Vintage matte-finish 8 x 10 photo of a young Elvis in a sports jacket, circa 1961, signed and inscribed in blue ballpoint “To Barbara from Elvis Presley.” Attractively suede-matted and framed to an overall size of 16.25 x 18.25. In fine condition. Provenance: Estate of Charles Williamson and Tucker Fleming, Bonhams, 2011. Pre-certified Roger Epperson/REAL and RR Auction COA.
Monthly Archives: April 2013
Color satin-finish 10 x 8 photo of Conrad with the American flag on the lunar surface, signed in gold ink, “Charles Conrad, Jr., Apollo XII.” In very fine condition. Pre-certified Steve Zarelli and RR Auction COA.
Official Rawlings Major League baseball signed in blue ballpoint on the sweet spot, “Jimmy Carter.” In very fine condition. It is quite uncommon for Carter to sign his full name on baseballs as opposed to his usual “J. Carter.” RR Auction COA.
Unique color vintage satin-finish 3 x 3 candid photo of Lennon standing outside the entrance to Abbey Road Studios in London in 1967, wearing a Sgt. Pepper-inspired psychedelic outfit, signed in black ballpoint the same year, “John Lennon, love x.” Photo is affixed to a 4.5 x 4.5 mount and double-matted to an overall size of 7.75 x 8. In fine condition, with slightly trimmed edges to photo. Given the date, at the time of this photo was taken, Lennon was most likely entering or exiting a Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club recording session—one of the greatest music albums of all time. Any signed photo of Lennon from this time period is quite uncommon, with this particular image offered for the first time. Pre-certified Roger Epperson/REAL and RR Auction COA.
Uncommon Apollo 15 postal cover, 6.5 x 3.75, #108 of 300, carried to the lunar surface aboard the Falcon, signed in the lower left corner by crew members Dave Scott, Al Worden, and Jim Irwin. In fine condition. This particular cover comes from astronaut Jim Irwin’s personal collection. Accompanied by a one-page typed notarized certification, signed “Alfred M. Worden,” “David R. Scott,” and “James B. Irwin.” The provenance reads in part: “Postal covers were carried aboard the Apollo 15 Mission, which postal covers were stamped and postmarked at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on the date of the launch, July 26, 1971, and carried aboard the Apollo 15 Spacecraft during the entire term of the Mission, to include landing on the moon and were returned to the Earth at the termination of the Mission on August 7, 1971…The postal covers were in the possession of one or more of the undersigned until 1972, at which time they were deposited with the United States Government…The undersigned have this date inspected Postal Cover No. 176, bearing NASA Serial No. 223, and aver, affirm and certify that said Postal Cover is a cover which was carried aboard the United States Lunar Mission—Apollo 15.” Also accompanied by a 2013 certificate of authenticity from Irwin’s son, James B. Irwin II. In fine condition.
As was common practice on Apollo missions, postal covers and medallions were carried aboard the spacecraft as mementoes. Because of the increased mass of equipment to be carried by the Apollo 15 lunar module (including the Lunar Rover), the number of medallions was halved and 400 postal covers were carried instead. The covers were provided by a German stamp dealer, for which he would retain 100 (not to be sold on the open market) and 300 would be divided among the crew (a fee was also offered, but eventually declined). Several months after the mission, the German stamp dealer advertised his 100 covers for sale. When the situation came to NASA’s attention, NASA impounded all of the crew’s covers, which were then deposited in the National Archives. In February 1983, the crew brought legal action against NASA for return of the covers. A settlement was reached quickly and on July 19, 1983, NASA returned the covers to the crew in a private meeting at the National Archives.
During the settlement, the crew signed a notarized letter of provenance for each cover. The legal document is, of course, specific in its detail, noting that the postal covers “were carried aboard the Apollo 15 Mission…and carried aboard the Apollo 15 Spacecraft during the entire term of the Mission to include…the moon, and were returned to the Earth at the termination of the Mission on August 7, 1971.”
The trail of the offered cover is a piece of space collectible legend, with the provenance that tells the story in great detail! Pre-certified Steve Zarelli and RR Auction COA.
Outstanding original 4.25 x 6.5 cabinet photo of a young Clemens seated in a chair by Rogers and Nelson of London, signed in the lower border in black ink, “Yrs truly, Saml L. Clemens, Mark Twain.” In fine condition, with some light rippling to horizontal edges, and small mounting remnants to reverse. Clemens appears to have sat for this portrait during his greatly successful 1872–73 lecture tour in England, during which he addressed packed houses night after night. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.
Vintage ink signature, “Charlie Parker,” on an off-white 2.5 x 1.75 card affixed to a sleeve inside an album set entitled ‘Bop Session with Charlie Parker,’ consisting of three 78 rpm records released by the Swedish Metronome label. Signature in fine condition; album has some splitting at spine and one of the records is cracked, otherwise very good condition. Between the rare signature and album, this represents a key piece to any jazz collection. Pre-certified Roger Epperson/REAL and RR Auction COA.
Dutch Post-Impressionist artist (1853-1890). He was a pioneer of Expressionism with enormous influence on 20th century art, especially on the Fauves and German Expressionists. Some of his paintings are now among the world’s best known, most popular and expensive works of art. Extremely rare unsigned handwritten poem fragment, four lines on a 2.75 x .75 clipped slip (with one line on the reverse). The fragment, in French, a section of a poem entitled ‘Le Retour des Champs, a Francois Millet (Return from the Fields, after Francois Millet),’ reads, in full (translated): “He carries the scythe or the spade; On the shoulder he goes slowly; Dampening his dry chest; Of mist and smell of wheat.” In very good to fine condition, with some mild toning to the front, slight show-through from the line on the reverse, and two small mounting remnants to the reverse touching one word of text. Accompanied by a clipped certificate of authenticity from Charles Hamilton, who offered several fragments for sale years ago, complete with its red wax seal, from when the fragment was framed.
Nearly as passionate about literature as he was about art, Van Gogh took great pleasure in sharing his favorite poems with friends and family in his lengthy letters. In late March of 1884, he wrote to Dutch painter Anthon van Rappard, a friend and mentor, sharing samples of the poetry of Jules Breton, noting, ‘if you don’t have them, I feel sure you will be greatly impressed.’ Well-known for his paintings of rural peasant scenes of the French countryside, which were among Van Gogh’s favorites, Breton also developed a strong reputation as a writer, publishing a book of poetry and several works on the art world of which he was a part. The poem excerpted here is a beautiful interpretation of fellow French painter Jean-Francois Millet’s painting ‘Return from the Fields.’
Along with highlighting the impact of Breton on Van Gogh, this piece brings to light the crucial influence of Millet’s work on the troubled artist. A pioneer in the ‘peasant genre’ that so deeply touched Van Gogh, Millet was the only major artist of the Barbizon School who displayed laborers as more than small elements in a larger landscape, presenting the realistic sentiments of peasant life as, what Van Gogh would call, ‘something on high.’ Struggling to find inspiration while committed at the Saint-Paul Asylum in Saint-Remy in 1889, Van Gogh created more than 30 interpretations of works by some of his favorite artists: twenty-one of these were of Millet’s. Regarding these pieces, which many hold as some of the finest in his vast body of work, Van Gogh explained, ‘it’s not copying pure and simple…It is rather translating into another language, the one of colors, the impressions of chiaroscuro and white and black.’
Van Gogh’s letters are virtually all in institutions, as are his poetry books and journal, making anything written in his hand nearly impossible to obtain; we have found fewer than a dozen such sold at auction over the last 30 years. This fragment, the seventh stanza of Breton’s poem ‘Return from the Fields, after Francois Millet,’ containing such vital relevance to the artists that inspired Van Gogh, is a truly extraordinary piece and sure to garner great international interest. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.
Superlative uninscribed color 8 x 10 NASA photo of Armstrong posing in his white space suit, his helmet by his side, signed in blue felt tip. In fine, bright condition. Uninscribed photos of Armstrong represent one of the most coveted prizes in the entire field of space collecting. Pre-certified Steve Zarelli and RR Auction COA.
DS, one page, 8.5 x 11, February 9, 1970. Standard AFTRA contract in which Arnaz agrees to appear on The Merv Griffin Show on the same day in exchange for $265. Signed at the conclusion in ballpoint by Arnaz. A standard AFTRA rider is stapled to the main document in the upper left. In fine condition, with expected document wear. Pre-certified PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.