BOSTON – RR Auction‘s first-ever Summer Remarkable Rarities event, scheduled for Thursday, June 23, brings 50 unique historical autographs and artifacts to the bidding block. View the fully illustrated catalog on LiveAuctioneers.
Certain to land among the top lots is an Apple-1 computer. The example in the June 23 sale, which carries an estimate of $450,000-$500,000, was one of the first to be publicly auctioned, sold in April 2002 at the Vintage Computer Festival in California. It was purchased by Roger Wagner, a personal computing pioneer who authored the first book on assembly-language programming for the Apple II.
The Apple-1 was originally conceived by Steve Jobs and Steve “Woz” Wozniak as a bare circuit board to be sold as a kit and completed by electronics hobbyists. Their initial market was Palo Alto’s Homebrew Computer Club. Wozniak alone designed the hardware, circuit board designs and operating system for the computer.
Seeking a larger audience, Jobs approached Paul Terrell, owner of The Byte Shop in Mountain View, California, one of the first personal computer stores in the world. Aiming to elevate the computer beyond the realm of the hobbyist, Terrell agreed to purchase 50 Apple-1 computers, but only if they were fully assembled. The Apple-1 thus became one of the first personal computers that did not require soldering by the end-user. During the course of about 10 months, Jobs and Wozniak produced roughly 200 Apple-1 computers and sold 175.
An especially poignant lot in the lineup is a dried rosebud from the bouquet of red roses carried by Jacqueline Kennedy in Dallas on November 22, 1963, at the time of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The rosebud originates from the collection of Jay Watson, station manager at WFAA-TV in Dallas, who was the first to announce the shooting in Dealey Plaza on live television. It is estimated at $10,000-$20,000.
Rounding out the highlights in this tightly-curated auction is President Ronald Reagan’s Trust But Verify putter. President Reagan used the golf putter on Air Force One en route to the Geneva Summit. The historic meeting with Mikhail Gorbachev was focused on reducing nuclear arms and averting the proposed Star Wars missile defense program. The putter is estimated at $35,000-$50,000.
A handwritten letter of provenance from Robert “Bud” McFarlane, Reagan’s National Security Advisor from 1983 through 1985, explains how the putter earned its nickname. McFarlane was on board Air Force One and witnessed Reagan borrow this putter for an impromptu contest.
The letter reads in full: “This is to confirm that the owner of the putter in President Reagan’s storied putting contest while on the way on AF1 to the 1985 Summit in Geneva with President Gorbachev, is Bill Martin, who was serving as special assistant to President Reagan and executive secretary of the National Security Council. In offering his putter for the event, Bill proposed that the contest be titled the ‘Trust But Verify Open.'”
Online bidding for the Remarkable Rarities has begun and will be followed by a live auction on June 23. For more information, go to www.rrauction.com.
View top auction results on LiveAuctioneers here: https://www.liveauctioneers.com/pages/recent-auction-sales/