Huge Chicago map predating the great fire offered at Hindman, Nov. 8-9

 Monumental map of Chicago that predates the Great Chicago Fire, estimated at $50,000-$70,000


Monumental map of Chicago that predates the Great Chicago Fire, estimated at $50,000-$70,000

CHICAGO – On Tuesday, November 8 and Wednesday, November 9, Hindman will present its Fine Printed Books & Manuscripts, including Americana auction. The sale features a scarce 19th-century bird’s-eye view map of Chicago, a group of letters written by Chicago’s most notorious gangster, Al Capone, and a remarkable collection of documents signed by three centuries of world leaders, including nearly every American president. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

The Patrick Atkinson collection of signed books and manuscripts will be a focal point of the second session on Wednesday, November 9. Atkinson meticulously curated an impressive collection of books and documents signed by nearly every American president, from George Washington to Joe Biden, as well as other world leaders. Among the highlights from the collection is a 1958 first edition, first printing of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story signed by King and inscribed with his non-violence credo: “The strong man is the man who can stand up for his rights and not hit back.” It is estimated at $8,000-$12,000.

First edition, first printing signed and inscribed copy of Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘Stride Toward Freedom, The Montgomery Story,’ estimated at $8,000-$12,000

First edition, first printing signed and inscribed copy of Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘Stride Toward Freedom, The Montgomery Story,’ estimated at $8,000-$12,000

Other highlights from the Atkinson collection include a 1785 letter signed by George Washington to his land agent, estimated at $6,000-$8,000; a partly printed document signed by President Thomas Jefferson and his Secretary of State, James Madison, estimated at $4,000-$6,000; and a signed first edition of Mahatma Gandhi’s Young India 1919-1922, also estimated at $4,000-$6,000.

1785 George Washington-signed letter to his land agent, estimated at $6,000-$8,000

1785 George Washington-signed letter to his land agent, estimated at $6,000-$8,000

Highlighting the auction is a monumental map of Chicago, printed in 1857, prior to the Chicago fire, which carries an estimate of $50,000-$70,000. The view, after James T. Palmatary, is incredibly scarce; it is one of only five known copies, and just the second in private hands. The map is remarkable not only for its scarcity and size, but also for its incredible detail. The only other copy of the map offered at auction in at least a century sold at Hindman in 2017.

 Letter from Al Capone, written in Chicago in 1924, estimated at $12,000-$18,000


Letter from Al Capone, written in Chicago in 1924, estimated at $12,000-$18,000

A significant collection offered on the second day of the auction comprises letters written by notorious American gangster Al Capone and a small archive of related material. One letter in particular, written from Chicago in 1924 and requesting the name of a bootlegger, illuminates his thinking during prohibition and his years with the Chicago Outfit. It has an estimate of $12,000-$18,000.

Capone letters are highly rare, with examples from the prohibition period being virtually unattainable. Only four Al Capone letters have been sold at auction in at least the last 50 years, none of which feature content as compelling as that exhibited here, both in terms of the time they were written and the stories they tell.

The first day of the sale will be highlighted by a fine collection of Robert Frost material from the Frost family. The most notable lot is a first edition of Frost’s first book of poems, estimated at $2,000-$4,000, with a letter signed from Robert Frost to his cousin Joseph Frost.

 

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