gmhgbmgoofcoogjk.jpgNew York—Swann Galleries’ auction of Printed & Manuscript African Americana on Thursday, March 29 sheds light on some of the darker moments in American history and provides crucial context for cultural sea changes, from abolition to the Civil Rights Movement.

Setting the auction apart is a selection of documents concerning named individuals who are too often lost to history. First-person accounts of enslaved people rarely appear on the market because literacy was uncommon in the community. An archive of 1842-45 letters revealing multiple perspectives regarding a single incident includes a letter by Gabriel Johnson, a man enslaved at Mount Vernon, declaring that he would not be whipped by anyone but his own master. It is addressed to John Augustine Washington and is believed to be the only extant letter written from the infamous Bruin’s Slave Jail in Alexandria, VA, and was dictated to Henry P. Hill ($12,000 to $18,000). An 1854 letter by Moses Walker to his mother, enslaved on another plantation, describes his living conditions and the recent birth—and death—of his child; it carries an estimate of $12,000 to $18,000.Also available is an archive of letters, 1791-1800, by members of the Washington Abolition Society concerning the kidnapping of a freed man named John Davis, who was forcibly brought from his adopted home in Pennsylvania to a plantation in Virginia. The case led to the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 ($10,000 to $15,000). The first letter by David Ruggles to come to auction urges the establishment of a Committee of Vigilance in Syracuse, NY to aid fugitives on the Underground Railroad. The organization would contribute to central New York’s role as a major hub on the path to freedom. The 1838 manuscript letter carries an estimate of $6,000 to $9,000.

200 years after his birth, a rich selection of material relating to Frederick Douglass is a testament to his legacy. Six letters by the abolitionist to his friend Ebenezer Bassett during his 1890-91 tenure as consul-general to Haiti, concerning race relations and his fatigue, among other things, are together expected to bring $10,000 to $15,000. Another highlight is a signed cabinet card featuring the photograph used as the frontispiece of his third autobiography, circa 1879 ($10,000 to $15,000). The only known complete copy of the Farewell Song of Frederick Douglass, on Quitting England for America, 1847, by Julia and T. Powis Griffiths, makes its first appearance at auction, with an estimate of $5,000 to $7,500. Also available is an 1848 issue of The North Star ($8,000 to $12,000) and various letters.

Unusual offerings include a pair of patriotic slippers said to be made by legendary seamstress Elizabeth Keckley in 1865 for cabinet member Gideon Welles, carrying an estimate of $10,000 to $15,000.

An autograph letter signed by Malcolm X in 1950 bears one of the earliest examples of his usage of that moniker. Written to Elijah Mohammed of the Nation of Island, the missive reveals his early enthusiasm and curiosity for Islam ($20,000 to $30,000).

Material from the Civil Rights Movement includes a previously unknown poster for an appearance by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Paris while on a fundraising tour for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1966, estimated at $2,500 to $3,500. As the fiftieth anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination on April 4, 1968 approaches, two Memphis Sanitation Worker’s strike placards reading Honor King: End Racism! remain relevant.

A possibly unique album of aerial photographs of the historic march on Montgomery, taken by the Imagery Interpretation Section of the 11th Air Assault Division, the army unit tasked with protecting the marchers, shows final preparations in place the day before the march in addition to images of the marchers ($3,000 to $4,000).

New findings clarify information behind iconic portraits of Black Panther co-founder Huey P. Newton. A poster of the famous image of Newton in a wicker peacock chair is estimated at $4,000 to $6,000—the first signed and inscribed copy ever to come to auction. The date commonly given to the piece, captioned The Racist Dog Policemen Must Withdraw Immediately from our Communities, is 1967 or ‘68; however, another photograph ($500 to $750) of Newton taken in 1967 shows the image behind him, pushing the date of the better-known poster back to 1966-67.

The complete catalogue with bidding information is available at Additional highlights can be found here.

Image: Lot 112: The Racist Dog Policemen Must Withdraw Immediately from our Communities, poster of Huey Newton, signed and inscribed, circa 1967. Estimate $4,000 to $6,000.

March17_01_pics.jpgIthaca, NY—National Book Auctions, located in Ithaca, NY, announces the launch of their next auction catalog.    

This catalog features rare, antique and decorative books as well as select additions of ephemera. Featured is a private collection of rare books by celebrated illustrator, J. J. Lankes, along with original engravings and artwork by Lankes. A varied array of first editions will be offered, along with a sizeable collection of original, vintage technical titles published by NASA.                

Antique and rare books are numerous in this catalog. Among the earliest examples are the 1556 printing of Castigione's "Il Libro del Cortegiano," bound in vellum and featuring woodcut initials, Nifo's 1560 treatise on etiquette, "Il Cortigiano del Sessa," and Tacitus' "Annalium et Historiarum," produced in 1576. Additional rare and antique selections relate to travel & exploration, books-on-books, Civil War, theology, polar exploration, children's, decorative antique sets, Easton Press & Derrydale Press bindings, art history and beyond.                        

Several interesting collections will also be showcased. Highlighted is a fine and diverse selection of first editions by authors such as Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway, Charles Dickens, Vita Sackville-West, Rudyard Kipling, Robert Heinlein, Virginia Woolf, Philip Roth and others. Decorative antique sets present the works of notables including Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Charles Darwin, Sir Walter Scott, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Edgar Allen Poe. Other collections in include NASA publishings relating to extra-terrestrial life, rocket technology, the Mercury and Apollo programs and more, and a nautical history and reference private library.        

Found throughout this catalog are interesting ephemera offerings and many group lots of desirable titles. Featured among the ephemera lots are original engravings and plates by illustrator, J. J. Lankes. Other ephemera lots include early manuscript leaves, a robust antique scrapbook from Goucher College in Baltimore, original 1970's Star Wars trading cards, and more.    

National Book Auctions is a public auction service specializing in books, ephemera, and art. National Book Auctions is a targeted service offering experience and expertise unique to marketing antique and modern books and ephemera for consignors and collectors alike. The upcoming auctions will feature a wide assortment of collectible, signed, and first edition books. For more information, please contact the gallery at 607-269-0101 or email

Seacrest GG copy.jpgDallas, TX - A private collection of rare, first editions offered in Heritage Auctions’ March 7 Rare Books Auction in New York pushed the sale total to more than $2.1 million, nearly doubling the sale’s estimate. The James C. Seacrest Collection, assembled over decades by a Nebraska publisher and philanthropist, sold for a combined $918,196 and claimed nine of the auction’s 10 most expensive lots.

The Seacrest Collection’s Signed and Inscribed Copy of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby sold for $162,500 - a house record for a 1925 first edition. A signed and dated First Edition, Second Issue, of The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, by Charles Dickens, ended at $45,000 and a 1685 compilation of Mr. William Shakespear's Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies also brought $45,000. All proceeds from the Seacrest Collection will be donated to charity, according to a family representative.

“We attracted many new clients in the market for top-quality first editions - particularly those signed or inscribed by literature’s most respected authors,” said James Gannon, Director of Rare Books at Heritage. “The auction price for the inscribed copy of The Great Gatsby now ranks among the highest ever paid for an inscribed first edition.” 

The auction’s biggest sleeper was Seacrest’s copy of Vladimir Nabokov's 1955 First Edition of Lolita, which soared to $32,500 - more than eight times its pre-auction estimate. A scarce, Presentation Copy of The Catcher in the Rye, featuring a rare inscription by reclusive author J. D. Salinger, sold for $27,500.

An extensive offering of signed modern editions included Gone with the Wind, signed by author Margaret Mitchell, which ended at $21,250 and an 1874 first edition of Friedrich Nietzsche's [Untimely Meditations, Part II], which sold for $22,500. A rather extraordinary two-volume first edition of Count Lyof N. Tolstoi’s War and Peace, inscribed by the author and auctioned along with two autographed letters signed by Tolstoy's secretary, one of which states he was successful in getting an inscription from Tolstoy in English, sold for $22,500.

Additional highlights include: 

·         An inscribed, 1939 first edition of Alcoholics Anonymous, by Bill Wilson, sold for $30,000

·         A first edition of Casino Royale, by Ian Fleming, sold for $23,750

·         An 1845 first edition first printing copy of Tales by Edgar Allan Poe, considered by critics as the first important book of detective fiction, sold for $21,250

·         Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, an 1891 first edition signed by the author, sold for $20,000

Sir David Attenborough, the much-loved and admired veteran naturalist and television presenter, is an avid collector of rare books and will be opening the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association (ABA) flagship 61st Fair, which takes place this May in Battersea. For the last 20 years the Fair, which is one of the largest and most prestigious rare book fairs in the world, has taken place at Olympia but this summer it is moving to its new home - the attractive Battersea Evolution venue in Battersea Park. 

As Sir David Attenborough says “You could say that, after so many years at Olympia, the Fair has indeed evolved. Most living organisms do.” 

Sir David Attenborough will open the Fair at 12pm on Thursday 24th May 

The 160 plus British and international exhibitors will be showcasing a wide range of rare books, manuscripts, maps, prints, ephemera and original artwork which will include Medieval museum quality manuscripts to modern day first editions such as Harry Potter. Prices will range from tens of pounds to hundreds of thousands of pounds, and the ABA are sure there will be something which will appeal to everyone from serious collectors to those who are new to book collecting. 

Visitors of all ages, who wish to buy and sell books, are expected to come from all over the British Isles, Europe and the world to visit the three-day long Fair for which admission is free of charge.

Exhibition Highlights 

Some of the exhibition highlights include an original, signed and inscribed illustration by EH Shepard which was first used for AA Milne’s The House at Pooh Corner, a first edition of The Federalist essays by Alexander Hamilton, a collection of theatre designs by Eugene Berman for Don Giovanni performed by the Metropolitan Opera and an inscribed copy of Grace and Favour by Loelia Duchess of Westminster with forward by Noel Coward. 

Sir David Attenborough 

Sir David is an Honorary member of the ABA and as he says in the introduction of this year’s Fair catalogue: 

“For me, a book brings more than the cumulative meaning of its sentences. It can seduce me by the feel of its paper and the smell of its binding. I delight in recognising whether or not the copy I hold was the work’s first appearance and treasure the misprints or bound-in advertisements that tell me whether or not that was so. And I rejoice if I can discover who once owned it and whose eyes once scanned the printed lines just as mine do.” 

Fair Sponsorship - NEW Vintage Corner 

For the second year running AbeBooks will be sponsoring the Fair as well as Vintage Corner which is new for the 2018 Fair. In Vintage Corner visitors can find out what makes a book rare, listen to talks on all aspects of book-collecting, be signposted around the Fair to the subjects of their choice and meet for Guided Tours of the Fair. 

Live Book Craft Demonstrations 

Visitors will also be able to take part in a series of hands-on workshops in fine printing, book binding and calligraphy run by craftspeople, some of which will be suitable for children. 


The Fair is being held at Battersea Evolution, Chelsea Bridge Gate, Battersea Park, London SW11 which is just over Chelsea Bridge in Battersea. 

There will be frequent shuttle buses from Sloane Square tube station and Pay & Display parking in and around Battersea Park. 

Opening Hours 

The Fair will be open on Thursday 24th May from 12pm - 8pm; on Friday 25th May from 10am-7pm; on Saturday 26th May from 10am - 5pm. 


Wenner scroll (cropped) copy.jpgThe Manuscripts Meet the World: Handwriting from Around the World is the culmination of a months-long partnership between Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA) and the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library (HMML). This exhibition—which complements HMML’s ongoing lecture series at MCBA exploring the history of the book—showcases manuscript samples from HMML’s extensive collections. The manuscripts in the exhibition hail from around the globe and throughout history, but their purpose is the same: to highlight the universality of handwriting as an inextricable part of human life and creativity. The manuscripts on display will include codices, scrolls, and other book styles from European, Asian, Middle Eastern, and African cultures.

The exhibition runs from March 22 to July 8 in Open Book’s Cowles Literary Commons located at MCBA. The exhibition is free and open to the public. Open Book’s regular hours are Monday through Saturday, 8 am to 8 pm, and Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm.

Founded in 1965 as the Monastic Microfilm Library, HMML initially focused on preserving works from Benedictine monastic libraries in Austria in reaction to Cold War-era tensions. After decades of successful work throughout Europe, it eventually broadened its cultural focus. Because of HMML’s early preservation work with Christian manuscripts, scholars around the world have access to manuscripts that document Western Europe’s history and culture from the early modern period. In 2003, HMML broadened its focus and began digitizing Islamic manuscript collections and secular documents with themes ranging from science and medicine to music. The Manuscripts Meet the World exemplifies this inclusivity and recognizes HMML and MCBA’s shared appreciation of the written word.

Located at Saint John’s University in Collegeville, HMML is a non-profit organization whose mission is to identify, digitally photograph, catalog and archive endangered manuscripts belonging to threatened communities around the world. Having formed partnerships with over 540 libraries and archives, HMML has photographically preserved over 250,000 manuscripts from Europe, Africa, the Middle East and India.

HMML is currently preserving manuscript collections in many global sites, including Croatia, India, Lebanon, Iraq, Jerusalem, Egypt, Mali, Malta, Montenegro, Ukraine and Yemen. These resources are available online through the vHMML, (Virtual HMML), HMML’s online resource for manuscript research.  

HMML is also the home of The Saint John’s Bible, a handwritten, hand-illuminated Bible commissioned by Saint John’s Abbey and University commissioned in 1998. Other rare manuscripts and books in HMML’s collections include early prints of the Bible and Qur’an, liturgical texts, book art, and medieval manuscript fragments. Local, national, and international news outlets including the Minneapolis Star Tribune, CBS’ 60 Minutes, and BBC World News Service have recognized HMML’s work to preserve and make accessible the world’s manuscript collections.

As the largest and most comprehensive center of its kind in the nation, Minnesota Center for Book Arts celebrates the book as a vibrant contemporary art form that takes many shapes. From the traditional crafts of papermaking, letterpress printing, and hand bookbinding to experimental artmaking and self-publishing techniques, MCBA supports the limitless creative evolution of book arts. MCBA is located in the Open Book building in downtown Minneapolis, alongside partner organizations The Loft Literary Center and Milkweed Editions. To learn more, visit

RR Marx.jpgAn extremely rare letter written by Karl Marx sold for $53,509 according to Boston-based RR Auction. 

The one-page letter written by Marx from 41 Maitland Park Road in London, dated October 1, 1879, to Collet Dobson Collet. In full: “On my return from the seaside I found your letter d’d 23 September. You will much oblige me by being so kind as to forward me some of the copies of the ‘Revelations,’ as I have none left.” 

The sheet is bright, the writing dark, precise, and easily legible in spite of Marx’s distinctive tiny hand, according to the auction house. 

Marx was a close friend of the Collet family, which included pioneering feminist activist Sophia Dobson Collet, social reformer Clara Collet, and the recipient of this letter, Collet Dobson Collet, the editor of The Free Press: A Diplomatic Review, to which Marx contributed a number of articles. 

The men became good friends and soon held weekly meetings at each other's houses to recite Shakespeare. 

The assembled group, which was formally coined as the Dogberry Club, included Marx's daughter Eleanor and Collet's daughter Clara, as well as Edward Rose, Dollie Radford, Sir Henry Juta, and Frederic Engels. 

The publication to which Marx evidently alludes, ‘Revelations of the Diplomatic History of the 18th Century,’ was originally serialized in the Free Press from August 1856 to April 1857.

"Marx letters are extraordinarily rare and virtually nonexistent outside of institutions—in almost forty years of business, this is the only one we have ever encountered." said Bobby Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction. 

Highlights from the sale include, but are not limited by:

Mahatma Gandhi signed photograph sold for $41,806.

Leo Tolstoy letter written in 1903 offering editorial advice sold for $21,450.

Claud Monet letter describing the intensity of his artistic process sold for $21,128.

John F. Kennedy signed copy of As We Remember Joe, privately printed. Cambridge, Massachusetts: University Press, 1945 sold for $15,926.

Wolfgang Pauli letter written in 1949 to an eminent American physicist sold for $14,700.

Jean-Paul Sartre portion of a handwritten draft for his autobiographical work Les Motes sold $12,105.

The Fine Autographs and Artifacts auction from RR Auction began on February 17 and concluded on March 7. More details can be found online at

AA mss.jpgLos Angeles—Profiles in History is proud to announce its historic auction will commence. The original typed working manuscript for The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous is back on the auction block. It will be going under the hammer on May 5th in Los Angeles.

A lawsuit commenced by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. (A.A.W.S.) prevented the sale from taking place last year. That lawsuit is now concluded and as part of a settlement a Stipulated Order was entered by the Court which states as follows:

A.A.W.S. irrevocably waives and surrenders any and all rights or claims it has or may have to possession, ownership of, or title to the 1939 "Printer's Copy" also known as the "original working draft" manuscript of Alcoholics Anonymous  (the "Manuscript"), based upon a certain 1979 letter from Barry Leach or otherwise and that Roberts has the right to transfer, auction, or otherwise sell the Manuscript at his sole discretion without being subject to any claim or encumbrance by A.A.W.S.

The 161 typed pages are filled with hand written edits by the founders, some by William Griffith Wilson, aka, Bill W. It belonged to Lois Wilson, Bill's widow. It is one of the best selling books of all time, over 30 million copies have been sold since 1939. It has been translated into 43 languages. The Library of Congress ranks it the number one non-fiction book that shaped America.

In “The Book That Started It All,” a facsimile edition of this manuscript published by Hazelden, an essay succinctly states the extraordinary importance of the present manuscript: “Amid the wealth of literature on Alcoholics Anonymous, you have in your hands the greatest treasure of all, the beginning of it all, the charter of the Fellowship.”

Best-selling AA historian and author, Dr. Ernest Kurtz, said, “Not only is this Manuscript the most important nonfiction manuscript in all history, I consider it right up there with the Magna Carta because of the personal freedom it has provided so many millions of alcoholics!”

It is estimated to sell for $2,000,000 - $3,000,000.


197-Mucha copy 1.jpgNew York—Swann Galleries’ auction of Vintage Posters Featuring Highlights from the Gail Chisholm Collection on March 1 offered premier examples of advertising and propaganda from around the world, and broke several auction records. Nicholas D. Lowry, President of Swann and Director of Vintage Posters, announced, “This was our best winter poster auction since 2013, and our third-best winter poster auction of all time.”

A quarter of the auction was devoted to highlights from the collection of Gail Chisholm, renowned dealer and lifelong poster aficionado. Included in the collection was the largest selection of Erik Nitsche’s designers for General Dynamics ever to come to auction. All of the 19 works found buyers, with two achieving new auction records: the French version of Hydrodynamics from the influential Atoms for Peace series 1955, sold for a record $5,500, while General Dynamics / Atoms for Peace, from the same series, was purchased by an institution for $5,250. According to Lowry, “The strength of the Gail Chisholm Collection, which achieved a staggering 87% sell-through rate, seemed to set the tone for the rest of the auction.” In accordance with her wishes, proceeds from the sale of Chisholm’s collection will benefit Planned Parenthood of New York City.

Swann’s winter auctions of Vintage Posters have become the premier destination for scarce and valuable ski resort advertisements. The March 1 sale was no exception, offering a run of historic images, some of which were previously unknown to scholarship. Leading the selection was Alex Diggelmann’s azure Gstaad / Berner Oberland, 1937, at $8,750. Additional Alpine highlights included The Golden Pass Route / Switzerland, 1934, by Edouard Elzingre, which sold for more than twice its high estimate for $7,813, and the English version of Erich Hermès’s Winter in Switzerland, 1936 ($6,250). A previously unrecorded advertisement for Sun Valley, Idaho, circa 1936, showing the world’s first chairlift just after the resort’s opening, sold for $3,750. Lowry said, “We sold 84% of the ski posters we offered—a ‘peak’ that reflects the current buoyancy of the market.”

Paragons of Art Nouveau performed well, with Alphonse Mucha’s suite of four decorative panels of allegories of The Seasons, 1896, leading the sale at $45,000. Another highlight by the master was The Times of the Day / Réverie du Soir, 1899, which reached $10,000. 

Records were achieved by unusual examples of Judaica from both World Wars. The rare Canadian poster The Jews the World Over Love Liberty / Have Fought For It & Will Fight For It, circa 1917, was purchased by an institution for $9,375. An Israeli advertisement for the Auxiliary Territorial Service by the Shamir Brothers, You Can Shorten the Road to Victory, Join the A.T.S., 1943, was also purchased by an institution for the same price.

The next auction of Vintage Posters at Swann Galleries will be Graphic Design on May 3, 2018. The house is currently accepting quality consignments for autumn auctions.

Image: Lot 197: Alphonse Mucha, The Seasons, four decorative panels, 1896. Sold March 1, 2018 for $45,000.

Batman copy.jpgLynbrook, NY - A copy of Detective Comics #29 (July 1939), bought by the consignor at a tag sale for $20, gaveled for $53,675 at a two-day auction held February 14th and 15th by Weiss Auctions, online and in the firm’s Lynbrook gallery, at 74 Merrick Road. The vintage comic book, graded VG/VG-, was an early Batman cover that had the first appearance of Doctor Death.

“It’s a great comic book and scarce at any grade,” said Philip Weiss of the auction’s top lot. “It wasn’t in perfect condition by any means but is still an important addition to any collection. The fact that it was picked up at a tag sale for twenty dollars only added to its cachet. Bidders were not deterred by some loss to the edge to the cover, tanning to the pages and a loose centerfold.”

Bringing nearly as much was a copy of DC Comics Showcase #4 (Oct. 1956), the origin and first appearance of Barry Allen as The Flash. Boasting cover art by legendary illustrators Carmine Infantino (Am., 1925-2013) and Joe Kubert (Polish-Am., 1926-2012), the comic was graded CGC FN+ 6.5, in overall fine condition but with some off-white pages. It commanded $50,850.

The first day of the auction contained nearly 500 lots of sports memorabilia, comics, comic art, animation and more. Day 2 was an estate sale, with close to 500 lots of oil paintings, jewelry, bronzes, porcelain, silver, lighting and more. The top lot from that session was a Tiffany Studios Acorn-style table lamp, 20 inches tall, with a Tiffany-signed base and shade. It sold for $8,750.

About 150 people attended the event in person over the course of the two days, while another 800-1,000 people registered to bid online, via and Thousands of absentee (or left) bids were submitted, and the phones were ringing constantly on auction day. By the time it was over and the last gavel fell on Day 2, the auction had grossed about $750,000.

Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include the buyer’s premium.

A nearly complete set (30 of 31 cards) of the U.S. Caramel Presidents cards from 1932, missing Benjamin Harrison but including the rare William McKinley card, changed hands for $23,100. Also, a large photograph of Babe Ruth, 16 ½ inches by 20 inches, showing the Yankee great in a classic home run swing, signed, inscribed and dated (2.29.48) by the Bambino (“To the Golden Strand, Sincerely, Babe Ruth”), made $18,080. The Golden Strand was a resort hotel in Florida.

An oil on canvas painting by Theodore Robinson (Am., 1852-1896), titled On the Seine, artist signed lower left and measuring 22 inches by 15 inches, realized $7,250. The painting, #192 in Robinson’s catalog, was originally offered at auction in 1924 by Keeler Art Galleries. Robinson was close friends with Claude Monet and is best remembered for his impressionist landscapes.

Returning to the comics, original cover art for DC Comics Showcase #102 (July 1978), featuring Hawkman, 12 inches by 17 inches, pulled directly from the estate of its illustrator Joe Kubert and signed by him, went for $14,250. Also, a copy of Marvel’s Incredible Hulk #1, cover art by Jack Kirby, graded CGC 1.5 and featuring the origin and first appearance of The Incredible Hulk, sold for $6,900. The comic was also the first appearance of Rick Jones, Betty Ross and General Ross. 

Weiss Auctions has an auction titled Trains, Trains and More Trains planned for Wednesday, March 21st, in the Lynwood gallery, starting at 10 am Eastern time. Offered will be early Lionel O gauge; Ives and American Flyer O gauge; Lionel post-war boxed sets; and European O and 1 gauge by Marklin, Bing, Carette, KBN and Hornby with live steam, electric and clockwork units. 

Also sold will be Marklin HO trains from the 1960s thru the digital age, many LN with boxes; examples of S Gauge, G Gauge and American HO; articulated steam locos, large diesels and diesel sets; and passenger and freight trains by Lionel, MTH, Weaver & Williams. Add to that tons of accessories, stations and signals, and the sale is a must-attend for toy train enthusiasts.

The next day - Thursday, March 22nd, also in Lynbrook at 10 am - Weiss Auctions will conduct a sale loaded with over 500 lots of toys in all categories, to include toy soldiers with Britains, Mignot, modern soldiers, and more; and diecasts, including Matchbox, Tootsietoy and Dinky.

Also featured will be a collection of mint-on-card Star Wars figures; a collection of Steiff animals, tin litho toys, airplane toys from the Sy Merrall Collection; pressed steel, with boxed Tonka, Structo, Buddy L and Smith Miller; and dolls of all kinds, including Barbie and bisque.

Weiss Auctions is always accepting quality consignments for future auctions. To consign an item, estate or a collection, you may call them at (516) 594-0731; or, you can send an e-mail to Philip Weiss at For more information about Weiss Auctions and the auctions slated for March 21st and 22nd visit Updates are posted often.

Image: Copy of Detective Comics #29 (July 1939), graded VG/VG-, an early Batman cover and featuring the first appearance of Doctor Death ($53,675).

Open-Album-Tubman-Portrait copy.jpgThe Library of Congress has conserved and digitized an album containing 48 rare photographs dating to the 1860s - including a previously unrecorded portrait of Harriet Tubman and images of other abolitionists - and the album will be exhibited for the first time at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture later this year. Each image was cleaned, digitally scanned and returned to the album.

The full collection is now available online at this link.

The two national cultural institutions jointly acquired the historical album at auction in 2017 by pooling funds to ensure this remarkable gathering of American portraits would be accessible to the public in perpetuity. The images included the previously unknown portrait of Tubman at the back of the album, as well as the only known photograph of John Willis Menard, the first African-American man elected to the U.S. Congress.

Since the acquisition, Library conservators have carefully reattached the cover, treated the leather album and cleaned the photographs to ensure long-term preservation. Digitization experts from both institutions consulted on the best scanning specifications to apply. Two catalogers have studied the individuals portrayed and found full names for all but three of the people. They invite the public to help identify the remaining individuals.

The portraits displayed together in the album can tell many stories. Education is a strong theme as well as abolition. At least 10 individuals portrayed were teachers, including African-American women. They were identified through genealogy records and Freedmen’s School reports published in Quaker journals. Two of the teachers, Nancy Johnson and her sister, Mary Ann Donaldson, were part of the American Missionary Association’s effort to educate African Americans at Port Royal, South Carolina, during the early 1860s.

 “Now people in our nation’s capital and around the world can see these important figures from American history and learn more about their lives,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. “We are proud this historic collaboration with the Smithsonian has made these pictures of history available to the public online.”

The public will have a chance to view the rare album for the first time in person at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in a special exhibit later this year. The digital images also will be presented through the museum’s website.

“This photo album allows us to see Harriet Tubman in a riveting, new way; other iconic portraits present her as either stern or frail. This new photograph shows her relaxed and very stylish. Sitting with her arm casually draped across the back of a parlor chair, she’s wearing an elegant bodice and a full skirt with a fitted waist. Her posture and facial expression remind us that historical figures are far more complex than most people realize. This adds significantly to what we know about this fierce abolitionist. And that’s a good thing,” said Lonnie G. Bunch III, the founding director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

The album was originally compiled as a gift for Emily Howland (1827-1929), a Quaker schoolteacher and abolitionist who lived in Sherwood, New York, and taught at Camp Todd, a Freedmen’s camp in Arlington, Virginia, during the Civil War and then founded her own school after the Civil War. Howland continued adding photographs later.

Tubman escaped slavery in 1849 on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and took great risk to help relatives and others escape bondage as a famous conductor of the Underground Railroad.  Abolitionists and prominent figures portrayed in the album include: Charles Sumner, Lydia Maria Child, William Henry Channing, Colonel C.W. Folsom, Wendell Phillips and Charles Dickens.

The album was jointly acquired with funds from the Library of Congress James Madison Council and funds from the Smithsonian.

Image: Representatives from the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the Library of Congress inspect the photo album of Emily Howland, containing rare portraits of Harriet Tubman and John Willis Menard, April 10, 2017. (Shawn Miller/Library of Congress)


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