Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information
Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

American Historical Documents for Spink Shreves Galleries Auction

Described as a collection people have waited for decades to come on the market, a colorful author and historian’s extensive multi-million dollar archive of important American manuscripts, maps, letters, early photographs, books and documents tracing America’s journey to the Wild West will be offered in a public auction conducted in New York City by Spink Shreves Galleries, January 27 – 29, 2010.

“They were collected over a 50-year period by Floyd E. Risvold of Edina, Minnesota who participated in expeditions in the West with the Coast and Geodetic Survey in the 1930’s and ’40’s. His jovial admonition to nearly everyone he met was, ‘Keep your powder dry,'” said Charles Shreve, President of Spink Shreves Galleries of New York and Dallas (

“This collection chronicles the U.S. movement westward to find ‘the Promised Land.’ It’s filled with unique, eyewitness accounts to American history. The pre-sale estimate is $5 million or more.”

Risvold died last June at the age of 97, and his family now is making his vast collection and library available to the public.

The wide array of extraordinary items, most of them one-of-a-kind, include a 12-page letter written by John Adams during The War of 1812, a prospector’s 1849-era hand-drawn map to the California gold regions and an Indian peace treaty directive to the Secretary of State signed in 1864 by President Abraham Lincoln. There are hundreds of other items related to the Pony Express and U.S. postal history, the Alamo, the Civil War, expansion of the railroads and Mormon history including an 1841 letter signed by both Joseph Smith and Hyrum Smith, early leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

“Collectors and museums have been waiting for decades for many of these unique historical documents to again become available,” said Shreve.

After displays of the collection in Dallas, San Francisco and London, England earlier this month, it now is on display in New York City in preparation for the three-day public auction to be held online and at the Spink Shreves Galleries, 145 W.57th St., January 27 – 29.

For additional information, contact Spink Shreves Galleries at (212) 262-8400 or visit online at