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Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

University Archives’ March 15th online auction has items signed by Einstein, Louis VII, Paul Revere

The Rare Manuscripts, Books & Sports Memorabilia auction features historical material from many collecting categories. All the lots are up for viewing and bidding now, on the UA website.

WILTON, Conn. – An eclectic sale featuring items signed by historical luminaries as diverse as theoretical physicist Albert Einstein, France’s King Louis VII and Revolutionary War hero Paul Revere is scheduled for Wednesday, March 15th, by University Archives. The online-only Rare Manuscripts, Books & Sports Memorabilia auction will begin promptly at 11 am Eastern time.

All 418 lots in the catalog are up for viewing and bidding now (on the University Archives website:, plus and Telephone and absentee bids will be taken, but there’s no live gallery bidding. Included is an exceptional array of U.S. presidential material from George Washington to Barack Obama.

“This auction also features unique science material from Einstein, Hooke, Feynman and others, as well as a marvelous miscellany encompassing Early American, art, international and sports collecting categories,” said John Reznikoff, the president and owner of University Archives. “Whether you’re looking for important historical documents, rare books, original artwork, early photography or autographed sports memorabilia, University Archives has got you covered.”

Lot 384 is a typed letter signed by Einstein explaining his monumental scientific formula, E = mc2. The formula, which Einstein articulated after conducting research into the theory of relativity, ultimately led to the development of nuclear weapons, an unintended catastrophic result of his research (est. $45,000-$60,000). There are five Einstein lots in the auction. Another compelling item is Einstein’s one-page autograph manuscript in German, mentioning the “General Theory of Relativity” and the “theory of gravity,” part of his reconciliation of Unified Field Theory.

Lot 330 is an elegant manuscript document in Latin signed by the French monarch Louis VII at Senlis in 1177, with an interesting connection to the Crusades. The document, granting property rights, was signed by two future French Crusaders: Raoul I, Count of Clermont-en-Beauvaisis, and Theobald V, Count of Blois, both killed during the Siege of Acre (est. $24,000-$35,000).

Lot 105 is an autograph album signed by three current and future U.S. presidents – Lincoln, Grant, and Garfield – plus approximately 140 additional signatures of mostly Civil War-era military personnel, politicians, and other notables. The album, with 1896 newspaper article provenance giving an eyewitness account of Lincoln’s signing his autograph in Washington, D.C. in 1862, was compiled by a Civil War veteran from Peoria, Illinois (est. $16,000-$20,000).

Lot 223 relates to Paul Revere’s purchase of 4 chaldrons (over five net tons) of coal, to fuel his metal-working furnaces in 1787 – the same year the U.S. Constitution was signed. Revere signed the receipt issued by a Boston merchant and included a nine-word endorsement in his hand. Air-tight provenance is provided from Paul Revere’s great-great-grandson (est. $15,000-$20,000).

Lot 267 is a Civil War officer’s sword presented to Jacob Lasalle, Captain of the all-Jewish 82nd Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment (est. $12,000-$15,000). In mid-August of 1862, the Jewish community of Chicago met to organize a company and “afford material aid to the Government, to crush out this rebellion.” Around 100 men joined the Concordia Guards, led by Capt. Lasalle.

Lot 112 is a 1783 document signed by George Washington granting a furlough and unconditional discharge to “Jerod Hummingston, Private in the 2d Regt’ Lt Drag (the Light Dragoons), having faithfully served the United States Three Years and being inlisted (sic) for the War only.” The one-page document is countersigned by Jonathan Trumbull, Jr., General Secretary.

Lot 417 is a spectacular 1975 New York Yankees team-signed baseball, signed by 26 members of the team, including a superb example of Thurman Munson, who not long afterward died in a crash of the plane he was piloting (est. $1,000-$1,200). All the signatures are done in ballpoint ink. The ball was issued with an auction JSA auction letter of authenticity in 2016.

Lot 244 is a colorful Walt Disney signed Santa Fe & Disneyland Railroad and monorail pass issued to New York City transit authority director Sidney H. Bingham circa 1959, granting him free access to the railway for five years as an “honorary Vice-President.” The Santa Fe & Disneyland Railroad was inaugurated at Disneyland in Anaheim, California in 1955, while the monorail, considered the latest in cutting edge technology, was installed there four years later (est. $8,000-$10,000).

Lot 188 is a huge and fascinating archive documenting U.S. criminal history over a 50-year-long period, from 1875-1929. Items are from the Pinkerton National Detective Agency and other law enforcement agencies, and include newspaper clippings, photographs, Rogues Gallery illustrated portraits, wanted posters and broadsheets. The majority of the clippings relate to Pinkerton activities in Chicago, but information on foiled Lincoln assassination plots, Jesse James, Billy the Kid and “Diamond Jim” Fisk’s murderer is also included (est. $7,500-$9,500).

Lot 1 is a John Adams autograph letter signed while president, addressed to Treasury Secretary Oliver Wolcott, Jr., alluding to America’s middling position in the international marketplace. “If you find any usefull (sic) hints in it, you know how to make use of them better than your humble servant,” Adams wrote, referring to a bold cover letter from a Baltimore man who claimed he knew how to make the U.S. more competitive against its European rivals (est. $7,000-$8,000).

Lot 42 is a manuscript letter from 1837 signed by then-Col. Zachary Taylor, to fellow Col. Persifor F. Smith, to coordinate their efforts as part of Major Gen. Thomas Jessup’s plan to drive the Seminoles into the interior of southern Florida. Taylor writes, “the Indians did not want to shed any more blood…they had opportunities of killing the whites” (est. $3,500-$5,000).

Lot 42 is a scarce period carte de visite image depicting sitting 17th U.S. President Andrew Johnson, signed and inscribed by him as “Andrew Johnson / Jany 23d 1869” on verso. The sepia-toned albumen photograph is mounted on a stock card and is encapsulated and PSA/DNA certified authentic (est. $3,000-$4,000).

University Archives has become world-renowned as a go-to source for rare items of this kind. It is actively seeking quality material for future auctions, presenting a rare opportunity for sellers. Anyone who has a single item or a collection that may be a fit for a future University Archives auction may call John Reznikoff at 203-454-0111, or email him at [email protected].

University Archives was founded in 1979, as a division of University Stamp Company, by John Reznikoff, who started collecting stamps and coins in 1968, while in the third grade. Industry-wide, Reznikoff is considered the leading authenticity expert for manuscripts and documents. He consults with law enforcement, dealers, auction houses and both major authentication companies.

University Archives’ new offices are located at 88 Danbury Rd. (Suite 2A) in Wilton, Conn. For more information about University Archives and the online Rare Manuscripts, Books & Sports Memorabilia auction on March 15th at 11 am Eastern time, visit

1975 New York Yankees team-signed baseball, signed by 26 members of the team, including a superb example of Thurman Munson, who later died piloting his airplane (est. $1,000-$1,200).