YONKERS, N.Y. – When Walt Disney wrote to a Minnesota man on Nov. 29, 1935, he surely never dreamed what that letter might be worth one day to collectors. Its exact value will be revealed 74 years later, in a timed absentee auction to be hosted by Cohasco Inc., dealers in manuscripts, books and antiquarian ephemera. Bidding in the sale will close on Nov. 12, 2009 at 8 p.m. Eastern Time.
Typed on his “Silly Symphony” letterhead, emblazoned with a large Mickey Mouse in orange and black, the letter is a rarity to warm the heart of any advanced Disney collector. For six years, Disney’s Silly Symphony cartoons won Academy Awards, and they hold the distinction of having introduced to the public Duckburg’s irascible but lovable main character, Donald Duck.
Signed with his cartoonist’s pen, the Walt Disney letter, together with its Mickey Mouse envelope, is expected to make $3,500-$5,000 in Cohasco’s sale.
Six hundred other lots of collectibles in the auction include:
- The world’s largest private collection of U.S. Capitol Building memorabilia. Each of the 575 items in this grouping, which was amassed over decades, depicts the famous American structure. The one-of-a-kind collection even includes a shoe, a miniature piano, and a bell, all bearing images of the Capitol Building. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the model for the Statue of Freedom, which sits atop the Capitol dome, so the timing couldn’t be better for this collection to be coming to auction. Its group estimate is $2,000-$4,000.
- An 1837 letter from New Orleans writing of the “dreadful gale of wind” – certainly a hurricane – that is part of a 245-item archive documenting life in New Orleans and the Old South. The original letters and documents describe the lost world of steamboats, cotton trading, plantations, great wealth, the early frontier, sugar, tobacco and slavery Estimate $48,000-$60,000.
- “The pamphlet that shaped a nation,” a 26-page booklet printed by John Dunlap, the Philadelphia man who printed the Declaration of Independence on the night of July 4, 1776. Included in the Library of Congress’ online presentation “Creating the United States,” only three other original examples of this pamphlet are known. Estimate $1,500-2,500.
- Advertising booklet for one of the very first hybrid cars, the 1905 Gas-Au-Lec of Peabody, Massachusetts. Combining gas, steam, and electricity, only four examples of the Gas-Au-Lec were ever built. Estimate $110-$140.
- Description of the fabled “letter from Jesus” in an English schoolboy’s notebook of 1698-1702. According to tradition, King Abgar wrote to Jesus, asking for help in curing his illness. He received a reply, and was visited – and cured – by one of Jesus’ disciples. Estimate $400-$600.
- 1816 letter of a plantation overseer, ordering striped fabric for slaves’ clothing. Estimate $90-$120.
For information about any lot in this sale, contact Bob Snyder at Cohasco Inc. Tel. 914-476-8500 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the company online at http://cohascodpc.com
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ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE