Close on the Beatles' heels was Led Zeppelin, who emerged on the musical scene on the verge of the Beatles' momentous breakup. A rare copy of Zeppelin's historic and influential second album, Led Zeppelin II, signed on the jacket by all four members, reached $10,973. Other musical standouts included a Höfner ³violin² bass guitar signed by Paul McCartney, $6,933; an early Parlophone promotional postcard signed by all four Beatles, $6,545; and a set of Beatles signatures obtained in 1963, $4,874.
Flashing back two centuries to the era of the ³first² British invasion, the Americana and history categories were led by Benjamin Franklin, with a 1787 Pennsylvania land grant, $9,718. Other notable results included a Lincoln appointment for a territorial judge in New Mexico, $8,833; a stirring letter from Ernest Shackleton related to his final Antarctic expedition, $6,933; a Lincoln appointment for a quartermaster, $6,032; a shipping document from the rare Signer Francis Lightfoot Lee, $5,040; a John Adams land grant, $4,484; a photo signed by Trotsky during his Mexican exile, $4,410; and a land grant signed by Adams and John Marshall less than a month before the latter assumed duties as Chief Justice, $4,303.
The aviation and space categories boasted an unusual selection of blue-chip treasures, including a small remnant from the Wright Brothers' original 1903 flyer, $7,545 (or more than $5,000 per square inch). Other exceptional items included a signed photo of Amelia Earhart with documentation from her publisher/husband, $6,545; a photo signed by Orville Wright and Henry Ford, $5,950; a trio of signed photos from the Apollo 11 crew, $5,836; a signed limited-edition copy of Earhart's account of her historic journey as the first woman to cross the Atlantic by air, complete with flown American flag, $5,729; and a signed NASA photo of Neil Armstrong, $4,602.
Art and literature honors went to J. R. R. Tolkien, with an impressive letter on the origins of The Lord of the Rings, $8,030. Also notable were an Emerson AQS from a memorial poem for his brother, $5,207, and an important and early letter from Grandma Moses, $3,176.
A rare signed photo of actress Sharon Tate, whose promising career came to a tragic, brutal end at the hands of the Manson Family, reached $6,562. Other entertainment results included a 1941 RKO contract signed by Orson Welles, $4,236; a production contract signed by Marilyn Monroe, $4,027; and an album page signed by Monroe and three of her male costars from Some Like It Hot, $3,327.
Babe Ruth once again proved himself to be the perennial favorite in the sports category. A signed photo of Ruth in his Yankees uniform brought $9,502, while a photo of the older slugger with an Army chaplain fetched $4,027. A 1929 Honus Wagner letter brought $3,721, and a lucky young fan's report card bearing Lou Gehrig's red ink signature brought $2,938.
All prices above include the buyer's premium. R&R's next auction begins on September 3 and ends on September 19. Bids are accepted online or via telephone, fax, or e-mail. For information or to consign to future auctions, visit the R&R web site at www.rrauction.com or contact Elizebeth Otto at [email protected].