Auctions | June 1, 2016

Lion Heart Autographs Offers Five Centuries of Autographs: Ferdinand & Isabella (1492) to the Present

New York, NY  - (June 1,  2016) - Lion Heart Autographs, for nearly forty years an internationally recognized dealer of autographs and manuscripts focusing on art, history, literature, music, and science, announces its current, extraordinary sale on “Five Centuries of Autographs: Ferdinand & Isabella (1492) to the Present.” In an unprecedented opportunity for collectors and museums, Lion Heart Autographs will offer a piece of the original silver-colored cloth from the fuselage of the Spirit of St. Louis signed by Charles A. Lindbergh, just days after the historic trans-Atlantic solo flight that instantly catapulted the young American pilot to lasting worldwide fame and recognition. The section of cloth, signed “Charles A. Lindbergh,” is of extraordinary rarity because no other examples signed by Lindbergh when he landed in Paris are known. Tens of thousands of spectators waited for “Lucky Lindy” to touch down at Le Bourget airfield outside Paris and as the crowd stormed the plane some tore off pieces as souvenirs. The Spirit of St. Louis was wheeled into a hangar for repairs and over the next several days major portions of the cloth fuselage were replaced. A small triangular piece of fabric was rescued by an anonymous individual connected with the company repairing the aircraft who then obtained the “Lone Eagle’s” signature when he returned to inspect his plane before flying on to Belgium a few days later.

The auction lot includes additional unsigned swatches of fabric and several unpublished photographs of the plane in the hangar that reveal the aircraft’s damage following its historic arrival in Paris on May 21, 1927.  The signed triangle of silver fabric is identified on the back in an unknown hand “Toile de France” (French canvas). A smaller rectangle of similar fabric in unused condition is similarly identified as “Toile Americaine,” and was likely taken from the cloth used to replace the plane’s original fabric-covered fuselage. This amazing artifact is accompanied by unpublished photographs depicting The Spirit of St. Louis cordoned off in the hangar with the plane’s damaged exterior clearly visible. (Estimate: $15/20,000)

Other important historical documents offered in Lion Heart Autographs’ auction, Five Centuries of Autographs: Ferdinand & Isabella (1492) to the Present include a rare handwritten manuscript by Albert Einstein dealing with matter and cosmological structure and containing a variant of the central formula for his theory of general relativity, described by noted Einstein biographer Walter Isaacson, as “The most elegant theory in the history of science.” Einstein’s revolutionary theory brought the physicist international fame and was recently proved correct with last year’s detection of gravitational waves. (Estimate: $60/80,000).

Lion Heart Autographs’ sale, Five Centuries of Autographs: Ferdinand & Isabella (1492) to the Present will include more than 140 items. Other highlights include a 1797 letter by Josephine Bonaparte requesting compensation for a Bolognese farmer whose hemp was confiscated by Napoleon’s army during the first campaign against the Papal States (Estimate: $2500/3500); a handwritten letter by Albert Einstein to his son about Freud and sex while adding that “the relation between gravitation and electricity is now revealed” (Estimate: $18,000/$20,000); an order signed by Catholic monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella punishing adulterous behavior in 1492 and written at the same time as Columbus was exploring the New World, shortly after his discovery of America (Estimate: $10,000/12,000); a card inscribed twice by blind, deaf and mute Helen Keller (Estimate: $150/180); a handwritten Jackie Kennedy letter on her personal Fifth Avenue stationery, sending thanks for a book (Estimate: $400/600); a signed promissory note for Cole Porter’s Brewster Town Cabriolet DeVille, the luxury automobile immortalized in his song “You’re the Top” (Estimate: $300/500); six ink drawings by President Ronald Reagan on a sheet of White House stationery including a horse’s head, a self-portrait as a cowboy and cartoon characters including Fu Manchu and Jiggs (Estimate: $9000/12,000); the earliest known example of a Franklin Roosevelt autograph letter as president to appear at auction written aboard his Campobello Island-bound yacht during his first vacation after taking office (Estimate: $6000/9000); a humorous 1903 autograph letter signed by George Bernard Shaw (Estimate: $2200/2600); an extremely rare customs card issued to a survivor of the Titanic aboard the rescue ship Carpathia (Estimate: $8000/10,000); ten telegrams regarding survivors and casualties of the Titanic, including two from evangelist “Billy” Sunday sent just after the ship’s sinking (Estimate: $3000/5000); and a very impressive calligraphic broadside proclamation signed by President Harry Truman announcing the end of WWII, V-E Day, May 8, 1945 (Estimate: $10,000/12,000).

More items to go under the hammer include an attractive signed sepia portrait photograph of American poet Walt Whitman (Estimate: $3500/4500); a heavily corrected draft fragment of George H.W. Bush’s first news conference after his election as president where he jokes “thanks to Martin Van Buren for paving the way,” (Estimate: $800/1200); a typed Hillary Clinton letter as First Lady on White House stationery to Senator Pat Moynihan discussing the economics of healthcare (Estimate: $400/600); a large and unique portrait inscribed by Italian opera composer Giuseppe Verdi to his publisher Giulio Ricordi (Estimate: $10,000/12,000); an autograph letter by dance pioneer Isadora Duncan written after the tragic drowning deaths of her two children: “I am here in a villa by the sea dying of despair,” (Estimate: $3000/$4000); German  engineer Graf von Zeppelin’s 1903 appeal to the German people to fund future development of his navigable airship (Estimate: $2400/2800); a rare document signed by heroic Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, rescuing  the son of a Jewish-Hungarian industrialist from the Nazis in 1944 (Estimate: $15,000/18,000); a very rare autograph letter signed by Dwight Eisenhower as president on his personal White House stationery (Estimate : $8000/12,000); and a J. Edgar Hoover letter in which the FBI chief discusses the recent manhunt for several notorious  gangsters including “Pretty Boy” Floyd and members of John Dillinger’s gang (Estimate: $600/800).

“I always feel privileged to offer rare, historical documents and autographs, but our upcoming auction in June represents such a broad and even more extraordinary array of items spanning five centuries of historical events and periods that I am simply in awe,” said David Lowenherz, founder and owner of Lion Heart Autographs. “We hope collectors and fans from around the globe share in our excitement as they  peruse artifacts ranging from a document signed by Ferdinand and Isabella in 1492 to a rare landing card issued on board the Carpathia for a survivor from the Titanic. Clearly, here in this auction, there is something for everyone.”

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The auction will take place online, partnering with Boston-based, one of the world’s leading online auction platforms and, both of which offer live, real-time online bidding from around the world. 

Lion Heart Autographs, Inc. is located at 216 East 45th Street, Suite 1100, New York, NY, 10017. Telephone: 212-779-7050; Fax: 212-779-7066; Email:; website: