University Archives' November 29th Online Auction Features Items Signed by Famous Figures in History

Wilton, CT, USA, November 14, 2023 -- A photograph of Albert Einstein from 1954 with his signature and a hand-written dedication to a fellow nuclear policy activist, and a document signed by Founding Father and renowned Declaration signer John Hancock on July 1, 1775, just two weeks after the Battle of Bunker Hill, are featured lots in University Archives’ next major online-only auction scheduled for Wednesday, November 29th.

The Rare Autographs, Manuscripts, Books & Sports Memorabilia auction will start promptly at 10:30 am Eastern time. All 472 lots in the catalog are up for viewing and bidding now – on the University Archives website: www.UniversityArchives.com – as well as on Invaluable.com, Auctionzip.com and LiveAuctioneers.com. Telephone and absentee bids will also be accepted.

“Our November sale features items relating to U.S. Presidents and First Families, Early America, Science, Literature, World Leaders, Music, Military, Art, Civil Rights, Religion, Aviation and Space, Sports, and many specialized categories,” said John Reznikoff, the president of University Archives. “Mark your calendars. This is a wonderful opportunity to buy historical holiday gifts.” 

The vintage sepia-colored photograph of Albert Einstein after Trude Fleischmann is signed and dedicated by Einstein to “Mrs. Leonore Marshall” in 1954. Like Einstein, Marshall expressed grave reservations about the potential dangers of the atomic bomb. Ms. Marshall co-founded the Committee for a Saner Nuclear Policy in 1956 and was a founding co-director of the Committee for Nuclear Responsibility in 1971 (est. $20,000-$30,000). The November sale also includes an autograph manuscript by Einstein relating to his Unified Field Theory and triangle theorems. 

Lot 249 is the one-page Rev War-era document signed in Philadelphia on July 1, 1775 by John Hancock (as President of the Continental Congress), appointing Crispus Graves as an Ensign under Col. Phinney’s command, “in the Army of the United Colonies, raised for Defense of American Liberty, and for repelling every hostile Invasion thereof…” (est. $7,000-$9,000). 

Lot 49 is an autograph letter signed by Abraham Lincoln regarding recently manumitted African American slaves, “the freed-men in Gen. Grant’s Department.” It is one of few Lincoln letters with slave content that remain in private hands. In the letter, dated July 22, 1863, just two weeks after the pivotal Battle of Gettysburg, Lincoln mentions John Eaton, Jr. and James M. McKaye, men tasked with investigating the condition of recently liberated slaves (est. $65,000-$75,000).

Lot 289 is the lyrics to the song “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door”, handwritten by Bob Dylan circa 2009 on a leaf of “The Carlyle” (New York City) hotel stationery and accompanied by a COA from Jeff Rosen, Dylan’s manager. The song was featured in the 1973 movie Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid and enjoyed tremendous popular and commercial success (est. $35,000-$45,000).

Lot 108 is a June 14, 1790 document boldly signed by George Washington, with a scarce printed “George Washington” heading. One of the earliest examples of a Washington presidential appointment, the document confirmed the promotion of Declaration Signer William Ellery. It has a direct chain of custody to a direct descendant of Mr. Ellery: William Ellery Loring. Washington appointments of other Founding Fathers are very rare and very desirable (est. $27,500-$35,000).

Lot 400 is a fair copy in Russian of one of Sergei Esenin’s poems, circa August 1925, with a title that translates to, “Foolish Heart, Don’t Beat.” Autographed material belonging to Esenin, known affectionately as the “Hooligan Poet,” is very rare because the poet died so young. He committed suicide in December 1925, just months after penning this manuscript (est. $18,000-$20,000). 

Lot 370 is a superb 4-volume set of “Marlborough: His Life and Times” (London: George G. Harrap, 1933), signed by its author, Winston Churchill, on the front blank of Volume I as “Inscribed by / Winston S. Churchill.” The epic biography retells the splendid history of John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, hero of the War of the Spanish Succession and Churchill’s ancestor, with volumes sumptuously bound by Sangorski & Sutcliffe (est. $15,000-$20,000).

Lot 243 is a document signed by Benjamin Franklin as the President of the Supreme Council of Pennsylvania, dated August 29, 1787, authorizing a 500-acre land grant in Westmoreland County. Franklin was concurrently serving as a Pennsylvania delegate to the Constitutional Convention, and he would sign the new Federal Constitution just three weeks later (est. $14,000-$18,000). 

Lot 451 is an exceedingly rare autograph document signed by Immanuel Kant in his capacity as Full Professor of Logic and Metaphysics at the University of K√∂nigsberg in east Prussia. The document, dated September 8, 1793, certified that student Johann Erhard Sigismund Jester had successfully completed Professor Kant’s Logic course. That same year, Kant published a treatise condemning some of the less logical aspects of organized religion (est. $10,000-$12,000).

Lot 1 is a poignant letter signed by John Adams and addressed to his granddaughter, Elizabeth Coombs Adams, from 1822. When prompted to offer her life advice, the 87-year-old former President wrote: “Virtue and Happiness are so intimately connected…neither can exist without the other.” Adams urged her to emulate ancient and Christian models to live her best and happiest life. He signed it as “John Adams” (est. $6,000-$8,000).

Lot 277 is a muster roll of Capt. Hugh Maxwell’s Company, which served at Valley Forge, dated November 2, 1778. Of the 54 soldiers named on the roll is an African American private named Catto Gray of Pelham, Mass. He was one of many African American soldiers in the Continental Army who served side-by-side with White Patriots in Rev War combat duty (est. $6,000-$7,000).

Lot 350 is a U.S. decoration ribbon personally owned and worn by George S. Patton, Jr., housed in a CAG jumbo holder. The ribbon includes Patton's WW1 Service Medal, more commonly known as the Victory Medal, issued to members of our armed forces who saw active service during WWI. The ribbon originates directly from Patton and was authenticated by CAG using a letter written by Patton; a copy is included in this lot (est. $5,000-$6,000).

University Archives has become world-renowned as a go-to source for rare items of this kind. It is actively seeking quality material for future auctions, presenting a rare opportunity for sellers. Anyone who has a single item or a collection that may be a fit for a future University Archives auction may call John Reznikoff at 203-454-0111, or email him at john@universityarchives.com.

For more information about University Archives and the online-only Rare Autographs, Manuscripts, Books & Sports Memorabilia auction scheduled for Wednesday, November 29th at 10:30 am Eastern time, please visit www.universityarchives.com. Updates are posted frequently.

About University Archives:
University Archives was founded in 1979, as a division of University Stamp Company, by John Reznikoff, who started collecting stamps and coins in 1968, while in the third grade. Industry-wide, Reznikoff is considered the leading authenticity expert for manuscripts and documents. He consults with law enforcement, dealers, auction houses and both major authentication companies. University Archives’ offices are located at 88 Danbury Rd. (Suite #2A) in Wilton, Conn. For more information about University Archives, please visit www.universityarchives.com.