Heritage Auctions nabs famous collection of mystery & detective books

Dashiell Hammett’s ‘Red Harvest’ is expected to sell for $30,000 or more. Heritage Auctions image


DALLAS – Dashiell Hammett’s Red Harvest is expected to be the leading feature in the KoKo Collection, part of the Sept. 14 Rare Books Auction at Heritage Auctions. Drawing on his experience as a Pinkerton operative, Hammett’s momentous debut novel, published in 1929, defined the archetype for the literary private investigator.

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Sotheby’s sells Rufino Tamayo’s ‘Bird Charmer’ for $4.3M

Rufino Tamayo, ‘The Bird Charmer,’ oil on canvas, 60 1/4 by 50 1/4 inches (153 x 128 cm). Price realized: $4,287,500. Image courtesy Sotheby’s


NEW YORK (AP) – The Bird Charmer by Rufino Tamayo was sold for $4.3 million on Thursday at Sotheby’s Latin American art auction in New York.

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Elvis Presley private jet starring in GWS Auctions celebrity event May 27

Elvis Presley’s Lockheed JetStar. GWS Auctions Inc. image


AGOURA HILLS, Calif. – Elvis Presley’s Lockheed JetStar is topping the charts in an A-List Celebrity and Icons Memorabilia auction May 27 orchestrated by GWS Auctions Inc.

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Founding document of Major League Baseball scheduled for auction

SCP Auctions anticipates the newly discovered handwritten 1876 constitution of Major League Baseball will sell for a record price. SCP Auctions image


LAGUNA NIGUEL, Calif. – In the wake of its record-breaking $3.26 million sale last spring of the 1857 Laws of Base Ball documents, SCP Auctions has unveiled the recently discovered 1876 Founding Documents and Original Constitution of Major League Baseball, a hand-written, 74-page sports artifact, which will go up for auction May 24. Bidding will close June 10.

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Guernsey’s to auction Jerry Garcia’s ‘Wolf’ guitar May 31

Jerry Garcia playing ‘Wolf.’ Roberto Rabanne image, courtesy of Guernsey’s


NEW YORK – On May 31, Jerry Garcia’s legendary “Wolf” guitar will once again hit the auction block with Guernsey’s – but this time to benefit the Southern Poverty Law Center.

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Alamo document posts $137,500 at Heritage Auctions’ Texana sale

This document was written by William B. Travis, a lieutenant colonel in the Texas Army, who died at the age of 26 at the Battle of the Alamo during the Texas Revolution. It sold for $137,500. Heritage Auctions image.


DALLAS – A historically important document signed by William Barret Travis, securing walnut lumber to help build a garrison just days before the Alamo was attacked by Mexican forces, sold for $137,500 in Heritage Auctions’ Texana & Western Americana auction March 24 in Dallas.

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Bill supported by California auctioneers clears important first hurdle in State Senate

California State Capitol Building, photo by Rafal Konieczny, CC BY-SA 4.0


SACRAMENTO, Calif. – On April 3, the California Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee approved SB 579, a measure that corrects the problems created by the provisions in AB 1570 (Chang) [Ch. 258, Stat. 2016], Signed Memorabilia, while preserving consumer protection. The vote was unanimous: 9 aye, 0 no. SB 579 is authored by Senator Cathleen Galgiani and co-authored by a bi-partisan group of five Members of the California State Senate.

Last year, the California State Legislature approved and Governor Jerry Brown signed into law AB 1570 (Chang) enacting new provisions in Section 1739.7 of the California Civil Code, effective January 1, 2017. The amendments were intended to rigorously govern the sale of “autographed” sports and entertainment memorabilia by requiring dealers who advertise and sell any item bearing a signature to provide a certificate of authenticity to the purchaser. The new regulation also requires various onerous practices and procedures relating to record maintenance and disclosures of the identity of consignors of such “autographed” items, the latter of which raises privacy and confidentiality concerns. Violation of the statute includes severe civil penalties (up to 10 times actual damages, or more, plus legal fees and costs to a successful claimant).

New measure corrects problems created by current regulation while also preserving consumer protections

The language of the current law severely impacts entities that are not, or are only minimally, engaged in the sale of sports and entertainment memorabilia and that were and are not the intended focus of the statute, thereby unintentionally hindering commercial activity in the state of California.

SB 579 corrects this recently enacted statute by:

  • Revising the definitions of “Collectibles” so as to more clearly target “Sports and Entertainment” Memorabilia;
  • Revising the definition of “Dealer” to exclude an auction company or auctioneer already governed by existing law, the Auctioneer and Auction Companies Act;
  • Clarifying certain provisions in recognition of federal precedent on the unconstitutionality of state statutes regulating out-of-state sales (see Sam Francis Found. v. Christie’s, Inc., 784 F.3d 1230 (9th Cir. 2015));
  • Striking the requirement that dealers of autographed memorabilia disclose consignors’ identities, in favor of a requirement that dealers maintain records of such data for 7 years and make such a disclosure if mandated by subpoena or court order.

SB 579 preserves provisions in existing law, including the protections afforded consumers in the penal, commercial and civil codes. This bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately as an urgency statute.

One of the companies in the coalition that has been actively advocating for passage of SB 579 is LiveAuctioneers, whose online-bidding platform is used by 489 California auction houses. LiveAuctioneers CEO Jason Finger commented: “In any transaction involving a signed collectible item, auctioneers take very seriously the need to provide trustworthy provenance. To maintain a thriving marketplace for autographed sports and entertainment memorabilia, it is also extremely important for both buyers and sellers to know their privacy will be respected. We’re delighted that SB 579 has passed unanimously in the California Senate’s Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee and will continue to lend our support to the auction-house alliance promoting the bill’s passage.”

The measure now goes to the California Senate Judiciary Committee.

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Bertoia’s launching online-auction division; inaugural sale April 15

Over the years, family-owned Bertoia Auctions in Vineland, New Jersey, has played host to dozens of high-profile auctions of fine antique toys, trains, dolls, teddy bears and holiday antiques. Image courtesy of Bertoia Auctions


VINELAND, N.J. – Bertoia Auctions is branching out with a new series of sales designed expressly for live-online and absentee bidding. Known as “Bertoia Basics,” the auctions will offer collectors at all levels an additional way to buy fine toys, trains, banks and doorstops using only real-time Internet and absentee-bidding methods through LiveAuctioneers.

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JFK diary written in post-World War II Europe up for auction

This diary was written in 1945 when the 28-year-old John F. Kennedy was a correspondent for Hearst newspapers. RR Auctions image


BOSTON (AP) – A diary kept by a young John F. Kennedy during his brief stint as a journalist after World War II in which he reflected on Hitler, the ambitions of the Soviet Union and the weakness of the United Nations is up for auction.

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Heritage Auctions’ 2016 online sales topped $348M, 40% of gross

Heritage Auctions has noted very strong growth year over year in its Sports department. The company achieved a world record price for this 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle rookie card in November 2016 when it sold for $1,135,250. Heritage Auctions image


DALLAS – Heritage Auctions has announced in a press release that its 2016 online auction sales totaled $348,107,079, “far outpacing all other auction houses in online sales.”

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