Top Lots: Autographs

Artists, writers and US presidents made a fine showing at Swann's bi-annual sale of Autographs held on May 23. A signed letter by Emily Dickinson received the highest bid, selling for $28,800. In it, Miss Dickinson refers to "the skirmish in my mind" when recalling the story of Jacob and Esau.

Emily Dickinson, Autograph Letter Signed, circa 1881.

Written from Monticello in 1822, Thomas Jefferson's Autograph letter to James Madison was the highest selling American lot, bringing $19,200. Other presidential lots included a letter signed by George Washington from Valley Forge, which sold for $13,200 and a vellum document signed by Abraham Lincoln also bringing $13,200.


Thomas Jefferson, Autograph Letter Signed to James Madison, May 1822. 

Top artist lots included an autographed birthday card from Andy Warhol written on his studio stationery as well as two letter signed by Georgia O'Keefe. Selling for an impressive $19,200 were an archive of 15 Alexander Calder Autograph Letters, some with drawings, written to his friend and banker Beverly Izard between 1953 and 1970.


Alexander Calder, archive of 15 Autograph Letters, some with drawings, 1953-70.

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