Category Archives: Edgar Allan Poe

RR Autograph Auctions Edgar Allan Poe Scarce and very desirable ALS signed

RR Autograph Auctions Edgar Allan Poe

Scarce and very desirable ALS signed “Very, resp’y, Edgar A. Poe,” one page, 5 x 8, September 26, 1836. Letter to Mr. Charles Ellis. In full: “Do you think you could oblige me so far as to let me have the amount of $50 in dry goods, upon a credit of 4 months? If so, I would be greatly indebted to you, and my aunt will call down to choose such articles as she may wish.” Reverse of second integral page bears an address in Poe’s hand to “Mr. Charles Ellis Sr., Present.” In fine condition, with two horizontal mailing folds, small spot of paper loss to second page from wax seal, and some scattered light toning.

After marrying his young cousin Virginia in late 1835, Poe returned to Richmond with his new bride and her mother (his aunt) to work as the editor of the Southern Literary Messenger. Regularly publishing his own writing, including criticism, poetry and short stories, he made himself a fixture in the literary world during his two-year tenure with the periodical, though he did not achieve measurable success until years later. Struggling to make a living as a writer, Poe hit additional financial stress when he suffered from an unknown illness in September of 1836, causing that month’s issue of the Messenger to be delayed and his employment temporarily dissolved. Turning to Charles Ellis, Sr., his adoptive father John Allan’s best friend and former business partner, who Poe had known since childhood, he requests $50 in goods to get by. A stunning letter from one of the most coveted names in American literature! Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.

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Posted by on November 5, 2012 in Edgar Allan Poe


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RR Auctions Edgar Allan Poe Check sold $54,966 February Auction

The only Edgar Allan Poe check known to exist sold for $54,966 in the February auction!

The only Poe check known to exist, composed entirely in his hand!
Virtually nonexistent personal check, written entirely in Poe’s hand, 6.5 x 2.5, payable to Harnden & Co. for $30.00, May 14, 1846. Poe instructs his lawyer, L. A. Godey, Esq, “At three days’ sight, please pay to the order of Harnden & Co. Thirty Dollars, and charge the same to my account. New York. May 14, 1846. Edgar A. Poe.” Docketing on the reverse in another hand reading, “E. A. Poe, May 15/46, $30.-,” and “Harnden Co.” In very good condition, with several vertical creases and some light surface creasing, scattered light soiling, a few trivial ink spots, light show-through from the docketing on the reverse, and three expected cancellation lines through the signature.

Louis A. Godey, an American publisher, bookseller and editor, owned Godey’s Magazine and The Lady’s Book, and from May-October 1846 ran a series of articles by Poe entitled “The Literati of New York City,” resulting in anonymous letters “requesting us to be careful what we allow Mr. Poe to say of New York authors.” Godey defended the author by replying, “We are not to be intimidated by a threat or the loss of friends, or turned from our purpose…Mr. Poe has been ill, but we have letters from him of very recent dates, also a new batch of the Literati, which show anything but feebleness either in body or mind.”

Poe sent his articles via Harden & Co., the first express company which sent mail via rail; the publisher, in turn, would see that Harnden was paid for its services. That year Poe also brought a libel suit against editor Hiram Fuller and the Evening Mirror which had called the writer “a poor creature…in a condition of sad, wretched imbecility” (July 20, 1846) as well as having a “habit of misrepresentation…and malignity is so much a part of his nature, that he continually goes out of his way to do ill-natured things” (July 23, 1846). Some of this verbal abuse stemmed between the very public feud between Poe and one of the newspaper’s writers, Thomas Dunn English, whom he knew but in the “Literati” stated “I do not personally know Mr. English.” It was a lie, but the Mirror’s vicious, unrelenting libel on Poe resulted in the court upholding the author’s suit and he received $225 in damages. This extremely rare check is the only known check written entirely in Poe’s hand, and offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Previously auctioned at Sotheby’s in 2001. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.

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Posted by on February 17, 2012 in Edgar Allan Poe


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RR Auctions Edgar Allan Poe’s only known check

Edgar Allan Poe’s only known check, Vladimir Lenin’s ultra-rare handwritten letter, and one of FDR’s only known inauguration photos are only a few of the notoriously scarce items being offered in RR Auctions February collection.

Edgar Allan Poe gained instant notoriety after the 1845 publication of his poem, The Raven. He would go on to buy out the Broadway Journal, a move that would validate him in terms of becoming the professional writer he always wanted to be. This entirely handwritten check-the only known example in existence-dated May 14, 1846, was penned with instructions to his lawyer and owner and publisher of Godey’s Magazine and Lady’s Book, Louis A. Godey, to draw thirty dollars from his account to pay Harden & Co., the express mail service he utilized to deliver his articles for publication.

In January of 1917, Vladimir Lenin was waiting to seize his moment—the moment that would deliver him from exile in Zurich back into his native Russia. Postmarked on the 16th of the month, Lenin penned a quick and urgent letter inviting a supporter to rendezvous with himself and Polish socialist leader, Mieczyslav Bronski. Within weeks of this meeting, Bronski would deliver the piece of news that delivered Lenin his big break: the Tsar of Nicholas II’s abdication of the throne. This event sent Lenin forging through a war-riddled Europe as he prepared to gain support for the October Revolution, an event through which Lenin would radically shift Russia’s ideology, giving way to the birth of the Soviet Union. Any written correspondence from Lenin is exceedingly scarce, especially those so floridly signed.

An exceptionally rare and oversized signed photo of FDR’s unprecedented third inauguration on January 20, 1941, the day he would become the only American president to serve three terms. This image marks the first time in the last 35 years that any images of Roosevelt’s ground-breaking inauguration have been offered in public auction.

Also included in this month’s robust auction are a fantastic oversized image of the Apollo 11 lunar landing, inscribed in 1969; a spectacular document signed by Henry VIII; an elusive Geronimo signature; a second generation Dezo Hoffmann photo of the Fab Four; and a magical gathering of artifacts from the original masters of the craft, including Houdini.  All of these coveted items and more will be available for auction on January 27.

For information, visit the RR Auctions web site at or contact

Bobby Livingston at


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