Monthly Archives: February 2012

RR Auctions Walt Disney Contract

In the contract that made Disneyland a reality, Disney “intends to open to the public a large exhibition park containing educational, scientific and amusement features”

Remarkable DS, twice signed at the conclusion, “Walter E. Disney,” four onionskin pages, 8.5 x 13, March 24, 1954. A “television agreement” between Walt Disney Productions (hereinafter referred to as Productions) and the American Broadcasting Company “for the broadcasting of certain television programs.” The contract goes on to provide a description of the fledgling Disneyland as a “California corporation with an issued and outstanding capital stock of 2500 shares without par value, of which 2400 shares have been issued to Walter E. Disney and 100 shares have been issues to W. E. D. Enterprises,” which “intends to open to the public a large exhibition park containing educational, scientific and amusement features…Productions is entering into an agreement with Disneyland under which Productions will pay to Disneyland a sum equal to 10% of the program basic rate for the filmed television programs, to be furnished by Productions to ABC, as a royalty for the use of the copyrights and format of Disneyland. In addition, Productions will pay Disneyland a sum equal to 5% of such basic rate as a prepaid location charge…If under the television agreement Productions shall receive a price for its filmed television programs in excess of the amount referred to in said agreement, the excess over such minimum price may be paid by ABC delivering to Productions first mortgage bonds of Disneyland at par. The minimum price under the television agreement is $50,000 per program for the first year; $60,000 per program for the second year, and $70,000 per program for the third year.” Also signed at the conclusion by Roy Disney, Lloyd Wright, and the vice president of ABC. In very good condition, with the top left corner of the first page missing, a crease to the bottom left corner of the last page, and the expected document staple marks, creasing, pencil notations, and edge chips.

Disney dreamed about opening a theme park for years, but only secured the necessary capital by collaborating with the television network ABC in 1954. He had created WED Enterprises to undertake the planning and production of the park, but difficulty in raising the necessary funds for the project brought him to look toward television as a revenue source. ABC—the newest and weakest of the television networks—leaped at the opportunity. Leonard Goldenson, ABC’s chairman, was desperate to forge an alliance with Disney for programming. Goldenson championed the deal, and ABC traded a stake in Disneyland the park for the one-hour television series Disneyland. ABC and Walt Disney Productions announced the agreement in a joint press release on April 2, 1954, promising “an entirely new concept in television programming.” Disney would later joke, “ABC needed the television show so damned bad, they bought the amusement park.” Both the show and the park were tremendously successful. An extraordinary document that made Disneyland possible and Disney into a television icon. Pre-certified PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.

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Posted by on February 29, 2012 in Walt Disney


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RR Auctions Jimi Hendrix

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Bob Dylan’s Bringing It All Back Home album signed on the front cover in blue ballpoint, “I Dig It Too, Jimi Hendrix,” and signed on the back cover in blue ballpoint by Experience member, “Mitch” [Mitchell]. Moderate skipping to signature and sentiment resulting in just the impressions of some of the letters and a fairly light but still mostly legible appearance, light contrast to end of last name of signature, scattered noticeable creases, soiling, and toning to covers, and owner’s notation on back cover, otherwise very good condition. The record is included, with the inside sleeve bearing several sketches and doodles in an unknown hand.

Accompanied by a 2011 letter of provenance from the original recipient, CP Lee, which reads, in part: “On the Tuesday 4 April 1967 Jimi Hendrix appeared on the BBC’s Dee Time TV Show…together with a friend…I went to the Studio at about 11 o’clock in the morning and after several hours of standing in the drizzle the side door opened and Jimi Hendrix and Mitch Mitchell stepped out…Mitchell went off leaving Jimi with us and he spent nearly 15 minutes talking with us…Maybe as a result the lack of an album and also because I was crazy about Bob Dylan, I’d taken along a copy of Dylan’s ‘Bringing It All Back Home.’ Because Dylan had disappeared from view after his motorbike crash I asked Jimi if he knew what had happened to him—’Yeah sure,’ said Jimi, ‘He’s fine, I spoke to him just a few weeks ago.’ I asked him if he’d sign the album and with a laugh he did and he wrote ‘I dig it too.’”…Jimi…then asked if we wanted to go for a drink (to the nearby Welcome Pub)…To my eternal regret, we said, ‘No, we had to go.’” Also accompanied by a copy of Lee’s book, When We Were Thin, which also recounts his meeting with Hendrix.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience appeared on the debut of Dee Time, a youth show hosted by Simon Dee, and the band’s wildness made the launch a success. Hendrix’s singles were already Top 10 hits in the UK and the Jimi Hendrix Experience would soon release its first album, Are You Experienced, in May of 1967. Mitchell was the drummer for the Jimi Hendrix Experience, which he joined in 1966. He would become Hendrix’s most valuable partner. The pair would frequently record together and as a result, were especially in sync during live sets.

That Hendrix signed a Bob Dylan album is fitting, as Dylan was one of his musical idols. “When I first heard him I thought, ‘You must admire the guy for having that much nerve to sing so out of key,’” said Hendrix. “But then I started listening to the words. He is giving me inspiration.” Dylan gave Hendrix confidence in his own voice as well. Hendrix would go on to cover Dylan songs such as “Like a Rolling Stone” and “All Along the Watchtower.” Dylan would later say to Hendrix, “I don’t know if anyone has done my songs better.” A remarkably symbolic signature tying together two of the most influential musicians of the twentieth century. Pre-certified Roger Epperson/REAL and RR Auction COA.

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Posted by on February 28, 2012 in Jimi Hendrix


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RR Auctions Apollo LM Water Loop

Incredibly scarce, perhaps one-of-a-kind, Apollo LM water loop. Part is designated Class III for training, with “Class III” etched into suit connector. This loop, designed to go from space suit to console in the Lunar Module, was used during training of the Apollo astronauts. Measuring almost 8.5 feet long, the loop consists of a blue connector at one end which leads to two parallel plastic tubes inside. Tubes are surrounded by hand-stitched Beta cloth. Two metal lanyards are attached to the hose by stitched brown webbing. The entire hose is accompanied by its snap-up Beta cloth bag with lanyard. This part originates from either the LEM trainer or the 1G Mach Simulator at the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston.

It is certain that some, if not all of the Apollo moonwalkers trained with this particular piece. The loops actually used on the LEM did not return from the moon, as they were left on the lunar surface due to their weight.

The May 2012 Space Auction closes on Wednesday May 23, 2012

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Posted by on February 27, 2012 in Apollo


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RR Auctions Alexander Graham Bell

Incredible and historically significant ALS signed “Your affectionate husband, Alec,” four pages on two adjoining lightly-lined sheets, 4.75 x 8, July 2, 1880. An outstanding letter to his wife, in full: “My darling, I am sorry to pain you-but I am thoroughly aroused as to the necessity of instant action on my part if I wish to avoid being deprived of whatever rights I may possess in the countries yet remaining to me. The action of the International Company is simply in-explicable and your father’s letter to Mr. Converse is so astounding (when we consider that he knows how dis-satisfied I have been) that I have determined that the International Company shall not be blindfolded regarding my feelings any more.

I am sorry that the letter was sent to the wrong Mr. Converse-but it cannot be helped now. I enclose a copy of my letter to the directors of the International Bell Telephone Co.-and a copy of the whole correspondence with Converse, Forbes, and the Intern. Co. will be sent to Mr. Hubbard. I think that I have contributed sufficiently to the pecuniary interest of the Hubbard family, and think it is now my duty to look after the Bells. I propose organizing a company myself for their benefit, and forego my Laboratory Yacht. I shall convert if necessary all my Continental stock into cash & invest it in the new company. Charlie will be here tonight to help me settle the preliminaries.

We can send Willie Ker to Europe and give employment to Charlie himself if he so desires. We will go to Europe on the top of the Photophone and Volta Prize-and I will make personal application for concessions &c. in the countries yet open to me and in this way try to place the members of the Bell family in as comfortable pecuniary circumstances as those of the Hubbard family.

‘The gods help those who help themselves’—and I intend to manage telephonic matters in future alone. I am worked up-tired-headaching-and all my nerves are trembling with excitement, so if there is anything in this letter extravagant, please excuse it. I will be with you Sunday morning. Don’t ask me to recall any letters. I believe I have only done what a MAN should do, and if the International & your father will not recognize me, I see no reason why I should continue to recognize them.”

In fine condition, with some scattered light toning, with one strip next to signature and passing through closing, light show-through from writing on opposing sides, and two horizontal mailing folds.

Bell married Mabel Hubbard in 1877 and gave her nearly all of his stock in the company as a wedding present, ensuring the “pecuniary interest of the Hubbard family.” She was the daughter of the Boston lawyer and later founder and first president of the National Geographic Society, Gardiner Greene Hubbard, who partnered with Bell and became the trustee and de facto president of the Bell Telephone Company. In 1879, Hubbard founded the International Bell Telephone Company to promote sales abroad. As the company sought to file patents and begin operations in Europe and around the world, Bell grew suspicious of its increasingly convoluted business transactions. At the same time, he was gifting the foreign rights to his invention to family members, occasionally coming into conflict with Hubbard’s actions as company president. During the summer of 1880, Bell’s resentment boiled over, and he charged Hubbard with mishandling a trust held for Hubbard’s own daughter and children. Bell’s letter refers to William Hathaway Forbes, an investor and later president of National Bell Telephone Company, as well as Elisha Converse, the rubber-soled shoe magnate and one of Bell’s first investors.

In his letter, Bell mentions the Photophone, a device he invented in 1880 allowing for the transmission of both articulated sounds and normal human conversations on a beam of light. Bell believed it to be his most important invention, but it took many decades for the principles of the device to be applied to practical applications. He also refers to the Grand Volta Prize, a French award established by Napoleon with a $10,000 cash prize that he won in 1880 for the invention of the telephone. An exceptional letter capturing the familial tensions surrounding Bell’s invention, with direct references to the invention that would change the world. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.

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Posted by on February 25, 2012 in Alexander Graham Bell


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RR Auctions Liz Taylor Love Letters Sold KABC-TV Los Angeles, California

Love Letters Sold at RR Auctions – KABC-TV Los Angeles, CA from RR Auction on Vimeo.

RR Auctions news is distributed to hundreds of television stations across North America. Stations that picked up the story included: KABC-TV, WHDH-TV, WLVI-TV, KOMO-TV, KDNL-TV, + more.

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Posted by on February 24, 2012 in Elizabeth Taylor


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RR Auctions Abraham Lincoln Portrait Extant

             Abraham Lincoln

Incredible boldly signed 1863 Lincoln CDV by Alexander Gardner, arguably the greatest presidential portrait extant

Exceptional and incredibly rare original 2.25 x 4 carte-de-visite portrait, taken by Alexander Gardner on August 9, 1863, showing Lincoln seated at a table, with a paper in one hand and his glasses in the other hand, boldly signed in the lower border in black ink, as president, “A. Lincoln.” Double cloth matted and framed to an overall size of 10.5 x 12.5. In fine condition, with a bit of scattered trivial soiling to lower border.

Originally sold by Paul Richards in 1985, the CDV is accompanied by a copy of Richards’ catalog #196, in which he states in the description “This photograph was taken by Alexander Gardner…Several different poses were taken at this time. [See Hamilton and Ostendorf, Lincoln in Photographs, p. 132]…We think this the finest quality Lincoln signed photograph we have handled in our twenty-five years in this business.” Also accompanied by certificates of authenticity from University Archives and Profiles in History.

Historic in nature, this image shows the 16th president holding a copy of the Washington Daily Morning Chronicle, a pro-Lincoln news sheet, and was taken by Gardner at the photographer’s new Washington, D.C. studio. Gardner had parted company with fellow Civil War photographer Mathew Brady about a year earlier, and his session with Lincoln—which the president deemed ‘very successful’ after privately reviewing the poses at the White House—was a coup for the independent photographer in his first few months in business. Truly one of the finest signed Lincoln photos ever offered!

The March 2012 Auction closes on Wednesday March 14, 2012

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Posted by on February 22, 2012 in Abraham Lincoln


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RR Auctions U.S. Grant Letter

                   U. S. Grant

                     General Grant prepares for his second campaign to take Vicksburg


War-dated ALS signed “U. S. Grant Maj. Gen,” one page, 7.75 x 9.75, April 21, 1863. Letter to Colonel Reynolds. In full: “The Qr. Mr. Sgt. of the 29th Ill. Vols. ordered to report to you for duty yesterday can be made very useful by aiding in superintending the building of the store sheds at the mouth of the Canal and as Shipping Clerk & c. From such store sheds through the canal.” Intersecting folds, small separation to top of one fold, uniform block of toning over text from previous display, some mild dampstaining, and small tear to left edge, otherwise very good condition.

In 1863, Vicksburg was the only Confederate stronghold left on the Mississippi. If the town fell, the Union would have control of the river and split the Confederacy in two. In April 1863, Grant launched his second campaign to take Vicksburg, considered his greatest achievement during the war. His letter to Colonel Charles A. Reynolds refers to an earlier project, Grant’s Canal, a unfinished man-made waterway on the Mississippi across from Vicksburg. Its purpose was to circumvent the confederate guns in the town and ideally change the river’s course. Grant set his men to work on the canal in January of 1863, but abandoned the project in March after a dam gave way and the canal prematurely flooded. Days before he wrote this letter, he had successfully moved the bulk of his army down the west side of the Mississippi and ferried them to the eastern banks, laying the groundwork for the Siege of Vicksburg. The 29th Illinois Volunteers would serve with distinction during the siege. An historically significant letter penned at a decisive moment in Grant’s military career.

The March 2012 Auction closes on Wednesday March 14, 2012

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Posted by on February 21, 2012 in U.S. Grant


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