Auctions | September 23, 2013

Guernsey’s Auction House Presents “The Harrisburg Collection, Part II”

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania—On October 8 and 9, Guernsey’s Auction House will conduct Part II of the Harrisburg Auction on behalf of the City of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Part I of this auction was held from July 15 through July 21 of this year, where thousands of registered bidders from around the world bid on nearly 10,000 artifacts (4,000 lots), the majority of which focused on the Old West. As massive as that event was, it wasn’t large enough to contain the complete Harrisburg Collection; therefore Guernsey’s Auction House will host Harrisburg, Part II.

On October 8 & 9, Guernsey’s will be selling an additional 1,000 unreserved lots of rare documents, historic correspondence, printed material, exceptional photographs, maps, rare books and related items. Like the first Auction, roughly 70% of the items pertain to the Old West with the balance relating to American history... from the Revolutionary War to mid-Twentieth Century politics.

Beginning in the 1980’s the then Mayor of Harrisburg, Stephen R. Reed, had a vision of a city filled with museums. He reasoned that not only would such a place be culturally stimulating, but it would also bring a massive number of tourists to a city that even then was experiencing financial woes. Although there are varying opinions as to the manner in which the Mayor executed his plan, the fact remains that he spent many millions of dollars of public money to acquire historic artifacts to fill the museums he expected would be built.

One of the institutions he envisioned was indeed built. Today, the handsome National Civil War Museum stands as a testament to his efforts. On the other hand, the other museums that were on the drawing board never were erected; and the thousands of items he acquired to fill those exhibition halls have now languished for years in Harrisburg’s storage facilities. In July, within an open-sided pavilion on beautiful City Island in the middle of the Susquehanna River opposite Harrisburg’s historic district, the first part of the massive Collection was sold. Now Guernsey’s prepares of the second part of the Harrisburg auction.

Interested parties can participate in Harrisburg, Part II on or, or by telephone any time prior to the event. The complete auction catalogue can be found on both of the bidding sites listed above starting a few weeks before the October auction. A sampling of the auction items will soon be posted on this website. For additional information, interested collectors and fans are urged to contact Guernsey’s in New York City 212-794-2280.