Rare Artifacts from the Great Fire of Chicago at Auction

Newspaper copy.jpgOn the weekend of October 7-8, 1871, fire ripped through downtown Chicago, Illinois, destroying thousands of blocks, killing upwards of 300 people and leaving nearly 100,000 residents homeless.  Artifacts from the fire are incredibly rare, especially printed materials. On Saturday, July 8, Potter and Potter Auctions will be offering two of the rarest items to survive from the fire, specifically a near fine copy of the only newspaper printed in Chicago during the fire and a rare broadside, issued by mayor Roswell B. Mason, turning over control of the city to General Sheridan.

The Chicago Post Extra! newspaper page, dated October 9, 1871, bears headlines such as “Chicago on Fire!”, “The Fire Fiend Rampant”, and “An Area of 700 Acres Completely Devastated!”. Only two copies are known, one at the Newberry Library and the other at the Chicago History Museum. The broadside is even rarer, with only one copy located at the Newberry Library. Together, they are expected to sell over $10,000. Two large wall maps showing real estate from the turn of the century round out the Chicago offerings.

The items are among an impressive collection of rare books, autographs and historic ephemera being offered for sale on Saturday, including Walter Gibson’s own full run of The Shadow, a strong session of beat literature, a copy of Andy Warhol’s Index Book signed five times, a number of presidential signed items, numerous French exhibition posters from the 1950s-60s and a rare engraving of The Declaration of Independence.

For more information, contact Potter & Potter Auctions, Inc., at 773-472-1442 or info@potterauctions.com. The sale will take place live at 10am on Saturday, July 8, at 3759 N Ravenswood Ave, Chicago. Bidding is also available online on Live Auctioneers, Bidsquare and Invaluable.

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