Signed book: Long Walk to Freedom. Limited first edition of 250 copies (this being No. 240). London: Little, Brown and Company, 1994. Hardcover with slipcase, 6.5 x 9.5, 630 pages. Signed on the colophon in blue ballpoint, “N Mandela.” Autographic condition: very fine. Book condition: F/None. Stunning full green leather binding with gilt title and gilted textblock edges; no discernible flaws. In F green cloth-covered slipcase. By far the most desirable and rarest edition of this title. Pre-certified PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.
Monthly Archives: November 2013
Personal check, 6.25 x 2.75, filled out and signed by Hemingway, “Ernest M. Hemingway,” payable to First National Bank of Key West for $200.00, February 3, 1933. Nicely double-matted and framed in weathered wood with two portraits of Hemingway and a biographical plaque to an overall size of 26.25 x 22.25. In very good condition, with a central vertical fold, expected cancellation holes and stamps, with a couple stamps on both sides lightly affecting small portions of signature. Oversized. RR Auction COA.
Partly-printed DS, signed “B. Franklin,” one page, 15 x 11.75, February 15, 1787. A land grant issued “for consideration of services rendered by Jonathan Adams Dragoon in the late army of the United States” a tract of land in Westmoreland County “in the seventh district of donation,” described as running from a maple tree to a white oak to a beech tree and back to the maple, totaling 200 acres. Signed in the left border by Franklin as president of the Supreme Council of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Intersecting folds, one through a single letter of signature, scattered moderate toning and soiling, expected wrinkling, and a few small pin-size holes, otherwise very good condition. The eight-point star seal is worn and creased, with two missing points, and one other missing point tip.
One of the most strategic and beneficial decisions made by the government during the Revolutionary War was to offer land bounties as a reward for military service, simultaneously encouraging enlistment and paving the way for westward expansion. By populating the frontier with military veterans able to defend against Indian incursions, they enticed new settlers to follow and buy land, helping to reduce Revolutionary War debts. Serving as President of Pennsylvania in 1787, Franklin granted this large plot in Western Pennsylvania to Johnathan Adams, a Dragoon in the army. An important piece of early American history, this rare grant holds a prominent example of the Founding Father’s highly sought-after autograph. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.
Hunkpapa Lakota Sioux holy man (circa 1831–1890) known for his steadfast opposition to the intrusion of the US government into Sioux lands. Fleeing to Canada following the Battle of Little Big Horn, he later returned to the US and toured with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. Fearing his growing influence, government agents fatally shot him during an arrest attempt at Standing Rock Agency on December 15, 1890. Extremely rare ink signature, “Sitting Bull,” on an off-white 3.25 x 2 card. In very good condition, with some mild rippling, scattered light soiling, and light staining from adhesive residue on the reverse. Accompanied by a letter of provenance from Sarah Edwards Walling, the daughter of the man who obtained the signature for her. Letter reads, in full, “Previous to or about 1890 a party of Indian Chiefs, Sitting Bull, Grey Eagle, Spotted Tail, Rain in the Face, and Crazy Horse with their interpreters went to Washington to see the Great Father, President Benjamin Harrison to right some wrongs in some business matters. During their stay in New York the Government boarded them at the 5th Avenue Hotel. There were a few Squaws in the party. All were on exhibition at the Eden Musee on 23rd St. N.Y. My father Capt Mills Edwards, mother and I went to see them. Sitting Bull was sitting at a table writing his autograph selling them at $2.00 each. My father bought this one, which I saw him write. I remember it perfectly.” A second letter also attests to the authenticity of the signature, “The above signature is an original actually made by the great Sioux medicine man himself in the presence of the undersigned who was at the time a young and interested child.” Also accompanied by a glossy 8 x 10 photo suitable for framing.
After surrendering himself and his followers to US authorities in 1881, Sitting Bull was placed on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in what is now southern North Dakota, under the supervision of Indian Agent James McLaughlin. Cashing in on Americans’ fascination with ‘the Indian who killed Custer,’ as he was initially billed, McLaughlin set up the Sitting Bull Combination, which included the chief, seven other Indians, and two interpreters; the show opened in New York City at the Eden Musee to a crowd of thousands. Misled greatly by McLaughlin—who claimed that the proceeds from the show would go towards building schools on the reservation, and that the group would be meeting with the president to discuss important matters in developing peace between the tribes and settlers—the spectacle essentially just put the group on display as oddities, garnering great interest initially but fading quickly, causing the show to close just one month later. Six years later, McLaughlin would give the order to arrest Sitting Bull, sparking the bloody shootout that left the chief and several others dead. Though some of the details of the exhibit have been misremembered by the young recipient of this signature, the letter of provenance pinpoints a well-known event at the start of Sitting Bull’s touring career, dating this incredibly scarce signature to the year prior to his start with Buffalo Bill’s celebrated Wild West show. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.
Rare ink signature, “Free, D. Crockett,” on an off-white 3 x 1.25 slip clipped from a free frank. Attractively double-suede-matted and framed with images of Crockett and the Alamo, and a biographical plaque, to an overall size of 19.5 x 18. In fine condition, with an area of soiling to the upper right and an ink notation “(M. C. of Tennessee)” to the lower edge. Crockett would have had franking privileges while serving in Congress, dating this signature to one of his two terms as a Tennessee representative, which lasted from 1827–31 and 1833–35. An extremely desirable signature and must-have for any serious collection of Americana. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.
Fantastic original vintage 1963 Beatles fan club card, 5.5 x 4.25, featuring the famous Dezo Hoffmann ‘seated collarless’ portrait of the band, signed and inscribed in blue ballpoint, “To Alison, love from the Beatles, Paul McCartney,” “John Lennon,” “George Harrison,” and “Ringo Starr.” In fine condition, with a light bend to lower right corner and some scattered light foxing. Accompanied by certificates of authenticity from Tracks and Beatles expert Perry Cox, and two letters from noted Beatles expert Frank Caiazzo, one being a letter of authenticity, dating the signatures from late 1963/early 1964, and the other appraising the photo. A particularly rare and highly sought after image, as most of these were signed by secretaries and sent out in the mail. Pre-certified Roger Epperson/REAL and RR Auction COA.
Rare official Rawlings American League baseball signed in black ink on a side panel, “Ronald Reagan.” An exceptionally bright, clean baseball in fine condition. Coming directly from noted collector Randy Kaplan, this baseball has enjoyed its place among his incredibly popular collection for two decades, having been obtained in July of 1993 directly outside of Reagan’s Avenue of the Stars office in Los Angeles. All received either in person or by high-ranking government officials—friends of Kaplan, a government affairs specialist—the impressive collection has been on display at both the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids and the William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, and has been featured in Autograph Collector Magazine, Newsday, The Pen & Quill, and on MSNBC’s Imus in the Morning. An outstanding piece from a truly remarkable collection. Pre-certified PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.