from bindings, to Bond, to fine art, with the results being exceptional across the board. A 97% sell-through rate added the cherry on top of the sundae."

Book Fairs | April 24, 2020
Courtesy of Cascade Booksellers Association

Even though we have had to cancel the 2020 Rose City Book & Paper Fair scheduled for June 12-13 in Portland, Oregon, we are still going to have a book fair! The inaugural Rose City Virtual Book Fair will take place during the same weekend the fair was originally scheduled. We are very happy about this exciting new opportunity.
Rose City Virtual Book & Paper Fair
June 11-14, 2020
Special preview day: June 11 for $10
Regular fair days: June 12-14 free and open to all
Details at
There are already lots of ways to buy books online. The Rose City Virtual Book Fair is an experience, not a website. It will be a fun and dynamic event, offering an opportunity to visit and explore, browse, chat, connect, buy, collect…
The book fair will be hosted at our website, Once the fair opens to the public, there will be a portal to the virtual book fair on the website leading to pages of images that link to our individual exhibitor’s experiences, or “virtual booths.” They will be offering a wide variety of the best in used, rare and collectible books, paper ephemera, prints, postcards, maps and more using a variety of social media, websites and electronic catalogs. Check the website for more information, and we will update with participating exhibitors as they register.
The fair opens to the public on Friday, June 12 at 9:00 AM PST and runs continuously until 6:00 PM PST on June 14. There will be a one-day advance preview and early opportunity to shop starting at 10:00 AM PST on June 11. Tickets for the advance preview are $10 and are available for sale now on our website.
All of our exhibitors are operating small and independent businesses. These are unprecedented times, and many of our exhibitors have been impacted by the closures and business restrictions necessary in this time of COVID 19. The Rose City Virtual Book Fair is an innovative approach to the crisis and creates a safe opportunity for our booksellers to reach and engage with buyers and collectors in a dynamic way.