Autograph manuscript of ‘The Assabet,’ three pages on two 7.75 x 9.75 sheets, July 18, 1839. Unsigned handwritten manuscript originally sent to Ellen Sewall, in which Thoreau pens all 12 stanzas of his poem. In part: “Up this pleasant stream let’s row / For the livelong summer’s day, / Sprinkling foam where’er we go, / In weather as white as driven snow; / Ply the oars, away! away! / Now we glide along the shore, / Plucking lillies as we go, / While the yellow sanded floor / Doggedly resists the oar, / Like some turtle, dull and slow. / Now we stem the middle tide, / Ploughing through the deepest soil, / Ridges pile on either side, / While we through the furrow glide, / Reaping bubbles for our toil. / Dew before and drought behind, / Onward all doth seem to fly, / Naught contents the eager mind, / Only rapids now are kind, / Forward are the earth and sky. / Sudden music strikes the ear / Leaking out from yonder bank / Fit such voyageurs to cheer / Sure there must be fairies here, / Who have kindly played this prank.” Professionally repaired central vertical and horizontal folds and some staining to edges, otherwise fine condition.
When 22-year-old Henry Thoreau met Ellen Sewall on July 20, 1839, he was immediately smitten. Visiting her grandmother and younger brother Edmund—the former being a boarder with Thoreau’s mother, and the latter a student at his new progressive grammar school—she arrived at a time when the young author was honing his poetry skills; having recently met Emerson and his circle of literary friends, he was urged to contribute essays and poems to The Dial, though poetry never became his strong suit. This poem, written two days prior to her arrival, most likely about one of his many boating trips with Edmund, was the first of many that he would send to her. The following year—unaware that his own brother John had already proposed to her, and that she had rejected him due to her strict Unitarian father’s dislike of the Thoreau’s transcendental beliefs—Henry proposed to Ellen, only to receive the same rejection. According to Walter Harding’s book, The Days of Henry Thoreau, Ellen recalled the reading aloud of some of Thoreau’s poems in a diary entry the following year, writing, ‘The favorite was ‘Up this pleasant stream let’s row.’ That is the first piece Henry gave me…I wonder if his thoughts ever wander back to those times when the hours sped so pleasantly and we were so happy. I think they do.’ Though Ellen went on to a happy marriage, Henry would remain single for the rest of his life. Though seemingly unpublished during his lifetime, three lines of this poem did appear in revised form in his famous book A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers. This is the first poem—and the longest piece of handwritten material in any form—that we have offered from the renowned author, one of the hardest to find and most sought after figures in American literature. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.
Uncommon original Wells Fargo strongbox. Very heavy metal box with fireproof walls measures 12.5 x 9 x 6.5, with a hinged lid, two carrying handles, and a hasp at the top. Top of the lid is stamped “Property / Wells Fargo & Co. / SF Calif.” Inside of the lid bears most of a Wells Fargo label, headed at the top, “Wells Fargo & Co. Express / 15 from Pawnee, Okla.” Accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Cecil H. Hart of Wells Fargo Relics, as well as an unused Wells Fargo mailing envelope. A great relic of the Old West. Oversized. RR Auction COA.
Vintage fountain pen signature, “Ty Cobb, Centerfield, Detroit,” on three off-white 1.75 x .75 clipped slips affixed to a black 2.5 x 3.5 card. Encapsulated in a plastic SGC/JSA authentication holder. Attractively double-cloth-matted and framed to an overall size of 11.75 x 13.5. In fine condition. A highly desirable example as Cobb included his position and team’s city. Pre-certified Steve Grad/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.
Choice vintage glossy 6 x 7.75 publicity photo of the Beatles on the deck of The Salvor, signed in blue ballpoint by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. In fine condition. Accompanied by a full letter of authenticity from Roger Epperson/REAL, as well as copies of letters of provenance from the original recipient, who won a contest that allowed her backstage to their concert in Cambridge, England, on November 26, 1963. One letter, in part: “I was fortunate enough to meet the Beatles backstage at one of their concerts…the signatures on the Beatles photograph were signed in person by all four of the Beatles whilst in my presence.” The other, in part: “I was lucky enough to win a competition to meet The Beatles at one of their many gigs…They were really lovely to all the winners happily signing and posing for photographs and ever since the performance I have treasured these items.” Also includes copies of the letters informing her that she won the contest. Taken by Peter Kaye in late September of 1962, this became one of the band’s most famous photo shoots, contrasting their neat suit-and-tie looks with the rough appeal of the Liverpool docks. Signed just over one year after the photo was taken, this is a spectacular image with every desirable quality—it is early, uninscribed, and in extraordinary condition. RR Auction COA.
Esteemed Russian composer (1840–1893) whose colorful, dramatic, and expressive works represent the epitome of the Russian Romantic tradition and take a place among the most beloved staples of the concert repertory. Original 4.25 x 6.5 cabinet bust portrait, signed at the bottom of the image in black ink, “P. Tchaikovsky, 7 Juin 1893.” Published by a Russian studio. In fine condition, with scattered surface scuffing, erased notation in lower border, and mounting remnants to reverse. Tchaikovsky signed photos are fantastically rare, and this is the first uninscribed example we have encountered. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.
Old West outlaw (1844–1916) and leader of the Younger Gang, who eventually turned from a life of crime to Wild West shows and public speaking. A pair of Tower double lock handcuffs worn by Cole Younger while being transferred to serve his life sentence. The working iron cuffs are adjoined by three small circular lengths of chain, with a key hole for each side. One wrist bears a Towers patent stamp and five patent dates ranging from 1874–1882. Accompanied by a typed letter of provenance, dated July 1, 1925, which reads, in full: “These hand-cuffs were worn by Cole Younger, the famous bandit when taken to the Stillwater (Minnesota) State Penitentiary for life imprisonment soon after being captured during one of the last raids of the James Gang at Northfield, Minnesota. The cuffs were given to ‘Ford, The Penologist’ King,’ in Vaudeville by Henry Wolfer, Warden of the above named institution in 1910—who in turn has presented them to his old friend John Loftus for his Antique Shop in Flint, Michigan.” Letter is signed at the conclusion, “Ford, The Penologist King.” Also accompanied by correspondence and information from the Minnesota Correctional Facility–Stillwater, which provided a list of the institution’s wardens, a photocopy of a page from a June 1877 Time Book, listing Younger and his two brothers, and biographical information on Henry Wolfer. The Robert Davis Collection. RR Auction COA.
Serial no. 16636, caliber .44. The 7.5″ part round/part octagonal barrel has a bore with strong rifling and even light pitting. This variation is one of the only 1200 to 1500 revolvers that have a frame cut for a shoulder stock and have the associated fourth frame screw. The top rear of the barrel is cut through the “NEW YORK” address for the installation of the factory folding leaf sight. All numbers match with the numbers on the cylinder and steel backstrap only partially legible, however, enough partial digits seem to be in the proper locations. The wedge is not numbered. The barrel address is good and the frame marking “COLT’S / PATENT / U.S.” is very clear. The steel surfaces have been cleaned and the metal has a light gray patina with minor fine pitting on the loading lever. The brass triggerguard retains strong traces of silver plating. The one piece walnut grip has been refinished and shows wear at the butt with a small chip at the toe and heel. The mechanism functions well. The end of the arbor has been remachined to tighten the barrel. This big Colt was made for the US Army in 1858.
This is an antique revolver and transfers with no federal restrictions. RR Auction COA.
Cinematically significant screen-used ring from the final scene of the 1993 film Schindler’s List. The ring is inscribed in the inside in Hebrew, (translated): “Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire.” Accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from the film’s property master, Batia Grafka, which reads, “This is the inscribed ring given to Oskar Schindler by his factory workers during the final scene of Schindler’s List.” In fine condition.
When Oskar Schindler’s factory workers hear that he must flee, having become a hunted war criminal following the Allied victory, they make him this ring as a token of their appreciation. Presenting it to him and explaining that the inscribed quote is from the Talmud, they convey their deepest gratitude in showing him that by saving them, he has saved humanity. Given to Schindler (played by Liam Neeson) by Itzhak Stern (Ben Kingsley) during one of the finest moments in the groundbreaking, seven-time Academy Award-winning film, this ring is an absolutely remarkable piece of cinematic history. RR Auction COA.
Kennedy’s personally-owned and -worn brooch and necklace. Gold gilt metal cross brooch measures 3 x 3.5, has a horizontal pin-back and is marked on the back, “Christian Lacroix, Made in Paris.” The gold gilt metal bead necklace measures 22″ long, with the cross measuring 3 x 4.75, with no visible maker’s marks. In fine condition. Though Jackie Kennedy owned some of the finest jewelry in the world, she also had a great fondness for relatively inexpensive costume jewelry. While some were designer costume pieces, such as this stunning brooch from renowned French designer Christian LaCroix, some were simply beautiful pieces that caught her eye. These two items, straight from Jackie’s estate, are dazzling reminders of the First Lady’s iconic style. Provenance: From the collection of John Strangi, purchased through Sotheby’s 1996 auction of The Estate of Jacqueline Kennedy. RR Auction COA.
Uncommon fully intact flown B. F. Goodrich Space Shuttle Orbiter nose gear tire. This was the right-side nose landing gear tire that flew on the Space Shuttle Atlantis mission STS-79 in September of 1996. Tire measures approximately 30″ in diameter and 7.5″ wide, bearing the following sidewall markings: “32 x 8.6, 20 Ply Rating, Tubeless, 006-336, 217 knots, .10 Skid, Cage Code No. 68030, Maximum Six Landings,” with a serial number of “3019N00995.” This particular serial number is listed on the included STS Orbiter Landing/Deceleration flight data sheet as being the right side nose gear for the orbiter. In fine condition, with expected marks and wear consistent with use. This tire made 160 orbits around the earth during its 10 day mission logging a staggering 3.9 million statute miles in space. RR Auction COA.