AMHERST, NH – I am, of course, tired of explaining the same thing to hundreds of people separately,=B2 complains Albert Einstein in a 1951letter-and yet he goes on to do just that, illustrating the principle of time dilation with the example of two clocks, one moving, one stationary. Lured by the siren call of highly desirable content related to Einstein’s epochal Theory of Relativity, a determined bidder took the letter home for $32,819, the top result in R&R Enterprises’ December auction.
In a year that saw record-breaking auction results for Peanuts artwork at R&R, it seemed appropriate to toast the season with the original strip that rang in the year 1975. The four-panel New Year’s Day strip, in which a frantic Lucy proclaims, I’m not finished with last year!, realized $18,741.
Outstanding presidential picks included a Society of the Cincinnati certificate signed by Washington, $14,231, and a Revolutionary War discharge, $12,936; an 1809 military commission signed by Jefferson, $9,502;Â a naval appointment signed by Lincoln at the outbreak of the Civil War, $7,919; a ship’s papers signed by John Adams, $7,139; and a promotion for famed general George C. Strong signed by Lincoln, $6,495.
A varied selection of treasures in aviation, science, and other fields of historic interest was highlighted by a rare photo of Red Baron Manfred von Richthofen, together with a remnant from the plane in which he was shot down, $13,915; a photo signed by Wilbur Wright on the day he set the aviation altitude record, $12,936; a hospital account signed by famed architect Christopher Wren, $8,638; an official 1568 document signed by Catherine de Medici, $8,423; a photo signed by several 1962 Nobel Prize winners, including the team who discovered DNA, $6,812; an early Texas immigration document signed by Stephen Austin, $6,458; a signed photo of the Taft Supreme Court, $6,032; and a photo signed by the Apollo 11 crew, $5,899.
The art and literature categories made a strong showing with such results as an 1858 letter in which Dickens describes A Christmas Carol as =B3a favourite of ours, $9,502; a print signed by Walt Disney, $7,628; a rare J. D. Salinger letter expressing thanks to a fan of his work, $7,627; a Margaret Mitchell letter vowing to never write anything else if I keep my sanity, $6,302; and an Oscar Wilde letter mentioning the story. Early in November,$5,207.
The Beatles topped the music charts with a signed photo from the set of Help!, $12,936. Other top performers included handwritten lyrics from an early unpublished song by Bob Dylan, $12,828; a superb oversized photo of Elvis inscribed to the producer of two of his films, $6,489; and a John Lennon letter related to his 1968 conceptual exhibition You Are Here, $4,833.
Hollywood’s Golden Age enjoyed a renaissance with a fantastic collection of nearly 300 original celebrity caricatures from the legendary Brown Derby restaurant, $17,220; a lovely photo of the young Marilyn Monroe inscribed to the mysterious =B3Butter Ball,=B2 $12,650; a superlative Bogart letter predicting that Casablanca is going to be a very fine picture, $10,453; and a terrific vintage photo of snarling Man of a Thousand Faces Lon Chaney, Sr., $4,434.
All prices above include the buyer’s premium. R&R Enterprises’ next auction begins on December 31 and ends on January 16. Bids are accepted online or via telephone, fax, or e-mail. For information or to consign to future auctions, visit the R&R web site at www.rrauction.com or contact Elizebeth Otto at firstname.lastname@example.org.