Heritage Historical Americana & Political Sale #6153 scheduled for May 14, 2016, in Dallas. Circle that date, as there are lots of goodies slated for the auction block. As always, we try to offer a diverse group of material so that the largest assortment of collectors possible can participate.
Posters have been “hot” lately. We’ve got a true “knockout” in the multicolored Roosevelt & Fairbanks printed in San Francisco. The design elements are outstanding. Add size, condition and rarity and you’ve got a winner! The sale includes a large number of TR items from a notable Eastern collection. Everybody likes TR. His popularity has not waned… he’s a “candidate” everyone can unite behind. Don’t be surprised if he gets a few write-in votes this November!
Textiles, especially flags and early bandannas, are another hot category. The “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too” linen handkerchief stands out in our mind. That slogan propelled William Henry Harrison into the White House back in 1840, but it was the lyric of a campaign ditty. We’ve never seen it on any campaign items, save for a straight razor we recently sold, plus this hankie. Interestingly, our astute researcher par excellence, Michael Riley, found an online reference to an 1890s obituary of an Irish immigrant whose accomplishments included the manufacturer of the “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too” handkerchief. Even then, they knew this was a big deal! By the way, we recently read an on-line article debunking the myth that Harrison died from pneumonia contracted while he was delivering his inauguration speech. That article claims March 4, 1841, was a balmy day with a temperature of 48 degrees. Harrison did not fall ill until three weeks later. His symptoms were indicative of enteric fever caused by the polluted drinking water used at the White House (drawn from the nearby Potomac). If only he had stuck to hard cider, how things would have turned out differently!
Presidential relics have done exceptionally well when offered by us in the past. We are pleased to present a wide range of items owned byDwight D. Eisenhower and his wife Mamie. We know there are a lot of people out there who “like Ike” and who can blame you! Khrushchev thought he was a mediocre general (Nikita was no bargain!), but Ike organized the D-Day invasion and presided over one of the most prosperous eras in our history. An item with great cross-over appeal isthe solid gold money clip presented to President Eisenhower by members of the Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles, in recognition of his efforts in popularizing the game of golf. Nixon played golf, too, but Nixon was no Eisenhower!
Once in a while, you see political buttons with portraits of American and foreign presidents side-by-side (e.g., Taft & Diaz). These are typically issued as souvenirs of a meeting of the two, here or abroad. A notable exception is the ultra-rare Truman & Chaim Weizmann jugate we are selling. The United States was the very first country to recognize the State of Israel in 1948. This button was likely made in New York to commemorate the event but, since 1948 was an election year, it apparently got overlooked in the flood of campaign buttons produced that year.
Even though we are planning a Lincoln auction on July 16th (more details below), we are including a fine selection of items related to our 16thpresident. One of these is a 12″ plaster bust of Lincoln done by Chicago sculptor Leonard Wells Volk. Both Volk and his son, Stephen Douglas Volk, made a career out of portraying the “Rail Splitter of the West”. Volk Senior produced a bust in 1860, as well as casts of Lincoln’s face and hands. These artworks continued to be made in the ensuing decades following Lincoln’s assassination. The nude or Hermes bust we are offering here, twice-dated 1860, is the only such artwork we can with certainty attribute to 1860, made during Lincoln’s lifetime. In fact, Volk presented Mrs. Lincoln with a cabinet size (12″) version of the bust in May 1860, current whereabouts unknown.
There are several “wedding” collectibles in the sale. We will make note of two with tragic overtones. The first is an engraved invitation to Theodore Roosevelt’s first wedding in 1880. It is accompanied by place cards for the bride and groom. Four years later, TR’s wife and mother died on the same day in their Gramercy Park brownstone. By the way, the auction also has three original deeds for the 20th Street Manhattan home where TR was born in 1858, now operated by the National Park Service. We don’t usually handle foreign heads-of-state, but we couldn’t resist the silver napkin ring given as a “favor” for the 1981 wedding of Princess Diana and Prince Charles. The princess’s tragic death in a Paris underpass not too long ago was a shocking incident which did little to dim her worldwide popularity.
The 400+ lots in this auction are generally all cataloged, photographed, and viewable in the online preview. If you can’t join us here in Dallas on Saturday, May 14th, log in to Heritage Live!, our patented live online bidding platform. It allows you to browse and bid live during the event against other Internet bidders and floor bidders.