Bank check, 8.25 x 3, filled out in type and signed by Monroe, payable to Marilyn Monroe for $7500.00, July 13, 1961. Reverse bears a secretarial endorsement. In fine condition, with a central vertical fold, red check mark to right edge, and expected cancellation holes, with none affecting the clean signature area. In unusually clean, bright condition. The year of 1961 proved to be a difficult year for Marilyn. Her divorce from Arthur Miller was finalized in January, and her increasing dependence on alcohol and prescription medications began to take a toll on her health; two days before writing this check, she was discharged from Polyclinic Hospital following gallbladder surgery, which was her fifth hospital stay in a ten-month period. A month later, Joe DiMaggio unsuccessfully asked Marilyn to remarry him in an attempt to save her. Pre-certified PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.
Monthly Archives: September 2014
Influential poet (1875–1926) who takes a place among the most highly regarded figures in early modern literature. Magnificent handwritten poem in German, one page inside a 5 x 7 card, signed at the conclusion, “Rainer Maria Rilke, Schlossberg the Irschel, Ende 1920.” Rilke pens a poem for Anneliese on her 11th birthday. In full (untranslated):
“Manchmal noch empfind ich vo¨llig jenen Kinder-Jubel, ihn: da ein Laufen von den Hu¨gellehnen schon wie Neigung schien.
Da Geliebt-Sein noch nicht band und mu¨hte, und beim Nachtlicht-Schein sich das Aug schloß wie die blaue Blu¨te von dem blauen Lein.
Und da Lieben noch ein blindes Breiten halber Arme war—, nie so ganz um Einen, um den Zweiten: offen, arm und klar.”
In very good condition, with scattered creases and dampstaining. This comes from a relatively unknown poetic cycle by Rilke which went unpublished until finally being released under the title Aus dem Nachlaß des Grafen C. W. [Posthumous Poems by Count C. W.] in 1950. Rilke wrote these poems in November 1920 and March 1921, while staying at Castle Berg in the northwestern part of Switzerland. He claimed that they were not his own original work, but that the verse had been dictated to him by a gentleman dressed in 18th century clothing who haunted the castle. Some scholars believe that this provided him with a pretext for writing simplistic poetry not on par with his usual standards. As such, he unflinchingly denied authorship of them and refused to include them in any of his published works. This poem, in particular, is more or less about the innocence of youth, a common theme throughout the cycle that has led some to believe that it is a cycle of love poems, inspired by Rilke’s affair with Baladine Klossowska. An immensely fascinating piece from an important and lesser-known period of Rilke’s life. Rilke is exceptionally desirable in any sort of autographic material, and a complete handwritten poem such as this is a truly extraordinary find. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.
Superlative hand-addressed free frank as president, measuring 9.75 x 6.75 unfolded, with center panel measuring 5 x 3.25, addressed by Jefferson to “Genl Samuel Smith, Baltimore,” and beautifully franked in the upper left, “free, Th: Jefferson.” The panel bears a “Free” ink stamp and postal cancellation of “Wash City Oct 12”; there was previously an autograph letter integral to this free frank, dated October 10, 1891, which was cleanly clipped off and removed. In fine condition, with professionally repaired partial separations to perimeter folds (a horizontal fold passes through the center panel but is intact and untouched), a couple miniscule tears to edges, and the postmark only superficially touching the downstroke of one letter in his signature.
Samuel Smith was a distinguished soldier and politician who joined the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, and later commanded the defenses during the Battle of Baltimore and Fort McHenry in the War of 1812. Smith received this from President Jefferson while serving in the House of Representatives, where he had in fact negotiated Jefferson’s appointment to the presidency just a year earlier in the hotly disputed election of 1800, after the Electoral College vote had resulted in a tie between Jefferson and Aaron Burr. A beautiful exemplar with immensely desirable characteristics—all writing is exceedingly crisp and bold, it dates to an early time in his first presidential term, and presents an excellent association with the American Revolution and establishment of its new federal government. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.
Uncommon signed book: A Magician Among the Spirits. First edition. NY: Harper & Brothers, 1924. Hardcover, 6.5 x 9.5, 294 pages. Signed and inscribed on the first free end page in black ink, “To Glen Landers, Best wishes, Houdini, Jan. 22/25.” Autographic condition: fine, with light toning and a pencil mark to the signed page. Book condition: G+/None. Pre-certified PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.
Ink signatures, “Neil Armstrong,” and “Buzz Aldrin,” on a 10.25 x 7.5 off-white acid-free sheet. In very fine condition. Consignor indicates that the signatures were obtained at the NASA Glenn Research Center on July 13, 1989, a week before the 20th anniversary of their mission. Pre-certified Steve Zarelli and RR Auction COA.
Official dipping pen of immense historical importance, used by President Johnson to sign the Civil Rights Act into law on July 2, 1964. The presidential Esterbrook pen measures 6.25″ long and features a black plastic grip with a Lucite handle imprinted with “The President—The White House.” Includes an official typed statement describing the act and a White House card bearing a calligraphic description of the pen. An actual pen used by the president for such an iconic piece of legislation is expected to have just such an official typed inclusion within the tan presentation box. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, was one of the first in attendance to receive such an official pen from LBJ.
Prior to his assassination, President Kennedy had called for legislation to end racial discrimination and segregation in public accommodations, public education, and federally assisted programs. Shortly after his death, President Johnson urged Congress to honor his memory by passing such an act, declaring, ‘We have talked long enough in this country about equal rights. We have talked for one hundred years or more. It is time now to write the next chapter, and to write it in the books of law.’ His appeal was successful and manifested itself in HR 7152, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a landmark piece of legislation that banned segregation and racial discrimination, while guaranteeing equal job opportunities. The tremendous sociopolitical impact made the Civil Rights Act a crowning achievement of the 1960s Democrats and one of the most important laws passed in the 20th century. An epochal offering of a rarely seen official bill signer pen used by LBJ on that historic day in civil rights history.
Chiricahua Apache (1829–1909) who attained the status of legend for his steadfast defense of Native American lands against the United States government. Pristine pencil signature, “Geronimo,” on the reverse of an off-white 3 x 1.5 calling card imprinted with the name of Mr. Clifford Melville Swan (now obscured by framing). Beautifully double-suede-matted and framed with a portrait of Geronimo to an overall size of 13 x 19. In very fine condition. Accompanied by a letter of provenance stating that the autograph was sold through Christie’s in 1994 and originated from a turn-of-the-century collection of a Massachusetts resident. After being moved for the last time to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, in 1894, Geronimo settled into old age as a celebrity—appearing at fairs (including the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis), riding in President Roosevelt’s 1905 inaugural parade, and releasing his popular autobiography the same year. Geronimo’s signature is among the most elusive and desirable of Old West autographs, and hardly ever found in such immaculate condition.