Vintage 3.5 x 5.5 Essanay Film postcard photo of Chaplin as the Little Tramp, signed along the bottom in fountain pen, “Faithfully, Chas Chaplin.” Collector’s notation on the reverse reads, “1 March 1920, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.” A few light corner creases, a bit of scattered light toning and foxing to lower portion, and some light contrast to small portion of signature and sentiment, otherwise fine condition. Portraits of Chaplin in his iconic role are rather uncommon and are highly prized by Hollywood collectors. Pre-certified PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.
Monthly Archives: September 2014
Very rare flown Apollo 15 embroidered mission patch, measuring almost 4″ in diameter, with the addition of an embroidered silver “XV” hallmark near the center. Signed on the reverse in blue felt tip, “Lunar surface, Dave Scott.” Accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Dave Scott stating, in part, “I hereby certify that the Apollo 15 patch (with silver ‘XV’) included with this letter was carried to the surface of the Moon…This cloth patch…features the Apollo 15 crew insignia designed by Emilo Pucci…the Roman numerals ‘XV’ are embroidered in silver thread on the edges of the crater rims in the center, and the initials of Emilo Pucci (‘EP’) are reproduced as a hallmark in the lower center…This special Apollo 15 patch has been in my personal collection since returning to Earth.” In fine condition. Pre-certified Steve Zarelli and RR Auction COA.
Elvis Presley’s personally-owned and -worn custom glasses with nonprescription lenses. The aviator-style glasses feature black plastic frames with his initials, “EP,” prominently set in the bridge and the famous lighting bolt “TCB” emblems on the temples, representing his ‘Taking Care of Business’ band. The black plastic earpieces are impressed with “Polaroid 8804” and “Holland.” In fine condition, with light general wear. Accompanied by a letter of provenance from Elvis Presley’s bodyguard Dave Hebler. In part: “One day (1975), Elvis, Linda and I went from Memphis to Dallas to look at the restoration progress on Elvis’ latest airplane—‘The Lisa Marie’…I asked him why he wasn’t wearing the chrome aviators and he said he needed a change of pace. I told him I thought so too and with that he tossed them at me and said, ‘I needed the change of pace’…The sunglasses…are the custom pair of black aviator sunglasses that I received from Elvis on that day.” Also accompanied by a letter of provenance from The EP Archives, stating: “I have seen both chrome and gold sunglasses but this is the only pair of black ones known to exist.” An exceptional piece of pop cultural history embodying Elvis’s iconic look. RR Auction COA.
Vintage 8.5 x 11.5 magazine composite photo of the band in matching suits, signed in green ballpoint, “John Lennon,” “George Harrison,” and “Ringo Starr,” and in blue ballpoint, “Paul McCartney.” In very good condition, with a central horizontal fold, moderate contrast to Ringo’s signature and a portion of Lennon’s, some light contrast to McCartney’s signature, a few small edge tears and dings, and a bit of scattered light toning. Pre-certified Roger Epperson/REAL and RR Auction COA.
Scarce personal check, 6 x 2.75, filled out and signed by Lee, “Bruce Lee,” payable to James Y. Lee for $30, March 1967. Endorsed on the reverse by James Y. Lee. In fine condition, with expected cancellation holes (far from and not affecting the signature) and trivial brushing to the date. The recipient, James Yimm Lee, was an important martial arts pioneer who was a mentor, teacher, and friend of Bruce Lee. The two men lived and trained together in the early 1960s, and their mutual collaboration evolved into the now-famous fighting art known as Jeet Kune Do. James Yimm Lee was responsible for introducing Bruce Lee to Ed Parker, the organizer of the Long Beach International Karate Championships where Lee would be ‘discovered’ by Hollywood in 1964. Lee autographic material is exceedingly scarce, and rarely found with such an important personal association. Pre-certified PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.
Important French post-Impressionist painter (1848–1903) recognized for his experimental use of color and synthetist style. In 1891, he traveled to Tahiti, where the brilliant hues and primitive sculpture closely complemented his own art, which was marked by strong colors, few lines, and flat patterns. Charming circa 1892 unsigned sketch of a seated Tahitian woman on an off-white 6 x 7 sheet, attractively matted and framed to an overall size of 15 x 16.75. In fine condition, with a stray ink mark to the extreme left edge. This piece was exhibited in Basel and Berlin in 1928, and again in Basel in 1949-1950. Provenance: Collection of Durrio Paco, Paris (until 1928), after which it was held in a private collection in Switzerland. Accompanied by previous exhibition labels and a letter of provenance from the Wildenstein Institute, February 17, 2011, confirming that the present drawing is recorded in the forthcoming catalogue of Gauguin’s watercolors and drawings.
Gauguin’s 1891 trip to French Polynesia was spurred by a desire to escape European civilization and ‘everything that is artificial and conventional.’ Figures such as the woman depicted in this drawing dominated his artwork during this period, which presented an exoticized view of Polynesia’s inhabitants and was full of quasi-religious symbolism. His newly adopted primitivist style departed drastically from the European impressionism he left behind and came to define his legacy. A wonderful piece emblematic of this important period. RR Auction COA.
Exceptional matte-finish 9.5 x 7.5 photo of Disney on horseback dressed as an Argentine gaucho, boldly signed and inscribed in fountain pen, “To Bill Branch, with my best wishes, Walt Disney.” In fine condition, with some irregular ink adhesion toward the end of the signature, uniformly trimmed edges, and a trivial chip to one corner tip. In 1941, Disney and some of the artists from his studio set out on a tour of South America, as part of the US State Department’s Good Neighbor program, intended to foster goodwill in South America to prevent the spread of Nazism in the Western Hemisphere. Walt and his artists visited several countries, finding artistic inspiration that would result in the films Saludos Amigos and The Three Caballeros. Pre-certified PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.
Exceedingly rare official Hallmark card issued during the 1963 holiday season, featuring an image of a nativity scene on the front, measuring 4.5 x 6.5 closed, signed inside in bold ink as president, “John Kennedy,” and as first lady, “Jacqueline Kennedy.” The image on the front is identified as “Creche in East Room, The White House,” and a gilt-embossed presidential seal and engraved holiday greeting appear above the signatures, reading: “With best wishes for a Happy New Year.” In fine condition. Two variations of this holiday card were ordered, the other additionally wishing a ‘Blessed Christmas’ in the printed sentiment. Kennedy returned to Washington on the evening of November 18, 1963, from a trip to Florida. Sometime between his return and the evening of the 20th, both the president and first lady began to sign the cards at their leisure, but none were ever sent. These dual-signed cards were relatively unknown, even to the Kennedy Library, until the mid-1980s. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.
This gilt ‘gold’ 1904 Olympic official’s YMCA badge measures 2.5″ in length and 1.5″ wide. Crossbar at the top reads, “1904–Official Olympic Games,” with the ornate circular body, 1.75″ in diameter, reads, “YMCA–Spirit–Mind–Body.” Reverse is hand-engraved, “G. T. Hepron, Secretary A.L. Y.M.C.A., N.A.” Medal comes with its original leather case. Condition is near mint. A most unusual and seldom-seen 1904 official Olympic format.
Extremely rare color semi-glossy official ‘red-numbered’ NASA photo, trimmed to a size of 9.75 x 7.5, signed and inscribed in black felt tip by White, “To Joyce—Thanks for all your help at KSC—with best wishes, Edward H. White II” and signed in black felt tip, “Gus Grissom,” and “Roger B. Chaffee.” This is paired with a one-of-a-kind set of two leather NASA identification tags from White’s and Grissom’s flight suits worn during trips to and from the Kennedy Space Center, both of which are moderately to heavily worn. Unlike all other Apollo missions, flight-worn materials from Apollo 1 are manifestly nonexistent; as the personal name patches from their earthly flight suits, these are essentially the closest possible surrogates extant. The signed photo and leather patches are attractively suede-matted and framed together with an Apollo 1 commemorative patch and a printed caption to an overall size of 23.25 x 18.25. Accompanied by a letter of provenance from Joyce Abrams, who served as the crew quarters attendant for the astronauts, in part: “The two leather uniform name patches for the Apollo 1 astronauts…are the original patches from the astronauts’ flight suits which were worn by them while flying into and out of Kennedy Space Center during Pres. John F. Kennedy’s Man to the Moon program.” Aforementioned trimming and a few scattered creases to photo, not detracting from the overall appearance, otherwise fine condition. This is easily considered the rarest of all Apollo crew signed portraits, few ‘red-numbered’ examples are known to exist; combined with the unique personally-worn name patches from the astronauts’ NASA flight suits, this is an absolutely remarkable display.