Signed documents from Marilyn Monroe, Lincoln, and Einstein cross the block at University Archives April 10

First photo believed to have been signed as ‘Marilyn Monroe’, estimated at $28,000-$35,000 at University Archives.

WILTON, Conn. – A vintage photograph of Marilyn Monroe taken circa 1947 and signed by the budding starlet, a 1935 two-page typewritten letter signed by Albert Einstein, and a handsome Civil War-dated military commission signed by Abraham Lincoln are just a few of the top lots at University Archives Wednesday, April 10 sale. The catalog is now available for bidding and review at LiveAuctioneers.

Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962) posed for this image around 1947, when she adopted her stage name and shed her birth name of Norma Jeane Mortenson. It also features an early ‘Marilyn Monroe’ signature that University Archives states is the earliest example known. PSA/DNA graded 10, the print has it all: photo quality, signature quality, and image composition. It has an estimate of $28,000-$35,000.

University Archives continues to bring interesting Albert Einstein correspondence to the market. This time it’s a two-page typewritten letter to friend and fellow physicist Cornelius Lanczos. In it, Einstein describes difficulties he had encountered when attempting to articulate the theory of general relativity through useful equations, challenges which he said “had cooled my confidence below the freezing point.” The letter carries an estimate of $24,000-$30,000.

A Civil War-dated military commission signed by President Abraham Lincoln and co-signed by Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, dated July 1864, promoted Maryland-born career army officer Robert H. K. Whiteley. He had declined a command in the Confederate Army at the outset of the war, and rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Ordnance Department, tasked with overseeing Union munitions at Pittsburgh. The framed commission is estimated at $6,000-$8,000.

Artist and inventor Samuel Morse spent years of his life defending (in court and in the court of public opinion) his claim that he had developed the telegraph independently. In this letter, dated November 11, 1861 and addressed to A.J. Goodman, Esq., Morse describes the origins of the telegraph. Morse had strenuously defended his intellectual property rights for the telegraph for 25 years prior to writing the letter. It is estimated at $15,000-$20,000.