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University Archives Rare Manuscripts, Books & Sports Memorabilia Ends February 1, 2023

University Archives’  is hosting its first sale of 2023 on February 1st. At over 450 lots, Rare Manuscripts, Books & Sports Memorabilia will offer many exceptional buying and collecting opportunities. Our February sale is especially strong in the U.S. Presidential, Early American, Science, and Sports collecting categories, with 25 lots of the sale relating to professional baseball, basketball, hockey, boxing, soccer, and even horse-racing! In addition, Aviation/Space, Entertainment, Literature, Art, and Music categories are abundantly represented. February’s assortment of historical documents, rare books, photographs, relics, ephemera, exonumia, ceramics, apparel, and sports memorabilia should start the year off with a bang!

All 450+ lots are up for viewing and bidding now (on the University Archives website:, plus, and Phone and absentee bids will be taken, but there’s no live gallery bidding.

Highlights Include:

  • Lot 275, Thomas Paine ALS
  • Lot 147, George Washington LS
  • Lot 258, John Hancock ALS
  • Lot 74, Abraham Lincoln archive
  • Lot 58, John & Jackie Kennedy signed card
  • Lot 300, George Gershwin DS
  • Lot 429, Albert Einstein SB
  • Lot 299, Walt Disney TLS
  • Lot 448, Michael Jordan jersey
  • Lot 442, Wayne Gretzky signed jersey
  • Lot 195, Mercury Astronauts SB
  • Lot 427, Edison SB

Letters boldly signed by early American historical giants George Washington, John Hancock and Thomas Paine, plus a 1963 Christmas card signed by both JFK and Jackie, and an archive of material signed by Lincoln and Douglas, will all come up for bid in University Archives’ online auction slated for Wednesday, February 1st , 2023 at 11 am Eastern time.

“Our February auction offers many exceptional buying and collecting opportunities and is especially strong in the U.S. Presidential, Early American, Science and Sports collecting categories, with 25 lots relating to professional baseball, basketball, hockey, boxing, soccer and even horse-racing,” said John Reznikoff, the president and owner of University Archives.

“In addition,” Mr. Reznikoff added, “the Aviation/Space, Entertainment, Literature, Art, and Music categories are also abundantly represented. February’s assortment of historical documents, rare books, photographs, relics, ephemera, exonumia, ceramics, apparel and sports memorabilia should start the year off with a bang. Collectors, mark your calendars for this important auction.”

George Washington signed a document as “G. Washington,” authorizing the discharge of Corp. Robert Pappe from a Horse Troop on Dec. 10, 1783. In recognition of his “attention and fidelity” to Washington, Pappe was awarded his military-issued “Horse, Arms and Accoutrements.” Days later, Washington resigned his military commission as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army at Annapolis, Md. (est. $20,000-$30,000).

Patriot pamphleteer Thomas Paine wrote an autograph letter signed to a Quaker friend in London on July 12, 1806, confirming reports that he had narrowly missed injury or death on Christmas Eve 1805, when an assailant opened fire at Paine’s home in New Rochelle, New York, possibly motivated by Paine’s public criticism of Christianity or views in general (est. $24,000-$35,000).

A three-page autograph letter signed by John Hancock on March 11, 1777 conveyed the latest news from Philadelphia, where the Continental Congress was to convene, to his wife Dolly in Baltimore. In it, Hancock mentions (but discounts rumors) that, “… General Howe is bent on coming here, [with] another report … that the Merchants at New York are packing their goods and putting them on board ships and that the troops are going away” (est. $20,000-$30,000).

An amazing legal archive of eight documents totaling 34 pages from 1838, signed by two political giants, Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas, and foreshadowing their classic debates for the Illinois Senate seat 20 years later, should bring $18,000-$20,000. The documents, from a single case file, illustrate just one non-litigation role that Lincoln fulfilled during his 25 years of law practice.

A 1963 Hallmark Christmas card was boldly signed by President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jackie Kennedy just days before his assassination and was never mailed. The words “Blessed Christmas” had been excised at the last minute in a gesture of sensitivity towards JFK’s Jewish friends, and the card was simply engraved “With best wishes for a Happy New Year.” (est. $15,000-$20,000.)

The original seven-page typed agreement in which George and Ira Gershwin, Dubose Heyward and Dorothy Heyward granted the Theatre Guild of New York the rights to produce their classic opera Porgy and Bess for the very first stage performance in 1935, boldly signed by the composer, lyricist and authors, should realize $15,000-$20,000.

Albert Einstein signed a cryptic dedicatory inscription, “Two years after the Fall of the German Goyim. / Kindly granted / Albert Einstein / 1935” on the flyleaf of a first edition copy of his German language book Mein Weltbild, or The World As I See It. His biblical allusion to a “fall” referred to Hitler’s rise in Germany in 1933. The book is expected to finish at $12,000-$14,000.

A one-page typed letter boldly signed by Walt Disney, PSA/DNA slabbed and certified authentic, in which he writes a flattering recommendation letter for a Robert Neuschotz, a former employee in Disney’s Special Effects Department, should fetch $6,000-$7,000. “He was of great assistance in devising and developing devices that have proven to be of value to this organization,” Disney wrote.

A 1996-1997 Michael Jordan home game-worn “Chicago Bulls” jersey, emblazoned with Jordan’s iconic player number “23” in scarlet, is expected to change hands for $6,000-$7,000. The jersey, showing light wear, is graded A5 and comes with a MEARS Letter of Authenticity. That season was one of Jordan’s most outstanding in terms of points, assists, steals and rebounds.

A Wayne Gretzky All-Star exhibition game-worn purple, white, and black sweater, signed and dedicated by the Canadian “Great One” to Major League Baseball relief pitcher Duane Ward on the player number “99” verso, has an estimate of $4,500-$5,500. The sweater is accompanied by a letter of provenance from Ward, who pitched for the Braves and Blue Jays from 1986-1995.

A second printing hardcover copy of Martin Caidin’s The Astronauts: The Story of Project Mercury, America’s Man in Space Program (1960) is boldly signed by all seven Mercury Space Program participants: Malcolm Carpenter, Leroy Cooper, John Glenn, Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Walter M. Schirra, Jr., Alan B. Shepard, and Donald “Deke” K. Slayton (est. $4,000-$5,000).

Thomas A. Edison, John Burroughs and Harvey Firestone, three important figures from early 20th century history as well as close personal friends, each signed a privately printed copy of their travel journal, In Nature’s Laboratory, documenting a 2-week-long road trip from Orange, N.J. to southern Canada undertaken during the summer of 1916. The journal features 44 original photographs showing the celebrity friends resting, eating, and conversing (est. $4,000-$5,000).

Major Categories:

U.S. Presidential & Presidential Families (Washington to Biden; Mary Todd Lincoln; Jackie Kennedy; Robert F. Kennedy; John F. Kennedy, Jr.; Sara Roosevelt, etc.)

Early American (Thomas Paine, John Hancock, Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, Declaration Signers, Revolutionary War, etc.)

Science (Albert Einstein, Thomas A. Edison, Stephen Hawking, Carl Jung, etc.)

Sports (Basketball: Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Reggie Jackson, etc. // Baseball: Lou Gehrig, Jackie Robinson, Sandy Koufax, Cal Ripken, Jr., Ken Griffey, Jr. // Hockey: Wayne Gretzky // Boxing: Muhammad Ali // Soccer: Pelé etc.)

Aviation & Space (Amelia Earhart, Charles A. Lindbergh, Orville Wright; Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Sally Ride, Mercury & Apollo Space Programs, etc.)

Entertainment (Marilyn Monroe, Walt Disney, Katharine Hepburn, “Buffalo Bill” Cody, etc.)

Literature (Jack Kerouac, Mark Twain, Harper Lee, James Fenimore Cooper, Louisa May Alcott, Robert Frost, Emile Zola, etc.)

Art (Frank Lloyd Wright, Stanford White, Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Andrew Wyeth, Lotte Jacobi, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, etc.)

Music (George Gershwin, Giacomo Puccini, Edvard Grieg, Igor Stravinsky, Arturo Toscanini, Elvis Presley, John Lennon, etc.)

World Leaders (Leon Trotsky, Winston Churchill, David Ben-Gurion, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, Pope John II, Nikita Khrushchev, etc.)

Civil Rights (Geronimo, Paul Robeson, Rosa Parks, Booker T. Washington, James Monroe Trotter, etc.)

Notorious (John Wilkes Booth & Lincoln conspirators; Lee Harvey Oswald, etc.)

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.

University Archives’ new offices are located at 88 Danbury Rd. (Suite 2A) in Wilton, Conn. For more information about University Archives and the online Rare Manuscripts, Books & Sports Memorabilia auction on February 1st at 11 am Eastern time, visit

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(*) Indicates Auction in Progress
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Auction of Champions: Feb. 9 - Feb. 15
MeiGray Auctions: Jan. 27 - Feb. 15-16
Goldin: Feb. 7 - Feb. 16
Pristine Auction: Feb. 10 - Feb. 16
PWCC: Feb. 2 - Feb. 16
RR Auction: Feb. 1 - Feb. 16
Sterling Sports Auctions: Feb. 2 - Feb. 16
Steve Novella: Feb. 9 - Feb. 16
Auction of Champions: Feb. 8 - Feb. 17
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Pristine Auction: Feb. 17 - Feb. 23
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Steve Novella: Feb. 17 - Feb. 23
Iconic Auctions: Feb. 16 - Feb. 25
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Pristine Auction: Feb. 1 - Feb. 26
PWCC: Feb. 20 - Feb. 26
Auction of Champions: Feb. 23 - March 1
Clean Sweep Auctions: Feb. 2 - March 1
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Goldin: Feb. 2 - Feb. 2
Pristine Auction: Feb. 24 - March 2
Auction of Champions: Feb. 22 - March 3
MEARS Auctions: Feb. 24 - March 4
The Collector Connection: Feb. 15 - March 5
PWCC: Feb. 27 - March 5
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