Wilton, CT – A large historic pen sketch hand drawn and signed by Apollo XI astronaut Neil Armstrong, a manuscript fragment from George Washington’s handwriting of the first draft of his inaugural address in 1789, and the Black-Scholes-Merton formula handwritten and signed by Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert C. Merton are just a few of the superstar lots expected in the University Archives’ online-only auction scheduled for Wednesday, September 28 at 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time.
The auction of autographs, manuscripts and rare books presents historical material from several categories of collection. All 415 lots are now open for viewing and auction (on the University Archives website: www.UniversityArchives.com), as well as LiveAuctioneers.com, Invaluable.com and Auctionzip.com. Telephone and mail order bidding will be taken, but there are no live auctions in the gallery.
“Our September auction offers collectors, dealers and institutions the opportunity to acquire exceptional autographed documents, relics, photographs and more,” said John Reznikoff, President and Owner of University Archives. “Sales highlights in the Science and Space, US Presidents and Military History collectible categories will generate considerable interest. Top-notch items can also be found in the Music, Early American, International, and World Leaders collectible categories.
The large, historic 21-inch by 15-inch pen sketch hand-drawn and signed circa 1990 by Neil Armstrong depicts significant elements of the Apollo XI moon landing, including the trajectories of the command and lunar modules, as well as the dark side of the moon represented by hatch marks. The drawing was authenticated by Steve Zarelli Space Authentication (est. $90,000-$110,000).
The double-sided manuscript fragment comprising more than 60 words in George Washington’s handwriting, taken from the draft of his first inaugural address, was authenticated by 19th-century Washington biographer Jared Sparks. The exquisite content relates to the Constitution. The shard is expected to end between $60,000 and $70,000.
Robert C. Merton (b. 1944) was the co-developer of the Black-Scholes-Merton formula, which revolutionized modern financial trading and won him the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1997. He wrote the famous formula and signed his name on stationery from the Grand Hotel in Stockholm, while in Sweden to accept his Nobel Prize (estimated at $45,000 to $55,000).
Sir Isaac Newton’s 300-plus-word autograph manuscript draft of a religious treatise, believed to have been created around 1698, challenges the concept of the Holy Trinity and picks up on a 4th-century debate about whether God, Christ and the Holy Spirit were distinct substances. Newton asks if “God or a part of him was born from the Virgin…” (estimated between 28,000 and 35,000 dollars).
Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson signed a letter on April 19, 1790, to Samuel Huntington, Governor of Connecticut, announcing the suspension of a controversial clause in Alexander Hamilton’s Revenue Act of 1789, which threatened autonomy (and profits) of Virginia merchants by imposing duties on vessels bound for the Potomac River (est. $15,000 to $20,000).
Speaking of Hamilton, a rare letter written and signed by Hamilton around 1791 to the teller of the Bank of New York, has an estimate of $15,000 to $18,000. The note concerns a plan to take over the famous “sinking fund” of the debts of the States of the War of Independence.
The handwritten lyrics of the song america the beautiful (often called Our nation’s second national anthem), signed audaciously by the songwriter, Katharine Lee Bates, the four stanzas on an 8 ½ by 5 ½ inch sheet, undated, are estimated at $15,000-$17,000. Bates wrote the first draft of america the beautiful in 1893, while teaching English in Colorado.
An extensive archive of over 40 documents spanning from 1786 to 1851, documenting the early days of the US Navy and including the signatures of Matthew C. Perry, William Bainbridge, David Porter, and other naval commanders and various government officials Department of the Navy, is a ready made collection of navy notables and should find a new owner for $10,000 to $12,000.
A good complement to naval records would be a letter written and signed by Franklin D. Roosevelt, as President, dated February 19, 1934, in which he writes: “I too have been collecting sources for many years – mainly US Navy (estimated between $7,000 and $8,000). The letter is addressed to Frank C. Deering, a bibliophile considered one of the great collectors of old Americana.
The cut signature of Thomas Lynch, Jr. (1749-1779), the second youngest of the signers of the Declaration of Independence (and the second rarest), taken from a larger letter or document, has a presale estimate of $10,000 to $12,000. Lynch replaced his father, who had fallen ill, as South Carolina’s delegate to the Stamp Law Congress and the Continental Congress, 1774-1776.
A bound volume of General Orders issued by the Office of the Adjutant General of the War Department from January through November. 1865, including printed military orders related to the demobilization of the Union Army, the situation of freedmen, and other military matters, such as General Orders No. 66 issued April 16, 1865 announcing the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, should fetch between $10,000 and $12,000.
Four coins, dated between 1873 and 1889, either signed by or including significant content relating to George A. Custer, Major Marcus Reno and other veterans of the Battle of the Little Bighorn, carry an estimate of $8,000 to 9 $000. The documents and letters may relate to the disastrous battle itself and its immediate aftermath, including the recovery of relics and subsequent courts-martial.