Telegram informing Grant of Lincoln’s assassination comes to Early American March 30

April 14, 1865 telegram informing Ulysses S. Grant of Lincoln's assassination, estimated at $20,000-$40,000 at Early American.

WINCHESTER, Va. — Nearly 240 lots of historic artifacts — some dating to the Revolutionary War — head to market Saturday, March 30 at Early American History Auctions. The complete catalog is now open for review and bidding at LiveAuctioneers.

With Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox just five days earlier, President Abraham Lincoln asked Lt. General Ulysses S. Grant and his wife to accompany him and Mrs. Lincoln to Ford’s Theater to see My American Cousin. Grant’s war-weary wife asked her husband instead to visit their cottage in Burlington, New Jersey, so the Grants politely declined and boarded a Pennsylvania Railroad private coach headed north. As the train pulled into the PRR’s Philadelphia station, a telegram clerk rushed the coach and asked the conductor — who had wisely locked the door with his pass key — to open it so he could hand Grant this American Telegraph Company (precursor to AT&T) telegram he had just received. It read, in the clerk’s hand:

Dated Wash(ington) 14 1865. — Red’d, Philadelphia (no time recorded)
To Lt Genl Grant — An attempt has been made tonight to assassinate the Presdt & secy Seward & has probably succeeded as both have been wounded suffered mortally – The Presidt was shot in Fords Theatre, this is for your information to put on your guard — (Signed) Jno (John) A(aron) Rawlins chf of staff

Grant’s wife Julia’s desire to go on a much-needed restful getaway probably saved their lives, and there is some speculation one of John Wilkes Booth’s accomplices had tried to enter the locked coach to assassinate Grant. Indeed, when taking a private carriage to the train station in Washington, they were likely stalked by Booth. As Julia related in her memoirs, a man “at a sweeping gallop on a dark horse” rode past their carriage, glaring at General Grant, then turned his horse around and rode back past them, again glaring at Grant. This one-of-a-kind historic document is estimated at $20,000-$40,000.

Paul Revere, Jr. (1734-1818) is best remembered for his fateful night ride alerting the Minutemen to the advance of the British Army, but he was also known for his silversmith business. This spoon dates to 1780, is marked REVERE, and is hand-inscribed by Revere with W W*M to LW. The lot is estimated at $12,000-$18,000.

The fall of Richmond, capital of the Confederate States of America, marked the collapse of the political and military center of the Confederacy. The rebel government fled Richmond on April 3, 1865 as Union forces occupied the city. Only days later, on April 9, 1865, General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Lt. General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, effectively ending the Civil War. This broadside marks the occasion with UNION VICTORY! and similar celebratory language. It is estimated at $10,000-$20,000.

French General Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, played a key role in the Revolutionary War when General George Washington gave him command of the Continental Army. Lafayette won the siege of Yorktown, the decisive and final victory of the war. In 1824, Lafayette attended the laying of the corner stone of the Bunker Hill Monument. This portrait textile depicts the elderly Lafayette in attendance and the house notes this example is not listed in Threads of History, the Smithsonian publication. It carries an estimate of $4,500-$6,500.



Warhol, Katz, Revere silver and other museum-worthy pieces at Weiss, July 18

Portfolio of four screenprints in colors by Andy Warhol, titled ‘Skulls,’ estimated at $125,000-$175,000. Image courtesy of Weiss Auctions
Portfolio of four screenprints in colors by Andy Warhol, titled ‘Skulls,’ estimated at $125,000-$175,000. Image courtesy of Weiss Auctions

LYNBROOK, N.Y. – A complete portfolio of four screenprints in colors by Andy Warhol, titled Skulls; a trio of pieces by Philip and Kelvin Laverne, including a wall plaque; and a Paul Revere sterling silver pepper pot are three of the more than 500 lots folks in Weiss Auctions’ online-only estates auction, scheduled for Tuesday, July 18, starting at 10 am Eastern time. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

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Gallery Report: 1867 Winslow Homer painting tops $900K

ATLANTA – At the beginning of every month, ACN columnist Ken Hall delivers top auction highlights from around the United States and the world at large. Here’s his December 2021 edition of Gallery Report. All prices include the buyer’s premium, except where noted.

Winslow Homer painting, $936,000, Thomaston Place Auction Galleries

An oil on canvas painting by Winslow Homer, titled Coming through the Rye, painted in France and inscribed “Homer/Paris 1867,” sold for $936,000 at a sale held November 12-14 by Thomaston Place Auction Galleries in Thomaston, Maine. Also, an 18th-century Chinese flambe glazed moon flask with Qianlong seal mark made $180,000, and a Tiffany Dragonfly table lamp brought $99,450.

Burchfield watercolor, $375,000, Shannon’s Fine Art Auctioneers

A watercolor on two joined sheets of paper by Charles Burchfield, created between 1948 and 1957 and titled January Sun, sold for $375,000 in an online Fall Fine Art Auction held October 28 by Shannon’s Fine Art Auctioneers in Milford, Connecticut. Also, a 1943 oil on board by Thomas Hart Benton, titled Study for Sugar Cane, finished at $275,000; and a 1901 oil painting by Susan Watkins, titled Woman Playing a Guitar, hit $106,250.

Kikuo Saito abstract art, $14,760, Neue Auctions

An abstract oil painting by Japanese-American artist Kikuo Saito, titled Summer Ghost (1997), sold for $14,760 in an online-only Fine Art & Antiques auction held October 30 by Neue Auctions in Beachwood, Ohio. Also, a colorful Parisian street scene by Constantin Kluge, titled Place de la Madeleine, realized $9,840, and a large Milpa stoneware vessel by Claude Conover finished at $8,610.

1871 Union Pacific Railroad pass, $5,125, Holabird Western Americana Collections

A Union Pacific Railroad complimentary pass (#1), issued to General A. W. Marley on Dec. 31, 1871, sold for $5,125 at an Autumn Splendor Western Americana Auction held Oct. 28-Nov. 1 by Holabird Western Americana Collections in Reno, Nevada. Also, a 1947 50-peso Mexican gold coin with 14-carat bezel reached $3,125, and a group of six vintage gaming chips for Harrah’s and other Nevada casinos went for $3,875.

Galle cameo glass vase, $6,600, Woody Auction

A blown mold French cameo glass vase signed Galle and featuring a cameo carved vine and blossom decor sold for $6,600 at the sale of the Jochimsen collection held October 23 by Woody Auction in Douglass, Kansas. Also, a Fenton mosaic art glass pedestal also knocked down for $6,600; a Galle French cameo art glass vase with blown mold cherry branch decor realized $4,750; and an unmarked Royal Flemish by Mt. Washington vase with griffin and dragon enamel decor changed hands for $3,000.

B. Prabha painting, $38,750, Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers

A painting by B. Prabha, titled Indian Women Painting, sold for $38,750 in an online-only Estate Fine Art & Antique Auction held November 15 by Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers in Cranston, Rhode Island. Also, a Cubist figural watercolor by Maqbool Fida Husain, of a couple on horseback, achieved $10,625; and a mixed media mounted to canvas portrait painting by the infamous forger Han Van Meegeren brought $5,938.

Captain America shield, $259,540, Hake’s Auctions

A Captain America hero-prop shield created by Marvel Studios senior prop master Russell Bobbitt and used by Chris Evans for close-up shots in the 2019 film Avengers: Endgame sold for $259,540 in an online Premier Entertainment & Historical Memorabilia Auction held November 2-3 by Hake’s Auctions in York, Pennsylvania. Also, a copy of Fantastic Four #1 comic (Nov. 1961), CGC-graded 6.0 Fine, featuring the debut of Marvel’s first superhero team, knocked down for $37,269.

1980 Nobel Prize, $275,000, Nate D. Sanders

The 1980 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, awarded to George D. Snell, sold for $275,000 at an auction held October 30 by Nate D. Sanders in Los Angeles. Snell won the Nobel Prize for his discovery of MHC, the genetic foundation of a body’s immunological response to tissue and organ transplants, determining whether it accepts an organ or rejects it. The first successful organ transplant occurred in 1954, when one identical twin donated a kidney to his sibling.

Apollo 17 cuff checklist, $744,000, RR Auction

Astronaut Gene Cernan’s Apollo 17 cuff checklist, which provided instructions for man’s last moonwalk and held handwritten notes for the last words spoken from the surface of the Moon, sold for $744,000 in an auction held Sept. 26-Oct. 21 by RR Auction in Boston. Also, Buzz Aldrin’s Apollo 11-flown Lunar Module checklist hit $143,750; Aldrin’s Apollo 11-flown flight form page reached $129,693; and an Apollo 11 First on the Moon book, signed by its crew members, made $41,721.

Amy Winehouse dress, $243,200, Julien’s Auctions

The dress worn by the late British singer Amy Winehouse at her final stage performance in 2011 sold for $243,200 at an auction titled Property from the Life and Career of Amy Winehouse, held November 6-7 by Julien’s Auctions in Los Angeles. Also, the Moschino custom-made red leather heart-shaped purse she brought to the 2007 Brit Awards made $204,800; a floral gold lame D&G stage-worn dress realized $150,000; and a Temperly London tan and black jumpsuit worn by her in 2008 brought $121,600.

The Light and Heavy Chest$156,000, Potter & Potter Auctions

The Light and Heavy Chest, a magic trick apparatus made in France in 1844 and owned and used by Jean-Eugene Robert-Houdin, achieved $156,000 at Part 1 of The Klosterman Collection, a sale held October 30 by Potter & Potter Auctions in Chicago. The hardwood box became light as a feather or immovable, depending on the magician’s command. Also, Karl Germain’s Blooming Rose Bush illusion made $132,000, and Harry Houdini’s Upside Down in the Water Torture Cell poster brought $108,000.

Hopi Indian pottery bowl, $9,000, Pook & Pook, Inc.

A Hopi Sikyatki revival pottery bowl, likely made by the celebrated potter Nampeyo, sold for a little more than $9,000 at a Native American Indian Sale held October 27 by Pook & Pook, Inc. in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. Also, an authentic Navajo coin silver squash blossom necklace earned $8,064; a group of three Hopi kachinas realized $4,221; an Algonquin style miniature birch bark canoe model with moose and deer designs made $3,024; and a child-size Navajo rug achieved $3,906.

Paul Revere engraving, $429,000, Doyle New York

Paul Revere’s iconic 1770 hand-colored engraving of the famous Boston Massacre of March 5, 1770, titled The Bloody Massacre, sold for $429,000 – a new auction record for the print – at an American Paintings & Prints auction held November 2 by Doyle in New York City. Also, a landscape by Fidelia Bridges titled Small Bird with Flowering Ironweed rose to $93,750, setting a record for the artist, and a marine painting by William Bradford also hit $93,750.

Claude Conover vessel, $87,500, Wright

A chalky, engobe-decorated Oltah vessel by Claude Conover sold for $87,500 at an auction titled Shaping Stoneware: The Ceramic Forms of Claude Conover held October 28 by Wright in Chicago. It was the most ever paid for a work by Conover, eclipsing the $53,125 realized by a Uilku vessel at Rago Auctions in 2015. Another piece shattered that record in the October auction: a Uchben vessel that brought $75,000. Overall, the sale grossed $1.229 million.

Early Apple-1 computer, $500,000, John Moran Auctioneers

A vintage Apple-1 computer, known as the Chaffey College Apple-1 as it was originally purchased in 1977 by an electronics professor at the school (who sold it the following year to a student for $650) sold for $500,000 at a Postwar & Contemporary Art + Design sale held Nov. 9 by John Moran Auctioneers in Monrovia, California. Also, a painting by Ariana Papademetropoulos earned $162,500, and a color lithograph by Alexander Calder brought $8,125.

Chippendale chest, $25,200, Nadeau’s Auction Gallery

A circa-1780 diminutive chest from Massachusetts sold for $25,200 at an annual Fall Americana and Chinese Auction held October 30 by Nadeau’s Auction Gallery in Windsor, Connecticut. Also, an elegant blue and white Chinese urn changed hands for $20,480; a portrait of a nobleman done in the manner of Jean de Court finished at $15,600; and a pair of cylindrical polychromed Majolica vessels realized $12,500.

Set of two Lalanne Moutons$705,600, Freeman’s

A suite of playful Moutons (Sheep) de Pierre by Francois-Xavier Lalanne sold for $705,600 at a Modern and Contemporary Art auction held November 17 by Freeman’s in Philadelphia. Also, a bold canvas by Russian Expressionist Chaim Soutine, titled Le Viaduc Rouge Pres de Vence, achieved $302,400; an Untitled (Study for Fiery Circle) sculpture by Harry Bertoia hit $107,100; and Vietnamese artist Vu Cao Dam’s painting titled Divinite rose to $40,950.


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Colonial Williamsburg acquires Paul Revere silver tankard

Tankard, Marked by Paul Revere, Jr. (1734-1818), Boston, Massachusetts, ca. 1795, silver, Museum Purchase, The Friends of Colonial Williamsburg Collections Fund, 2021-45
Tankard, Marked by Paul Revere, Jr. (1734-1818), Boston, Massachusetts, ca. 1795, silver, Museum Purchase, The Friends of Colonial Williamsburg Collections Fund, 2021-45
Tankard, Marked by Paul Revere, Jr. (1734-1818), Boston, Massachusetts, circa 1795, silver, Museum Purchase, The Friends of Colonial Williamsburg Collections Fund, 2021-45

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. — The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation has added to its renowned American and British silver collection a rare tankard made circa 1795 by America’s best-known colonial silversmith, Paul Revere, Jr. (1734-1818) of Boston, Massachusetts.

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