University Archives Proudly Presents Rare Autographs, Manuscripts & Books Ending November 11, 2020

The sale features truly remarkable items from a dizzying array of collecting categories: Foreign, Early American, Presidential, Space / Aviation, Supreme Court, Civil War and many more. The auction will conclude on November 11, 2020, by University Archives, beginning at 10:30 am Eastern time. The full catalog, showing all 289 lots, is up and online for bidding and viewing now, at the newly revamped University Archives website (, as well as the platforms, and Phone and absentee bids will also be accepted. 


University Archives is delighted to announce its November 11th sale.

289 lots of rare and outstanding pieces will cross the auction block, representing the best of Kennedyiana, Napoleoniana, and the Jack Kerouac Estate, as well as exceptional items from the Early American, Presidential, and Civil War collector’s categories.

A sultry black and white photo of blonde bombshell Marilyn Monroe, signed and inscribed by her as “To Joe / Love & Kisses / Marilyn Monroe” is significant, not only because of its unusually large size (11” x 14”), but also because it may have been dedicated to Monroe’s second husband, Joe DiMaggio. Rounding out the highlights of our photography category is a sepia-colored silver gelatin photograph of Austrian psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, signed with an atypically large signature measuring over 4” long.

Among the gems of our Early American category is an autograph letter signed by George Washington just a few months before he retired from his second presidential term. In the letter written at Mount Vernon, Washington conveyed his thanks to well-wishers from a West Virginia town that had once competed to be named the nation’s capital. An extremely attractive document, signed by Benjamin Franklin in his capacity as President of the Supreme Executive Council of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, authorized the sale of land near the Alleghany River to the two sons of Colonel James Burd, Sr., a well-known French & Indian War veteran and early patriot. Last, Governor of Massachusetts John Hancock promoted a Revolutionary War veteran to the Massachusetts militia.

The Civil War is particularly well-represented in our November sale. Collectors will be intrigued by an autograph letter signed with rank by flamboyant Confederate cavalry commander J.E.B. Stuart, penned just two months before his death at the Battle of Yellow Tavern in April 1864. A military appointment signed by Abraham Lincoln promoting an Irish-born officer who would later fight in the Battles of Second Bull Run and Antietam is of interest; as is a sizable fragment (over 10” x 8”) from an American flag which decorated Lincoln’s funeral train as it traveled between Indiana and Springfield, Illinois, with direct provenance from an Indiana farm family.

November will see more items from the estate of Father Ronald Hoskins (1949-2020), the noted assassinologist and collector of John F. Kennedy memorabilia, with an additional 40 lots relating to John F. Kennedy, Jaqueline Kennedy, John F. Kennedy, Jr., Lee Harvey Oswald, Jack Ruby, and others. John F. Kennedy, Jr.’s signed Manhattan District Attorney’s office badge will be offered, as well as his personally owned “Piper” brand baseball cap recovered from the hatchback of his Saab in the days following the Martha’s Vineyard plane crash. Other unforgettable items include: the deed to a grave site in Section 17 of Shannon Rose Hill Cemetery in Fort Worth, Texas, very near to Lee Harvey Oswald’s final resting place; a large black and white photograph of Lee Harvey Oswald and other members of the U.S. Marine Corps Platoon 2060 taken in San Diego in 1956; and a circa April 1962 autograph letter signed by Oswald, sent to his mother from the Soviet Union, discussing the upcoming Texas gubernatorial election which would place Oswald’s unintended Dallas motorcade victim John Connally in office. Two lots of Jack Ruby signed colorful and mesmerizing geometrical drawings, sketched by him while incarcerated at the Dallas County Jail in Dallas, Texas, circa 1965, will be offered.

Foreign collectors–especially of the French language–will be interested in 25 lots relating to Napoleon Bonaparte, nearly all of which came from the Nicholson Napoleon Collection. Highlights among rare books and documents include a book on contemporary French politics from Napoleon’s St. Helena library, stamped and inscribed by his librarian Mameluke Ali on the title page; as well as two letters signed by Napoleon, one from the Siege of Toulon in 1793, and the other from his 10-month-long exile in Elba. Our collection of Napoleon relics is truly astounding: a piece of Napoleon’s trousers associated with the Moscow campaign of 1812; a velvet swatch from the “assist strap” of Napoleon’s carriage abandoned after the Battle of Waterloo; a fragment of probably arsenic-laced wallpaper presumably retrieved from Longwood House, Napoleon’s residence on St. Helena; and an ornate gilt frame made of pieces of Napoleon’s original St. Helena coffin.

Literary aficionados will enjoy a lengthy autograph letter in Italian signed by British author Mary Wollstonecraft while in Italy, and more pieces from the Jack Kerouac Estate, including his personally owned book collections of Japanese haiku poetry. Kerouac-owned books are estate stamped and sealed, while other items will be accompanied by estate certification signed by John Shen-Sampas, executor of the Kerouac Estate by descent.

There’s plenty in the Science, Supreme Court, Art, Music, Entertainment, World War II, and Space / Aviation categories, too.

September is not to be missed. We hope you can join us!

–John Reznikoff, President.”

About University Archives

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 John Reznikoff at 203-454-0111, or email him at

University Archives was founded in 1979, as a division of University Stamp Company, by John 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, June 24th online-only Rare Autographs, Manuscripts & Books auction, visit Updates are posted frequently. For phone bidding, please call 203-454-0111.

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