Swann's 16th annual Printed & Manuscript African Americana auction was the most successful to date. The top lot, which sold for $43,200, was Charles Harris Wesley's published and unpublished writings, correspondence, photographs, albums, pamphlets and ephemera, in an archive of 35 cartons of material. Wesley was a noted historian, scholar, educator, minister, and writer, a graduate of Fisk University who earned his Masters degree from Yale, his PhD from Harvard, and went on to teach at Howard University among other esteemed institutions.
A large, handmade banner by Father Divine, one of the first 20th-century cult religious leaders, brought $36,000, which is a record price for any item related to Divine.
The Black Panthers section of the sale drew much interest, particularly the posters offered. A poster of Huey Newton reading "The racist dog policemen must withdraw immediately from our communities," and depicting the Panther Minister of Defense holding a rifle, sold for a record $19,200.
Clockwise from top left: Huey Newton, "The racist dog policemen...," 1968. Sold for $19,200. Emory Douglas, "Free Bobby, Free Ericka...," circa 1970. Sold for $8,400. Fred Hampton, "When One of us Falls...," circa 1969. Sold for $9,600. "DOWN with the WHITE-NESS," late 1960s. Sold for $18,000.
Labels: American posters, Black Panthers, Charles Wesley Harris, Father Divine, Printed and Manuscript African Americana, Wyatt H. Day