Rare, signed carte de visite of slain President James A. Garfield, taken during the Civil War brought $4,068 at an auction held Nov. 14-15 by Philip Weiss Auctions.
OCEANSIDE, N.Y. – A rare signed carte de visite of former President James A. Garfield—taken when he was a Union Brigadier General in the Civil War, prior to his assassination by gunshot at the hand of Charles J. Guiteau on July 2, 1881—sold for $4,068 at an estate sale that was top-heavy with weapons and militaria, held Nov. 14-15 by Philip Weiss Auctions. Garfield himself signed the CDV.
Cartes de visites are a highly collectible form of early photography. They’re even more desirable when taken of known historical figures and signed. They were a type of small photo—patented in Paris, France in 1854 by photographer Andre Adolphe Eugene Disderi—and usually made of an albumen print (a thin paper photograph, mounted on a thicker paper card measuring 2 1/8 inches by 3 ½ inches).
The Garfield CDV was one of some 1,400 lots that changed hands in a sale that grossed more than $500,000. More than 200 people attended the event in person, while phone, Internet and absentee bidding were active both days. “The phones rang almost non-stop, especially on Sunday, and we recorded close to 3,000 absentee bids,” said Philip Weiss. “We also had well over 500 registered online bidders, through Proxibid.com.”
Weiss attributed the success of the auction to the quality of items in the military collections. “This was all fresh-to-the-market merchandise,” he said, “and the true, dedicated collectors will come out in full force when they know they’re bidding on original items, not recycled inventory. We had an all right day on Saturday, but Sunday was when these great military collections were offered.”
Following are additional highlights from the sale (all prices quoted include a 13 percent buyer’s premium):
Tying for top lot honors was this U.S. Legal tender 1923 $10 note in superb/gem condition ($6,780).
• Two lots tied for top earner, each bringing $6,780. The first was a rare Smith & Wesson 320 revolving carbine and stock pistol with rifle butt feature (#48), exceedingly rare and in spectacular condition. It was made circa 1850. The other lot was a U.S. legal tender 1923 $10 note in superb/gem condition. Also, a rare and very fine 1870 $5 gold certificate (San Francisco) changed hands for $5,650.
This Colt 6-inch police pistol sailed past its high estimate to gavel for $1,808.
• A Sharps Model 1863 rifle, approximately 47 inches in length and made circa 1860-1870, was the highlight of the rifle category, fetching $4,850. Also, a Colt 6-inch police pistol sailed past its high estimate and realized $1,808; and a rare China war medal, issued in 1842 during the First Opium War (1839-1842) to Thomas Hyne, who served aboard the British ship H.M.S. Conway, commanded $1,243.
Waterloo medal, issued in 1815 to Sgt. T. Wright of the 13th Regiment, Light Dragoons ($2,600).
• Weiss’s favorite lot of the sale was a 1/8 plate hand-colored ambrotype of a fireman (circa 1870s), seated with a fire helmet with an insignia reading “Howard 34.” The fireman’s bib was colored red and the piece was in overall excellent condition. It went to a determined bidder for $1,800. Also, a Waterloo medal issued in 1815 to Sgt. T. Wright of the 13th Regiment, Light Dragoons, reached $2,600.
Museum-quality scale model of a Wells Fargo stagecoach, made in the 1930s or '40s ($2,486).
• A group of some 100 lots of ocean liner postcards from the Ken Schultz Collection brought a combined $31,000; an incredible, museum-quality scale model of a Wells Fargo stagecoach, 33 inches long by 16 inches tall and made in the 1930s or ’40s, breezed to $2,486; a Japanese Order of the Rising Sun (2nd class) medal rose to $2,260; and a Series 1865 $2 National Bank Note (U.S.) went for $6,440.
Philip Weiss Auctions has a trifecta of important auctions lined up through January 2010. First up is a multi-estate sale scheduled for Friday, Nov. 27, starting at 1 p.m. Featured lots will include a monumental Francois Linke 4-door dore bronze mounted cabinet with ram’s head and lyres, and a large-size original oil painting attributed to the renowned Hudson River School painter Girlando Marsiglia.
The Nov. 27 sale will also feature an array of fine decorative accessories, to include a mirror plateau with French ormolu mounts by G. Bointaburet (Paris, circa 1880); a pair of F. Barbedienne bronze plaques; a 19th century gilt bronze plaque with dancing putti; porcelains; an Argy-Russeau powder box; a collection of Mettlach and Satsuma; Sevres pieces; and 19th century Oriental porcelains.
Other decorative accessories will include hand-painted plates; a gilt and signed bronze and enamel box; pottery and art glass; hand-painted and enameled vases; a monumental gilt bronze center piece; tons of French porcelains; Oriental rugs; a monumental gilt French Trimue mirror with top center painting; clocks; a collection of vintage phonographs and cylinder players; and dozens of works of art.
Then, a three-day “Let’s Go Hog Wild Sale” is planned for the weekend of Dec. 18-20. The sale will feature a wonderful single-owner collection of pig-related memorabilia—everything but the oink. Also featured will be toys and dolls, like a rare boxed G.I. Joe Australian doll and G.I. Joe French and German soldiers; items from the German and French Resistance; circus items; and Coke memorabilia, to include early signs and a rare clock.
The weekend will break out as follows: Friday, Dec. 18, will be dedicated primarily to dolls and toy soldiers; Saturday, Dec. 19, will feature a Christmas collection, an advertising collection and premiums, to include a very rare Little Orphan Annie Altascope ring; and Sunday, Dec. 20, will have the pig memorabilia and circus items. Mr. Weiss said pulled pork might be served in honor of the theme.
The official signed marriage certificate issued to Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley in the Dominican Republic in 1994 will be the top item up for bid in a Jan. 22-24 auction hosted by Philip Weiss Auctions.
Philip Weiss Auctions is saving the best for last, when the original marriage certificate issued to Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley on May 26, 1994 in the Dominican Republic will be sold as part of an important multi-estate sale planned for the weekend of Jan. 22-24, 2010. The certificate was signed by both Jackson and Presley. “It’s anybody’s guess how much it will sell for,” Weiss said.
That same weekend, another important slice of music and pop memorabilia will be sold: a large photo of the Beatles, signed by all four members of the group and personalized to the flamboyant late pianist Liberace. In their lighthearted way, the Beatles signed the photo “to Liber-Archie” as a play on words. Also in the auction will be many other pieces of authentic signed Beatles-related memorabilia.
Other lots certain to pique bidder interest will include the contents of a train and hobby shop that closed in the 1970s that featured trains, soldiers, play sets and more; stamps galore, including a complete sheet of 80 Peoples Republic of China Monkey New Year stamps (Scott #1586, est. $40,000-$50,000); a single-owner lifetime stamp collection; and horse racing trophies and other items relating to the late jockey Willie Shoemaker, plus horse racing trophies from Bill Hartack and trophies from the estate of Louis Wolfson.
In addition, there will be a Friday night estate sale in January that will feature a prominent Queens, N.Y., estate with an original oil painting by Jean Dufy (Fr., 1888-1964) and an original Von Danken painting as well.
For more information about any of these auctions, you can call directly at (516) 594-0731, e-mail to email@example.com or visit the Philip Weiss Auctions Web site.
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