Christie’s Books and Manuscripts department is pleased to present a selection of printed and manuscript Americana that marks high points of the 18th to the 20th centuries. The sale features a rare 1776 broadside printing of The Declaration of Independence, a copy previously owned by both Thomas Streeter and Philip Sang; the first public printing of The U.S. Constitution in the 19 September 1787 issue of the Pennsylvania Packet, printed by Dunlap & Claypoole; and a newly-discovered, rare sammelband of 12 issues of Benjamin Franklin’s Poor Richard Almanac, notably including the famous first printing of his timeless essay “Way to Wealth” in the 1758 issue. Other highlights include a 1781 letter from George Washington to General Rochambeau (the body of the letter in the hand of Alexander Hamilton) as well as a superb autograph letter signed written during Washington's second (and final) retirement eloquently reflecting on his public career as well as fine content letters by Thomas Jefferson, James Madison (writing on the Gideon edition of The Federalist), James Monroe, Alexander Hamilton, John Marshall and others. Nineteenth century highlights include a superb signed photograph of Abraham Lincoln, donated by the 16th President to raise funds for Union soldiers as well as a copy of Robert E. Lee’s General Orders No. 9 to bid farewell to the Army of Northern Virginia following his surrender to General Grant in April 1865. Twentieth century highlights include a rare 1902 autograph letter signed by Wilbur Wright on the subject of glider construction; letters from Nikola Tesla; and an original script from Orson Welles’ notorious 1938 radio-play broadcast of H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds.
Viewing is by appointment only. Please contact Client Service at +1 212 636 2000 to schedule an appointment.
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