History’s luminaries power University Archives’ June 24 sale

History’s luminaries

‘The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan,’ the artist’s second album, signed by Dylan. Estimate: $5,000-$6,000. University Archives image

WESTPORT, Conn. – Items signed by Marilyn Monroe, Abraham Lincoln, Frank Lloyd Wright, Bob Dylan, the three Apollo XI astronauts, Robert Hooke and many more of history’s brightest luminaries will come up for bid in an online-only Rare Books, Manuscripts & Relics auction Including Forbes and Kerouac slated for Wednesday, June 24, by University Archives. Bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers.  

“Our June 24th auction offers a fantastic buying opportunity for general collectors, as well as specialized collectors of literary, art, music, and entertainment,” said John Reznikoff, president and owner of University Archives. “Items pertaining to presidents, world leaders, military, science, space, aviation, business and investment are well represented in this very diverse sale.”

Three Bob Dylan signed album covers – The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan (above), the artist’s second album Bringing it All Back Home and Blonde on Blonde, all with certificates of authenticity from Dylan’s manager, Jeff Rosen – will headline a music category that also includes five signatures from members of the Rolling Stones.

A strong candidate for top lot of the auction is a rare autograph document signed by Robert Hooke (British, 1635-1703), the natural philosopher, architect and polymath often referred to as “England’s Leonardo.” The 1670 document (below), arbitrating a property dispute after the “Late dreadful fire” (the Great Fire of London in 1666) is expected to realize $65,000-$70,000.

History’s luminaries

Rare autograph document signed by Robert Hooke (British, 1635-1703) from 1670, arbitrating a property dispute after the Great Fire of London. Estimate: $65,000-$70,000. University Archives image

The star-studded entertainment category features items ranging from the era of P.T. Barnum and “Buffalo Bill” Cody to Hollywood’s Golden Age. Aficionados can bid on a signed publicity still of Marilyn Monroe from the 20th Century Fox movie How to Marry a Millionaire, PSA/DNA slabbed and graded NM-7 (est. $12,000-$14,000) or the autographs of Lawrence Olivier, Vivien Leigh and other big stars.

History’s luminaries

Signed publicity still of Marilyn Monroe from the 20th Century Fox movie ‘How to Marry a Millionaire.’ Estimate: $12,000-$14,000. University Archives image

Outstanding historical documents relating to U.S. presidents will include a George Washington free franked war-dated document (est. $5,500-$6,500); a war-dated, four-language whaling ship’s passport signed by Abraham Lincoln (est. $10,000-$12,000); a letter signed by Andrew Johnson relating to the Pacific Railroad (est. $1,000-$1,200); and items pertaining to JFK, FDR, Harry S. Truman, Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower.

The literary category will also feature more than 30 lots of from Beat writer Jack Kerouac’s estate. Items include Kerouac’s personally owned and worn modest stainless steel Rolex Oyster Perpetual wristwatch, circa 1962 (est. $900-$1,000); and his large, wall-mounted crucifix, nearly 9 inches tall, a favorite of Kerouac’s, who was a lifelong devout Roman Catholic (est. $200-$300).

History’s luminaries

Author Jack Kerouac’s personally owned large, wall-mounted crucifix, nearly 9in tall. Estimate: $200-$300. University Archives image

Other Kerouac items will include his copy of The Yage Letters dedicated to him by Allen Ginsberg in Kerouac’s hometown of Lowell, Mass., in 1967; early foreign language editions of Kerouac’s most important works; his thumbed-through men’s magazines; paperbacks from his home library; and a photo-identified transistor radio. All books are estate-stamped and sealed.

Also in the literary category is a two-page letter signed in Italian by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, creator of Frankenstein, regarding the correspondence of her husband, the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, who died in a boating accident in Italy more than 20 years earlier; letters, signed books, archives; and even canceled bullfighting tickets from literary greats like Ernest Hemingway.

The art category will be led by Andy Warhol’s personally owned “Big Shot” Polaroid camera – (est. $6,000-$7,000) and Frank Lloyd Wright’s signed architectural plans for his last Usonian house, the Duey Wright House in Wausau, Wisc., 1957, 44½ inches by 29½ inches (est. $8,000-$9,000).

History’s luminaries

Andy Warhol’s personally owned Big Shot Polaroid camera. Estimate: $6,000-$7,000. University Archives image

A pristine Apollo XI insurance cover signed by Neil Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin and Michael Collins, from the Buzz Aldrin Family Space Collection, should realize $6,000-$7,000.

More than 40 lots gleaned from the Forbes Collection – the estate of magazine publisher Malcolm Forbes (1919-1990) and his sons, will cross the auction block, including a dazzling array of foreign and presidential pieces. One of the highlights is a riveting two-page autograph letter signed by Ronald Reagan, then governor of California, discussing his views on race and capital punishment.

For details contact University Archives at 203-454-0111 or john@universityarchives.com.

View top auction results on LiveAuctioneers here: https://www.liveauctioneers.com/pages/recent-auction-sales/