University Archives Offers Unique Relics, Autographs, Photos & Ephemera Ending December 4, 2019

This is your chance to buy Unique Relics, Autographs, Photos & Ephemera in the current University Archives auction. Join University Archives on December 4, 2019 at 10:30am EST.  Bid, register and view items from the auction here . The December 4, 2019 sale will showcase outstanding items relating to World Leaders, American Presidents, Social Reformers, Businessmen, Entertainers, Explorers, Authors, Musicians, Scientists, and More!

A rare letter written and signed by Catcher in the Rye author J.D. Salinger from March 1955, a letter handwritten by Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart regarding his saber attachment invention, and an original life ring from the battleship U.S.S. Arizona retrieved after Pearl Harbor are just a few top lots in University Archives’ Wednesday, December 4th auction.

The 263-lot online-only auction, starting promptly at 10:30 Eastern, is brimming with unique relics, autographs, photos and ephemera, delivered just in time for the holidays. Categories include Civil War, literary, militaria, presidential, music, entertainment and foreign. Bidders may consider lavishing their loved ones with historical items this Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.

“This sale is particularly strong in Civil War history, literary and militaria,” said John Reznikoff, president and owner of University Archives, adding, “Buyers will also find the high-quality and historically important items that routinely cross the auction block at University Archives, such as presidential, foreign, signers, music, sports, entertainment, early printed material and ephemera.”

The catalog has already been posted online and bidding is available via, and Telephone and absentee bids will also be accepted. The auction is packed with an important selection of autographed documents, manuscripts, books and photos. Folks can visit the website and browse the catalog now at

The Civil War material includes letters, documents, archives, military registers, cartes de visite, memorabilia and even an untranslated cypher book. The autograph letter signed by J.E.B. Stuart (1833-1864), is accompanied by an example of his personally designed saber attachment, plus an artist signed limited edition print depicting Stuart’s Ride (lot est. $7,000-$8,000). In the Kansas Territory, in 1859, Stuart invented and patented a saber holder that the U.S. Army later licensed.

The original and unrestored life preserver from the U.S.S. Arizona, dating from its last pre-attack overhaul, circa 1940-1941, was almost certainly employed during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941. Salvaged from a rubble pile in the 1970s, the ring was then passed on by descent to the current owner. The buoy was reviewed by experts from the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument Pearl Harbor Museum in Hawaii (est. $30,000-$100,000).

The literary category is led by three giants: J.D. Salinger, Ian Fleming and Ernest Hemingway. The Salinger letter, with envelope, is two pages, written in Salinger’s hand and dated March 2, 1955, in which he writes to Rose-Ellen Currie, a young writer in New York City, about his recent wedding, Currie’s progress as a writer and his recently published story, Franny (est. $10,000-$12,000). Salinger also mentions Holden Caulfield and ends the letter “With all affection, Jerry”.

Returning to the Civil War, a letter penned and signed by Confederate Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson (1824-1863), dated Jan. 10, 1862 (but misdated by Jackson as “1861”) addressed to Gen. J.E. Johnston, relating to the location of Jackson’s troops during the Romney Expedition, carries a pre-sale estimate of $12,000-$14,000. The superb letter, written from Morgan County, Va., is signed by Jackson as “T.J. Jackson / Maj. Genl PACS Comd”. It comprises two pages of a bifold.

A highly important and rarely seen group of 17th century documents from Plymouth, Mass., chronicling the growth of the New World, is expected to change hands for $10,000-$12,000. An example is a signed manuscript document from 1669, regarding “an agreement of several of ye neighbors living at and about Rockey Nooke in the Township of Plimouth (sic), respecting ye bounds of their lands.” The agreement is signed by several of the townspeople with their “x”.

A three-page typewritten contract signed by the American songwriting team of George Gershwin (1898-1937) and Ira Gershwin (1896-1983), in which the brothers entered into an agreement to write a song for the planned movie Girl Crazy (RKO Radio Pictures), has an estimate of $3,000-$3,500. The contract was signed in 1931 but the movie, with Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland, wasn’t released until 1943. The contract was also signed by RKO Vice President Lee Warrens.

A remarkable signed typed letter with autograph annotations by Ernest Hemingway, written in 1955 from his home in Cuba and touching on subjects ranging from his father’s suicide to his mother to Africa to his hunting boots, should bring $3,000-$3,500; while a single page typed letter by James Bond author Ian Fleming, also from 1955, in which he ponders the whereabouts of Albert Paegels, the enigmatic Nazi fisherman and otter hunter, should sell for $2,000-$2,400.

An oversized ship’s passport dated January 23, 1801, signed by Thomas Jefferson when he was President and written in four languages (French, Spanish, English and Dutch), measuring 22 ½ inches by 17 inches, is expected to earn $4,000-$4,500. Also, an archive of five documents, all relating to the British blockade of Boston Harbor between March and May 1776, nine pages in total, including letters to and by Vice Admiral Molyneux Shuldman, should make $2,400-$2,600.

A spectacular glossy color photo signed by four former U.S. Presidents – Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and Richard Nixon – depicting the men standing in front of a wooden door, flanked by American flags, should go for $2,000-$2,400. Also, a glossy black and white photo of Harry Houdini shown piloting his biplane, signed by him, with the caption, “The first successful aviator in Australia wins the Australian Aero League’s Trophy”, should command $1,000-$1,200.

An 1883 stock certificate for Standard Oil Trust, signed by John D. Rockefeller, Henry Flagler and Jabez Bostwick, measuring 15 ¾ inches by 7 ¾ inches and exhibiting just some minor soiling and wear, has an estimate of $2,000-$2,400. Also, a bank check boldly signed by Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain), with a large vibrant signature (as “Saml. L. Clemens”) in the lower right corner, dated May 24, 1875 and in the amount of $21.15, should realize $1,000-$1,200.

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 Mr. Reznikoff at 203-454-0111, or email him at

University Archives was founded in 1979, as a division of University Stamp Company, by Mr. 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.

For more information about University Archives and the Wednesday, December 4th online-only auction, please visit For phone bidding, please call 203-454-0111.

Top lots:

  • Lot 224 – J.E.B. Stuart ALS and belt
  • Lot 204 – J.D. Salinger ALS
  • Lot 8 – U.S.S. Arizona life preserver
  • Lot 125 – Stonewall Jackson ALS
  • Lot 59 – 17th C. Plimouth archive
  • Lot 130 – Thomas Jefferson signed passport
  • Lot 112 – Ernest Hemingway TLS
  • Lot 95 – Gershwin Brothers signed contract
  • Lot 189 – Revolutionary War archive
  • Lot 86 – Ian Fleming TLS
  • Lot 179 – 4 Presidents signed photo
  • Lot 195 – John D. Rockefeller signed certificate
  • Lot 120 – Harry Houdini signed postcard
  • Lot 55 – Mark Twain signed check

Bid at:

Now Accepting Consignments for our Fall/Winter Sales
Seeking Rare Documents, Manuscripts, Books, & Historical Relics Related to General Interest – Contact us Today at 203.454.0111 /

University Archives
49 Richmondville Ave
Westport, CT 06880
(203) 454-0111

News by Company & Category

Featured Auctions

(*) Indicates Auction in Progress
(*) Steve Novella: April 8 - April 16
(*) Auction of Champions: April 11 - April 17
(*) RR Auction: March 22 - April 17
(*) MeiGray Auctions: April 1 - April 17-18
(*) Goldin: April 9 - April 18
(*) PWCC Marketplace: April 4 - April 18
(*) Sirius Sports Cards: April 8 - April 18
(*) Steve Novella: April 15 - April 18
(*) Icons Auctions: April 15 - April 19
(*) Infinite Auction: April 1 - April 19
(*) Greg Morris Marketplace: April 8 - April 21
(*) Heritage Auctions: April 7 - April 21
(*) Pristine Auction: April 15 - April 21
(*) PWCC Marketplace: April 11 - April 21
(*) Queen City Cards: March 22 - April 21
(*) REA: April 5 - April 21
(*) MeiGray Auctions: April 1 - April 22
(*) Fanatics Auctions: April 12 - April 22-25
Auction of Champions: April 18 - April 24
(*) Alt Liquid Auctions: April 12 - April 25
Goldin: April 16 - April 25
(*) RR Auction: March 29 - April 25
(*) Rockhurst Auctions: April 15 - April 25-26
(*) Detroit City Sports: April 15 - April 27
(*) Heritage Auctions: April 5 - April 27
Iconic Auctions: April 17 - April 27
(*) Fat Apple Auctions: March 27 - April 28
(*) Heritage Auctions: April 14 - April 28
Icons Auctions: April 22 - April 28
Pristine Auction: April 22 - April 28
(*) Pristine Auction: April 1 - April 28
PWCC Marketplace: April 18 - April 28
(*) Queen City Cards: March 29 - April 28
(*) Collector Connection: April 10 - April 28
(*) Classic Auctions: April 4 - April 30
Auction of Champions: April 26 - May 1
Sirius Sports Cards: April 22 - May 2
(*) Goldin: April 11 - May 4
MEARS Auctions: April 26 - May 4
(*) Memory Lane: April 11 - May 4
(*) All-Star Cards: April 14 - May 5
Heritage Auctions: April 21 - May 5
Fanatics Auctions: April 26 - May 6-9
RR Auction: April 19 - May 8
Alt Liquid Auctions: April 26 - May 9
Gotta Have Rock & Roll: April 24 - May 10
RR Auction: April 19 - May 16
VSA Auctions: April 29 - May 16
Heritage Auctions: April 25 - May 16-18
(*) Wheatland Auction Services: April 16 - May 19
Goldin: April 19 - June 1
2024 Full Auction Schedule