Press Releases

Campaign Poster Leads Heritage Auctions’ Lincoln Specialty Sale

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

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Salinger, Fleming, Hemingway, and More at University Archives’ Dec. 4 Online Auction

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 LiveAuctioneers.com, Invaluable.com and Auctionzip.com. 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 www.UniversityArchives.com.

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 john@universityarchives.com.

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 www.universityarchives.com. For phone bidding, please call 203-454-0111.

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Alphonse Mucha Graphics from Collection of Hallmark Cards Master Artist at Auction

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 Dirk@SoulisAuctions.com.

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Honoring the Centennial of Women’s Suffrage at the 53rd CA Antiquarian Book Fair

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 cabookfair.com or call 800-454-6401.

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One of the World’s Largest Movie Poster Collections Showcased in New Book

Chicago — This fall, Assouline Publishing releases a new book that highlights one of the largest and most comprehensive movie poster collections ever privately assembled. Cinema on Paper: The Graphic Genius of Movie Posters marks the first time that the collection of Dwight M. Cleveland—widely recognized as one of the world’s most significant private holdings of movie posters, spanning more than a century of film history—has ever been the focus of a major monographic book publication. The release of Cinema on Paper follows the recent opening of a widely acclaimed exhibition of the collection at the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, Florida. 

Courtesy of Assouline

A real estate developer and historic preservationist based in Chicago, Dwight Cleveland has been collecting movie posters for more than forty years—during which he assembled what is believed to be the largest privately held and fully curated film poster archive in history, comprising more than 45,000 works. After deaccessioning this archive in 2016, Cleveland now retains personal holdings of approximately 4,750 posters, lobby cards, and “coming attraction” glass slides, the vast majority of which are unique or one of just a few works from across the scope of film history. Together with the collection’s recent showcase at the Norton Museum, the publication of Cinema on Paper offers an unprecedented look at some of the most visually engaging and historically significant works from these holdings, providing an opportunity to reconsider these promotional objects as a popular art form unto themselves—one that distinctively tracks the cultural, historical, and artistic developments of the twentieth century.

The first book ever released by Assouline to focus on film posters, Cinema on Paper includes a foreword by Turner Classic Movies Primetime Host Ben Mankiewicz (grandson of Citizen Kane screenwriter Joseph Mankiewicz), as well as an introduction by former New York Times Book Review Editor and noted design scholar Steven Heller. Mankiewicz’s essay notes that “[m]ovie posters represent what is perhaps the purest collision of art and commerce ... they are imbued with optimism and filled with the escapist thrill of what we imagine the screen holds in store for us: romance, adventure, laughter, betrayal, tragedy, justice, redemption, truth.”

The publication reproduces more than one hundred works from Cleveland’s collection, including promotions for such iconic Hollywood classics as King Kong, Casablanca, The Godfather, and 2001: A Space Odyssey, as well as more obscure works such as the 1958 teen exploitation film High School Hellcats. Several of the American movie posters featured in the book appear alongside European or Asian editions advertising the same film, highlighting the collection’s geographic breadth and inviting readers to reflect on diverse visual approaches to movie marketing across cultural contexts. As mass- produced objects of popular art drawn from nearly every decade of the twentieth century, each poster in the collection provides a distinctive snapshot of the historical and social conditions from which it originated.

The works featured in Cinema on Paper encompass nearly one hundred years of film distribution, from posters featured in 1910s Paris through the release of the American independent film Secretary in 2002. The book includes several works that are believed to be the only extant copies in existence, including a large-scale German-language advertisement for the Oscar-winning film Grand Hotel (1932); a title card from the late silent-era classic Manhattan Cocktail (1928), directed by Dorothy Arzner; a lobby card from Hallelujah! (1929), the first African American film released by a major studio; and a lobby-card portrait of a reclining Nazimova from Oscar Wilde's scandalous Salomé (1922), which was made byan exclusively gay and lesbian cast and crew. These images are accompanied by contextual annotations that invite readers to evaluate them not as promotional objects but as freestanding works of graphic art.

“Though movie posters may serve a commercial purpose, I firmly believe that they deserve to be studied, experienced, and celebrated as an art form in their own right—at their best distilling the very soul of the movies they promote into a single, indelible image,” said Cleveland. “I hope that by making my collection accessible to a wider audience through this book and exhibition— both exceptionally well assembled by my partners at Assouline and the Norton, respectively— that I can inspire others to look more deeply at what might seem like disposable advertising products and recognize them instead as a distinguished form of popular art.”

Heritage Auctions and hobbyDB to Launch Collecting Database

Dallas, TX – Heritage Auctions, the world’s largest collectibles auctioneer is helping collector site hobbyDB document and provide values for every collector.

Designed to become the ultimate crowd-sourced database for collecting, hobbyDB offers the ability to research, track, value, buy and sell collectible objects. Collectors from around the world already come to hobbyDB to research and acquire everything from Golden Age comics to Porsche posters to Tiffany Glass and beyond.
 
Now, to the delight of hobbyDB’s millions of visitors, the hobbyDB database will be boosted by more than 5 million past lots previously sold at Heritage Auctions.
 
“As a collector myself, I believe that hobbyDB could be exactly what the collectibles world needs,” said Heritage Auctions Co-Chairman Jim Halperin. “We’re delighted to support their ambitious goal to eventually index and document 100 billion collectibles in the most accessible way.”
 
Since launching in 2014, hobbyDB has become home to more than 605,000 collectors, growing its user base 94 percent in the last 12 months alone. hobbyDB’s combined collections now have a total value of $624 million, and will increase roughly tenfold with the gradual addition of Heritage’s archive.
 
“Heritage Auctions is No. 1 for many areas of collectibles, so we are very excited about this alliance,” commented hobbyDB CEO Christian Braun, “We know that by working together, we’ll be able to bring their data to the widest possible audience and get even closer to becoming the ultimate resource for collectors worldwide.”

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Charlotte Brontë’s ‘Little Book’ Will Return Home to Haworth

Courtesy of the Brontë Society

An autograph manuscript signed Charlotte Brontë, one of six 'little books' created by the Brontë siblings, will return to the Parsonage.

Haworth, West Yorkshire, England — The Brontë Society in Haworth has been successful in its bid to bring back home to where it was written one of Charlotte Brontë’s rare ‘little books’. The charity has purchased the book for €600,000 plus auction costs following a four week campaign that gathered support from across the world and the backing of many of today’s leading creative thinkers and performers.
 
The incredibly rare title went under the hammer at the Drouot auction house in Paris and was expected to fetch between €600,000 – 800,000. The manuscript will complete the collection already held at the Brontës’ former family home, now a museum. This is the fifth in the series of six ‘little books’ entitled ‘The Young Men’s Magazines’. Measuring just 35 x 61mm this tiny tome will join numbers 1,3,4 and 6 in the Museum’s collection; the location of number 2 has been unknown since around 1930.
 
The Brontë Society was able to acquire the manuscript thanks to a generous grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF), the UK’s fund to help save treasures from being lost forever, and support from The John R Murray Charitable Trust, The Pilgrim Trust, Friends of the National Libraries, The Aurelius Charitable Trust, R E Chadwick Charitable Trust, The Kenneth Hargreaves Trust, The Gordon Black Trust and Maggs Bros. In addition the Society raised over £85k with over 1,000 supporters through the charity’s first ever public Crowdfunder campaign.
 
This is the second time that The Society has attempted to return the ‘little book’ to Haworth where its journey began. In 2011, when the book was last auctioned, the Society was outbid by a now non-operational investment scheme.
 
Kitty Wright, Executive Director of The Brontë Society, commented: “We were determined to do everything we could to bring back this extraordinary ‘little book’ to the Brontë Parsonage Museum and now can’t quite believe that it will in fact be coming home to where it was written 189 years ago. We have been truly overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from people from all over the world backing our campaign and can’t wait to have it in place with the others and on public view to the world.”
 
Ann Dinsdale, Principal Curator at the Brontë Parsonage Museum, adds: “That this unique manuscript will be back in Haworth is an absolute highlight of my 30 years working at the Museum. Charlotte wrote this miniscule magazine for the toy soldiers she and her siblings played with and as we walk through the same rooms they did, it seems immensely fitting that it is coming home and we would like to say an enormous thank you to everyone who made it possible.”
 
The exceptional, unpublished manuscript was written by Charlotte when she was just 14 years old and features three intricately hand-written stories: ‘A letter from Lord Charles Wellesley’, ‘The Midnight Song’ and ‘Journal of a Frenchman [continued]’.  The inspirational book is also viewed as an insight into the young writer and includes a scene describing a murderer driven to madness, a theme familiar to fans of her most well-known work, ‘Jane Eyre’.
 
To keep updated on when the ‘little book’ will be on display, visit www.brontë.org.uk

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Huntington Acquires Two Major Collections of Slavery and Abolition Materials

Courtesy of The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens

Zachariah Taylor Shugart's account book (1851-1853) listing enslaved people he helped usher to freedom, page 96-97.

San Marino, CA — The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens announced today that it has acquired two collections related to abolition and slavery in 19th-century America, including an exceptionally rare account book from the Underground Railroad.

The first group of materials includes the papers of Zachariah Taylor Shugart (1805–1881), a Quaker abolitionist who operated an Underground Railroad stop at his farm in Cass County, Michigan. The centerpiece of the collection is an account ledger which contains the names of 137 men and women who passed through Shugart's farm while trying to reach freedom in Canada; these names are recorded amid everyday details of Shugart's business life, including the number of minks he trapped and the debts he was owed.
The second collection is the archive of some 2,000 letters and accounts documenting the history of the Dickinson & Shrewsbury saltworks, a major operation founded in 1808 in what is now Kanawha County, West Virginia. The records shed light on an industry that was not plantation-based but still relied heavily on slave labor.

"These new materials provide compelling windows into the lives of those who were enslaved and those who escaped slavery, and also shed light on the politics of the times before, during, and after the Civil War," said Sandra Ludig Brooke, Avery Director of the Library at The Huntington. "They are a vivid complement to The Huntington's rich collections documenting American slavery, abolitionist movements, and the history of the American South."

The papers of the Dickinson & Shrewsbury saltworks provide insights into the lives of enslaved and free black Virginians, including the family of Booker T. Washington, who later became the president of the Tuskegee Institute (now named Tuskegee University). Many of the papers concern a protracted lawsuit that occurred as the company was dissolved in 1857, underscoring the politics and economics of slavery in the years leading up to the Civil War. The collection includes numerous bills of sale for those who were enslaved, detailed records of auctions, and records of the loans of enslaved men and women to the saltworks.

"These two important acquisitions highlight the complexities of documenting America's history of slavery," said Olga Tsapina, the Norris Foundation Curator of American History at The Huntington.

The papers of the Quaker abolitionist Shugart include an 1864 letter from Shugart's son Joseph, written just two days before Joseph was killed at age 24 at the Battle of Cedar Creek in Virginia. They also include listings of legal expenses likely incurred during lawsuits over the 1847 failed "Kentucky Raid," when slave catchers from Kentucky attempted unsuccessfully to seize runaways hiding on Michigan farms, including Shugart's. Tsapina said those running the Underground Railroad rarely kept records because they knew they were breaking federal law, making Shugart's journal especially valuable to scholars.

The journal lists 137 individuals who were escaping slavery, some with such evocative names as "North Star" or "General W. Hampton," and some denoted only by first name. Some entries include the number of children in the group, sometimes as many as five. Each entry is marked with either "S" or "W," markings that may have indicated a next stop on their northward journey.

Tsapina said the document was comparable to another important Huntington holding, the ledger of abolitionist John Brown. While Brown's account book is not related to the Underground Railroad, it is similar to Shugart's in that it contains historically valuable records of an abolitionist combatting slavery amid mundane accounts and details of daily life. These were products of an era when many people did not have funds to purchase multiple account ledgers.

The two collections, which were purchased recently at auction, are currently being cataloged and will be made available to scholars in the near future. Some materials, including Shugart's ledger, will be digitized. The new collections complement and enlarge The Huntington's large holdings in material about slavery and abolition. These include the immense collection of noted Virginia collector Robert A. Brock, which documents three centuries of the history of the American South.

The purchase of the Dickinson & Shrewsbury materials was made possible by the David Zeidberg Library Acquisitions Fund; the purchase of the Shugart material was made possible by the James & E. McClintock Kirby Acquisition Endowment.

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Science Leads Early Printed Books at Swann

Courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries

Sir Isaac Newton, Opticks, first edition, first issue, London, 1704. Sold for $40,000.

New York — Swann Galleries’ Thursday, October 24 sale of Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books saw a full auction room and active bidding on the internet and phones with particular interest in works by scientists, as well as incunabula, bibles and manuscript publications.

Isaac Newton’s Opticks, 1704, brought $40,000, followed by a 100% sell-through rate for material relating to the acclaimed scientist. Additional highlights included Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica, the third authorized edition and the last edition to appear in the Newton’s lifetime, sold for $9,375, as well as the unauthorized third edition which earned $6,500.

Further science material included a first edition of Galileo’s 1649 dialogue on the Copernican and Ptolemaic systems, establishing the validity of heliocentricity, which brought $16,900; and a second edition Georg Agricola’s De re metallica, 1561, on the first systematic treatise on mining and metallurgy, garnered $10,000.

Incunabula performed well with “one of the best and most comprehensive of the western medieval lapidaries,” Albert Magnus’s De mineralibus, 1491, realizing $17,500, and a 1480-81 illuminated manuscript by Nicolaus Panormitanus de Tudeschis selling for $11,250.

Bibles and religious texts included a Bible in Latin printed in Nuremberg in 1477 that sold for $9,375 and The Holy Byble, conteining the Olde Testament and the Newe, London, 1585, that earned $6,250. Also of note was Niccolò Circignani’s 1585 publication with 31 engraved plates of Christian martyrdom scenes by Giovanni Battista Cavalieri, after frescoes in the church of S. Stefano Rotondo in Rome, which brought $8,125; as well as the last official papal addition to the Corpus juris canonici with Pope Clemens V’s collection of decretals compiled during 1305-14, Constitutiones, Nuremberg, 1482, realizing $6,250.

Among the unique items was an unpublished Spanish manuscript version of Andrea Alciato’s 1531 Emblemata­—the first and most frequently reprinted emblem book. The late sixteenth- to early seventeenth-century Emblemas brought $11,250. Additional manuscript material featured an eighteenth- to early nineteenth-century manuscript cookbook in English that was won by an institution for $6,500.

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

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Original Handwritten Lyrics for Elton John’s Greatest Hits at Bonhams

Courtesy of Bonhams

Original handwritten lyrics for Elton John's hit song, "Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road.” Estimate: $150,000-250,000.

Los Angeles – Bonhams auction of Music Memorabilia will be highlighted by the crown jewels of the Elton John and Bernie Taupin songbook, six original handwritten lyrics for hits such as “Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road”, “Candle in the Wind”, “Bennie and the Jets”, and “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting”. The lyrics, from the Collection of Maxine Taupin, will be offered at Bonhams Los Angeles on December 9. Estimates range from $30,000 to $200,000.

Maxine Taupin – the inspiration for the song “Tiny Dancer” – was married to Bernie Taupin in the 1970’s and became privy to Bernie’s creative writing process. Maxine said: “When Bernie had completed an album's worth of lyrics, we would pay Elton a visit; I was always amazed how prolific they were. When I heard the finished songs, I was instantly transported to that magical place these two creative forces have been taking us all for so many years.”

Highlights in the collection include:
 
    •    Original handwritten lyrics for Elton John's “Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road”, a glam rock ballad about the trappings of fame and the title track of John's 1973 album, "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" (estimate: $150,000-250,000)
 
    •    Original handwritten lyrics for the Elton John song “Candle in the Wind”, written in 1973 and included on the Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road album, a song memorializing the brief, tragic life of Marilyn Monroe (estimate: $150,000-250,000)
 
    •    Original handwritten lyrics of Elton John's “Bennie and the Jets”, the third single from the Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album, and includes a second stanza that did not make it into the final song (estimate: $100,000-150,000)
 
    •    Original handwritten lyrics for Elton John's “Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting”, a raucous rock-n-roll romp whose lyrics celebrate London's brawling pub culture and remains today an anthem of the rock-n-roll thug life (estimate: $100,000-200,000)
 
    •    Original lyrics to the early Elton John hit, “The Border Song,” with annotations by Elton John, a rare example of Bernie and Elton collaborating on lyrics (estimate: $30,000-50,000)
 
    •    Original handwritten lyrics to Elton John’s “Your Song”, Elton’s first monster hit, introducing audiences to his exciting new brand of piano pop, and it remains today one of his most identifiable and best-loved songs (estimate on request)
 
Giles Moon, Bonhams Director of Music & Entertainment Memorabilia, commented: “We are so excited to offer not just one, but six original, handwritten lyrics for some of Elton John’s iconic songs. The lyrics reveals Taupin’s careful wordcraft and his famously inconsistent spelling.”

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