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The Building Blocks of Albert Einstein’s Creative Mind

[ALBERT EINSTEIN], Ephemera. Set of Anker-Steinbaukasten children’s building blocks by F. Ad. Richter & Cie., Rudolstadt, [Germany], c.1880s. Approximately 160 composite quartz sand, chalk, and linseed oil blocks in red, limestone and slate gray, in various sizes and shapes, together with three or more sets of building plans, all contained in two wooden boxes with printed Anker-Steinbaukasten labels.


A unique and important artifact of his childhood.

Item #24284, $160,000

A Spectacular George Washington by James Sharples

JAMES SHARPLES, George Washington, pastel on paper, 9.2 by 7.5 in.


Item #24655, $85,000

One of Einstein’s Best Metaphysical Letters - Counseling His Son on the Meaning of Life and Youth and the Relative Value of Intellectual Creations

ALBERT EINSTEIN, Autograph Letter Signed (“Papa”), in German, to his son Eduard (“Tete” for “petit”). [December 27, 1932]. 2 pp, 8½ x 11 in.


“All my life I have troubled myself with problems and am always – as on the first day – inspired by the fact that cognition in the scientific and artistic sense is the best thing we possess… If one hears the angels singing a couple of times during one’s life, one can give the world something and one is a particularly fortunate and blessed individual.”

Item #23789, $48,000

Hours after the Battle of Culpeper Court House,
Lee Escapes Again

ROBERT E. LEE, Autograph Letter Signed, to William N. Pendleton [Chief of Artillery]. [Virginia], September 13, 1863. 8 x 5 in., 1 p.


This decisive field order enabled Robert E. Lee to elude Union General George Meade, just as he had done in July after the Battle of Gettysburg. “…go with the Artl [Artillery] tomorrow and at daylight towards the Rapidan river & see to its being placed in position to defend the fords”

Item #21553.01, $28,500

An Unusual Presentation Copy of
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

SAMUEL L. CLEMENS. [MARK TWAIN], Signed Book. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Tom Sawyer’s Comrade). New York: Charles Webster, 1886. Second American edition. 8 3/8 x 6 5/8 in. With several prints, clippings, and other ephemera tipped in. Rebound at the Roycroft bindery.


“Taking the pledge will not make bad liquor good, but it will improve it”

Item #23193, $25,000

J.R.R. Tolkien Writes his Proofreader with a Lengthy Discussion of the Lord of the Rings, Including Criticism of Radio Broadcasts of his Work

J.R.R. TOLKIEN, Autograph Letter Signed, to Naomi Mitchison. Headington, Oxford, England, December 8, 1955. 4 pp on 2 leaves of wove paper with Pirie’s/ Crown Bond watermark. 5 5/16 x 7 1/8 in. (13½ x 18 cm). The first page is embossed “76 Sandfield Road/ Headington/ Oxford.” With original autograph addressed envelope.


In a letter peppered with references to Middle Earth and its inhabitants, an exhausted Tolkien takes his first lengthy holiday in four years—in Italy. He returns and writes to Naomi Mitchison, a fellow novelist and his proofreader, for failing to provide feedback for her novel, To the Chapel Perilous. Tolkien discusses the demands on his time, ranging from his teaching load, thesis advising, and publishing, to reading critical reviews. Tolkien’s dissatisfaction with radio adaptations of Lord of the Rings occupies a prominent place: I think poorly of the broadcast adaptations. Except for a few details I think they are not well done... I thought that the dwarf (Gloin not Gimli, but I suppose Gimli will talk like his father...) was not too bad if a bit exaggerated. I do think of the “Dwarves” like Jews: at once native and alien in their habitations, speaking the language of the country, but with an accent due to their own private tongue. The balance of the letter discusses literary critics, reviews of Mitchison’s book, and anachronisms in her latest offering as contrasted to Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.

Item #23221, $22,000

Harry S. Truman on His 1948 Proclamation Recognizing Israel

HARRY S. TRUMAN, Typed Letter Signed, Independence, Missouri, March 25, 1970. 1 page. With envelope with printed free frank. [7.25”x10.5”]


As for your interest in the proclamation of May 14, 1948, any document or statement issued by the President goes through a series of statements to make certain of its accuracy and clarity of meaning. I continue to hope that a reign of peace will soon come to pass ...

Item #21308.01, $20,000

Einstein Reveals Reservations of Associating with Communism

ALBERT EINSTEIN, Typed Letter Signed (“A. Einstein”), in English to Professor Albert Sprague Coolidge of Harvard University, Princeton, NJ, February 16, 1934. 1p 8½ x 11 in. Envelope folds, minor spotting.


“On the one hand, the world-wide danger of fascism makes it necessary that all enemies of fascism cooperate; on the other hand, an action which has communist leanings might endanger that fight...”

This letter, in addition to underscoring Einstein’s passionate stance against fascism, is particularly important as documentary evidence of Einstein’s caution about having any dealings with communism, especially considering that the U.S. FBI, worried about Einstein’s political leanings, kept a file on Einstein that grew to 1427 pages.

Item #24885, $18,000

Einstein Agrees to Allow “a Short Book on the Hydrogen Bomb” to Use His Statement Made on Eleanor Roosevelt’s TV Show

ALBERT EINSTEIN, Typed Document Signed, Princeton, N.J., April 19, 1950. 1 p., 8¼ x 11¼ in. 1 p. On “Didier, Publisher” letterhead paper, addressed to Einstein, in Princeton, and signed by him. Formerly folded, envelope stapled on the back.


Item #24253, $12,500

An Oversized Photo of General Grant
Taken after Lincoln’s Assassination

ULYSSES S. GRANT, Photograph. By Frederick Gutekunst. Philadelphia, Pa., [May 1865] 15½ x 18 in., mounted on 20 x 24 in. board. Likely dated “October 1865” [perhaps the date of production] in light pencil on Gutekunst’s label on verso. Blind stamp of Chicago Historical Society, and “Chicago Historical Society dupl” in pencil on verso.


Item #22942, $7,500

Joining Commodore Matthew C. Perry’s Expedition to Japan, a Line Drawing and Rigging Plan for Converting
the U.S.S. Macedonian to a “Razeed” Sloop-of-War

U.S.S. MACEDONIAN, Line drawing and rigging plan, on waxed linen, c. 1851-1852, 36 x 25 ¾ in. “Razee a Spar Deck Ship” written in different hand than plan design’s hand and initials.


This ship plan shows the design for the U.S.S. Macedonian to be converted from a 36-gun frigate into a 20-gun sloop-of-war “razee,” (from the French raser, “to shave”) a warship that has been lowered in height by removing the spar (main) deck.  The vessel’s sails were also enlarged in the process.  The changes made the ship faster and lighter for Perry’s mission, but both alterations required new standing (support) rigging, and hull reinforcements, shown in red in this plan.

Item #22458, $7,500

William Penn’s Letter to King James II:
“Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God, the things that are God’s.”

WILLIAM PENN, Broadsheet. The Speech of William Penn to his Majesty upon his Delivering the Quakers Address. [London, 1687.] 2 pp., quarto (175 x 280 mm).


A religious liberty foundation document. On behalf of the Quakers, William Penn appeals to King James II to protect freedom of conscience, starting with the famous quotation from Jesus: IT was the saying of our Blessed Lord to the Captious Jews, in the case of Tribute, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God, the things that are God's. this distinction ought to be observed by all Men, in the Conduct of their lives, so the King has given Us an Illustrious Example in His own Person that excites Us to it; For while HE was a Subject, HE gave Caesar His Tribute; and now HE is Caesar, gives GOD his Due, (viz) The Sovereignty over Consciences.”

At the bottom of the second page, James offers his acknowledgement “that conscience ought not to be Forced.” In 1687 James II proclaimed the Declaration of Indulgence or Declaration of Liberty of Conscience, the first step in establishing freedom of religion in Great Britain.

Item #24804, $6,500

Eisenhower Signed D-Day Message

DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER, Broadside Signed in dark blue ink. Statement to the soldiers, sailors and airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force on June 6, 1944. Document is approx. 5¾ x 9½ in., archivally framed to approximately 22 x 14 in.


From a limited edition of Eisenhower’s Crusade in Europe, (New York: Doubleday & Co., 1948), limited to 1,426 copies. The war had ended only three years earlier, and Eisenhower must have been looking towards politics - he was elected to the Presidency in 1952.

Item #24122, $6,500

Broadside Declaring War on Spain

[GEORGE II], Broadside, “His Majesty’s Declaration of War Against the King of Spain,” John Bassett, printer, London, October 19, 1739, 16 x 21 in., with contemporary manuscript notes and docketing, October 23, 1739.


Parliament goes to war after Robert Jenkins displays his detached ear.

Item #22456, $6,500

Shortly Before his Self-imposed Exile from Germany, Albert Einstein Supports an International Language to Promote Peace and Understanding

ALBERT EINSTEIN, Typed Document Signed, Berlin, Germany, December 18, 1929. 1 p., 8¼ x 11¼ in. In German, with Einstein’s autograph accomplishments.


“I am willing to join the federation for the introduction of an international auxiliary language to promote understanding, peace, and cooperation among nations.”

Einstein was a lifelong champion of efforts to eliminate of the nationalist divisions that leaders erected between peoples, often to deadly effect. Esperanto, the “international auxiliary language,” was an easy to learn, politically neutral language invented by L.L. Zamenhof, a Polish ophthalmologist, in the 1870s-1880s. His goals, to transcend nationalism and create harmony and peace in the world community, were certainly shared by Einstein — and pilloried as a Jewish conspiracy by Adolf Hitler. Considering the date of the pledge, Einstein was taking an early stand against the Fascist future into which Europe was about to descend.

Item #24023, $6,000

Jackie Robinson says a talk radio host “needs to do a lot of soul searching.”

JACKIE ROBINSON, Autograph Letter Signed, to Jon Anthony Dosa, ca. 1968-1969. Written on letterhead of St. Francis Hotel, San Francisco. 2 pp., 7¼ x 10½ in.


He needs to do a lot of soul searching for he is the kind of guy we fear. His opportunity to spread his views and his cleverness will continue to be a stumbling block before we reach peace here at home.

Item #25009, $5,500

Sterling Silver Sinseollo Dish,
Presented to General Matthew Ridgway
by the Korean Minister of Defense

[MATTHEW B. RIDGWAY], Traditional Korean dish, engraved around the base with four stars, and the inscription, “General & Mrs. M. B. Ridgway / From Defense Minister & Mrs. Ki Poong Lee / Republic of Korea,” ca. 1952.


Item #22366, $5,500

1686 Huguenot Protestant religious prisoner’s pin prick note, with notes of wife and child, and 1842 letter of Dr. Johnson Eliot, a founder of Georgetown Medical College

[FRENCH HUGUENOT], Pin-pricked Manuscript Note, with his wife’s Autograph Note, in French, ca. 1686. 1 p. Also with his son or daughter’s additional note in English. JOHNSON ELIOT, Autograph Letter Signed, June 19, 1842, gifting the above letter. 1 p. In all 3 pp.


Item #24146.01, $5,000

1607 Cornelis van Wytfliet’s Norvmbega et Virginia

CORNELIS VAN WYTFLIET, Norvmbega et Virginia. 1607, Second state. 9 x 11 ½”.


Taken from the first atlas devoted entirely to America, this is only the second map to use ‘Virginia’ in its title, after the White-De Bry of 1590 [AL 09], on which this is partly derived.  Despite major inaccuracies – such as the labeling of the Chesapeake’s latitude near present-day Maine, and the depiction of the mythical city of Norumbega – this map was the most accurate map of the east coast until de Laet (1630).

Item #21001.99, $4,800

Announcing the UN Resolution
to Establish a Jewish State in Israel

[ISRAELI INDEPENDENCE], Broadside. November 29, 1947. 1 p. 27.5 x 39.5 in.


To the Workers of Israel, celebrating the historic decision of the United Nations General Assembly authorizing the establishment of a Jewish state in the land of Israel.

Item #21546, $4,800
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