The incredibly rare signed cabinet photo of Fyodor Dostoevsky is a captivating oval portrait of Dostoevsky taken by Constantin Shapiro. It bears a bold ink inscription on the reverse, addressed to his brother, architect Andrey Dostoevsky. The inscription, dated October 12, 1879, translates to "For my dear brother Andrey from his brother Fyodor." As an extreme rarity, it stands as the first Dostoevsky-signed photograph ever offered. Notably, this particular inscription is absent from the comprehensive 1990 census of Dostoevsky's inscriptions (estimate: $60,000+).
A further highlight is a manuscript on penicillin by Alexander Fleming written just a month before he was awarded the Nobel Prize. This 10-page manuscript, Pacific Broadcast, was used during an interview with Joe Bolton of the Office of War Information for a Voice of America broadcast near the end of World War II. Fleming discusses the discovery and use of penicillin, its limitations, methods of administration, and its effectiveness against various infections. The manuscript, filled with corrections and emendations, provides insights into penicillin's early understanding and practical applications (estimate: $50,000+).
The auction also features:
- letters by Mohandas Gandhi, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Nikola Tesla, John F. Kennedy, and Marilyn Monroe.
- Mary Blair's concept painting for The Song of the South with Br'er Fox leading Br'er Rabbit and Br'er Bear down a fence-lined road surrounded by vibrant flowers in full bloom (estimate: $8,000)
- Eyvind Earle's panoramic concept painting for Sleeping Beauty, created for Walt Disney Studios in 1959, with the film's enchanting castle on a cliff in the distance as seen from a serene forest clearing (estimate: $15,000+)
The Fine Autographs and Artifacts sale by RR Auction concludes on June 14.