Revealing Nikola Tesla letter aims for $150K at RR Auction, Jan. 12

Four-page handwritten letter by Nikola Tesla, musing on how he ranks against his inventor peers Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell, est. $125,000-$150,000

Four-page handwritten letter by Nikola Tesla, musing on how he ranks against his inventor-rivals Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell, est. $125,000-$150,000

BOSTON – RR Auction‘s first sale of the new year presents more than 1,000 remarkable lots in its Fine Autographs and Artifacts sale, taking place on Wednesday, January 12. View the fully illustrated catalog on LiveAuctioneers.

The likely top lot is a four-page handwritten letter by Nikola Tesla, commenting on his place amidst Edison and Bell. In this fascinating letter, Tesla observes his place within the hierarchy of America’s great inventors of the era: while Bell and Edison stood on the shoulders of inventors who came before, he insists that he stands alone. This incredible letter reveals Tesla’s broad knowledge of scientific history in addition to his honest thoughts on contemporary inventors and their inventions. It carries an estimate of $125,000-$150,000.

The first honorary diploma awarded to Albert Einstein, est. $40,000-$50,000

The first honorary diploma awarded to Albert Einstein, est. $40,000-$50,000

A second lot that references a great scientist is the first honorary diploma awarded to Albert Einstein. The University of Geneva granted him an honorary doctorate in physics on July 9, 1909, and the document bears the printed signatures of University Rector Robert Chodat, Dean of the Faculty R. Gautier, and Senate Secretary Paul Moriand. It is estimated at $40,000-$50,000.

One-page letter penned in French and signed by Queen Mary I, est. $30,000-$40,000

One-page letter penned in French and signed by Queen Mary I, est. $30,000-$40,000

Also on offer is a one-page letter from Queen Mary I, whose brutal persecution of Protestants earned her the nickname ‘Bloody Mary’. Written in French and signed “votre bonne cousine, Marye,” November 16, 1556, she sent it to Emmanuel Philibert, the Duke of Savoy, relaying news and making a recommendation. The Duke of Savoy was the cousin of her husband, King Philip II of Spain. Philip had ascended to the Spanish throne at the beginning of 1556, making Mary queen consort of Habsburg Spain in addition to her position as Queen of England and Ireland. At one time, Queen Mary and King Philip had schemed to have Elizabeth Tudor marry the Duke of Savoy, thereby securing Catholic succession and preserving the Habsburg interest in England. However, Elizabeth refused to comply, and parliamentary consent was unlikely. After Mary’s death in 1558, her re-establishment of Roman Catholicism was reversed by her younger half-sister and successor, the Protestant Queen Elizabeth I. The letter is estimated at $30,000-$40,000.

Oversize signed and inscribed photo of Babe Ruth, est. $8,000-$12,000

Oversize signed and inscribed photo of Babe Ruth, est. $8,000-$12,000

The sports memorabilia section is led by a beautiful vintage matte-finish oversize photo of Babe Ruth. He is shown in a three-quarter-length pose, wearing his New York Yankees uniform and holding for the camera in a post-swing stance. The legendary slugger signed and inscribed the photo as well. It is a brilliant portrait of the Great Bambino, accentuated by its bold handwriting and eye-pleasing clarity. Its estimate is $8,000-$12,000.

Advance pressing of Prince’s withdrawn 1986 record ‘Camille,’ est. $40,000-$50,000

Advance pressing of Prince’s withdrawn 1986 record ‘Camille,’ est. $40,000-$50,000

The sale also features a special section devoted to Prince, which includes Purple Rain material, several pieces from his personal wardrobe, and the impossible-to-find advance pressing of his withdrawn Camille record. This last is estimated at $40,000-$50,000.

The Fine Autograph and Artifacts auction from RR Auction will conclude on January 12. For more information, go to www.rrauction.com.

 

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