Einstein, Steve Jobs, and Marilyn Monroe artifacts bring history to life at University Archives Feb. 21

Steve Jobs-signed audio release from a 1988 NeXT computer launch keynote, estimated at $30,000-$40,000 at University Archives.

WILTON, Conn. — More Albert Einstein-signed correspondence emerges from private collections via University Archives on Wednesday, February 21 at the Rare Signed Manuscripts Books Photos Relics sale now open for bidding at LiveAuctioneers.

In addition, a signed performance release from NeXT Computer founder Steve Jobs and a 1958 Connecticut drivers license for Marilyn Monroe while she was married to playwright Arthur Miller are top anticipated lots.

A 1933 ALS (autographed letter, signed) from Albert Einstein (1879-1955) to his schizophrenic son Eduard documents the famed scientist’s flight from Belgium to England as he awaited his final move to Princeton, New Jersey to take a post at the Institute for Advanced Study. Einstein matter-of-factly describes his escape from mainland Europe because “there were plans for my assassination.” As an enemy of the newly empowered National Socialists in Germany, Einstein had received death threats and had been named on Nazi bounty lists. He referenced his son’s mental health with “I hope you are in a steady mood with no significant irritations.” The ALS is the top-estimated lot of the sale at $30,000-$40,000.

A more scientific relic is an undated Einstein one-page autograph manuscript in German comprising more than 170 words and seven lines of equations relating to the development of his United Field Theory. It also carries a $30,000-$40,000 estimate.

In 1956, Hollywood motion picture star Marilyn Monroe embarked on her third and final marriage, this time to playwright Arthur Miller. Having only recently divorced New York Yankees star Joe DiMaggio, the marriage was greeted with a combination of disdain and disbelief in the mass media, with Variety calling the union “Egghead Weds Hourglass.”

This 1958 Connecticut drivers license lists the holder as “M M Miller” residing at Tophet Road in Roxbury, with a bold Marilyn Monroe Miller signature in blue ball-point pen ink. It is estimated at $30,000-$40,000.

Steve Jobs (1955-2011) is best remembered today as the co-founder of Apple Computer, who was famously ousted in a 1985 power struggle with CEO John Sculley just a year after the launch of the Macintosh. Jobs went on to found NeXT, a computer technology firm that created what would become MacOS X as well as co-found the animated motion picture studio Pixar. Jobs returned to Apple in 1997 where he would develop the iPod, iPhone, and iPad before succumbing to pancreatic cancer at age 56.

In 1988, Jobs held an east coast unveiling of the new NeXT platform and operating system at Boston Symphony Hall on November 30. As part of the appearance, Jobs signed a release allowing for the use of his appearance in audio form. Jobs signatures from this period are notoriously difficult to find, particularly in the steven p. jobs small-case cursive format. The release is PSA graded Gem Mint 10 and is estimated at $30,000-$40,000.

Artur Van Riggle, Harry Bertoia, Paul Evans, and other design greats charmed bidders at Rago

1902 Despondency vase by Artus Van Briggle for Van Briggle Pottery, which sold for $104,800 with buyer’s premium at Rago.

LAMBERTVILLE, N.J. – Back-to-back design sales in mid-January at Rago delivered typically strong results. Early 20th Century Design, held on January 18, posted high numbers for ceramics, while Modern Design, which took place January 19, saw triumphs for furniture and sculpture. Both sales were presented via LiveAuctioneers.

The crowning glory of the January 18 sale proved to be a 1902 Despondency vase, made by Artus Van Briggle for his self-named pottery firm. Estimated at $20,000-$30,000, it hammered for $80,000 and achieved a staggering $104,800 with buyer’s premium. The vase dated to soon after Van Briggle established his pottery in Colorado Springs in 1901, a location he chose in hopes it would ease his tuberculosis. Sadly, he would succumb to the disease in July 1904, at only 35 years old. The Despondency vase, possibly influenced by Rodin figures Van Briggle would have seen when studying in Paris in the late 1890s, is a coveted form of his. An example is on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

A 1901 piece by Anna Marie Valentien for Rookwood Pottery also handily beat its $4,500-$6,500 estimate. The large, yellow-beige modeled matte vase that featured the figure of a young woman clinging to one side hammered for $26,000 and sold for $34,060 with buyer’s premium. In addition, a circa-1920 Dinanderie vase by Jean Dunand charmed bidders, hammering for $21,000 and selling for $27,510 with buyer’s premium against an estimate of $7,000-$10,000.

Earning top-lot status in the January 19 auction was a circa-1968 bronze by Harry Bertoia, dubbed Untitled (Bush Form) and estimated at $50,000-$70,000. Bidders evidently liked that it had been in the same collection since it was made and that it is listed in the Harry Bertoia catalogue raisonné, because it rose to a hammer price of $100,000 and sold for $131,000 with buyer’s premium.

Another clear winner was a lot consisting of an armless sofa and matching chairs in teak, created in the 1950s by Pierre Jeanneret for Punjab University in Chandigarh, India. Estimated at $40,000-$50,000, the group hammered for $65,000 and sold for $85,150 with buyer’s premium.

Paul Evans is a perennial favorite at Rago; more than two dozen pieces by the New Hope, Pennsylvania furniture artist appeared in the January 19 lineup. A circa-1968 loop cabinet with a pleasing green-patinated copper exterior romped past its $12,000-$16,000 estimate to hammer for $60,000 and sell for $78,600 with buyer’s premium.

Haring family toy collection brings 500 lots to Weiss Feb. 21

Ernst Plank Aviso live steam gun ship toy, estimated at $20,000-$50,000 at Weiss.

LYNBROOK, N.Y. — Three generations of toy collecting come to market with the Haring family collection crossing the block at Weiss Auctions on Wednesday, February 21. The 500-plus lot sale includes tin ships, cast-iron mechanical banks, pressed-steel trucks, American and European electric trains, Japanese battery-operated toys — even fountain pens and soda collectibles — so there’s literally something for everyone. The catalog is now open for bidding at LiveAuctioneers.

The Haring collection traces its roots to family patriarch Jack Harling and his early fondness for Marklin trains. His son John caught the collecting bug, which expressed itself in a passion for trains and live steam-driven toys acquired during his global travels. The tradition continued with John’s son Ford, who from a young age joined his father and grandfather at shows and swap meets across the east coast. Today, Ford is the family torchbearer, focusing on antique toys, especially live steam and clockwork boats.

The sale’s top-estimated lot is a 1902 Ernst Plank Aviso live-steam gunboat in remarkable condition, with original guns, lifeboats, and anchors — which are more typically missing or replaced with reproductions. Showing only light play wear and surviving with its original paint, the boat is estimated at $20,000-$50,000.

Radiguet was a 19th-century French toy manufacturer with an emphasis on education. It produced live-steam engines, boats, and trains, and sold everything through mail order. The Haring collection includes a Radiguet live-steam gunship having a super bow forward design and all its original guns, masts, and anchors. Dated to the 1890s, the 22in ship remains in incredible condition for being more than 130 years of age. It carries an estimate of $10,000-$20,000.

Roullet & Decamps began in 1866 when Ernst Roullet created the first inexpensive mechanism for automating the movements of dolls. He won the World’s Fair bronze medal in 1867, and soon after, Ernst’s daughter married the shop’s mechanical engineer, Ernest Dekamp, and the company went into full-swing production. This drinking bear automaton is attributed to Roullet & Decamps and is covered in mohair which, unfortunately, can fall off when touched. The mechanism works, albeit slowly. The bear is estimated at $800-$1,500.

Corgi Toys, the die-cast line of miniature vehicles launched by Mettoy in 1956, smartly created a collectors club for its young (and old) fans, giving members access to club-exclusive offerings not otherwise available at retail. In the 1960s, Corgi issued its famous no. 468 Routemaster double-decker bus in an exclusive livery that included a House of Lords Gin banner advertisement. The Haring collection boasts a mint-in-box example complete with the original club membership insert. It is estimated at $700-$1,000.