AMHERST, N.H.—Call it Peanuts power—the siren call that induces unusually spirited competition among collectors eager to obtain coveted examples of original artwork from Charles Schulz’s beloved comic strip.
Beethoven turns 184 in this original 1954 Peanuts strip, which sold for $27,738. The composer and his music
became the focus of Schroeder’s life over the next five decades.
Indeed, the bids came fast and furious for an original Peanuts strip at R&R Enterprises’ January auction, which ended on January 16. The 1954 daily strip, in which Charlie Brown and Schroeder commemorate Beethoven’s 184th birthday, reached $27,738, the auction’s top result.
Of a different character altogether were the ink signatures of the legendary Sioux holy man Sitting Bull and his nephew, One Bull. Rare in any form, these superb ink specimens, likely the finest in existence, were originally obtained during an 1884 visit to St. Paul. Formerly part of an outstanding collection of Indian Wars–related items, many of which were also offered by R&R, the signatures realized $11,482.
Among the offerings in the presidential category were such standouts as a letter written by then-General Grant on the eve of his victory at Chattanooga, $9,502; a stirring 1943 FDR letter on “the incalculable blessing of civil and religious liberty,” $8,243; a Washington franking signature on an address panel to Fort Pitt commander William Irvine, $8,030; and an engraving of the White House signed by presidents Nixon through George W. Bush, $7,800.
Alexander Hamilton and his partners iron
out details for their acquisition of
Paulus Hook, New Jersey,in an
important group of documents that
Other historical figures, led by Alexander Hamilton, enjoyed similarly impressive results. An important group of documents related to the purchase of Paulus Hook, New Jersey by Hamilton and his partners brought $11,168, while a letter to German-born Revolutionary War hero Baron von Steuben fetched $5,899. Other results included a 1787 land grant signed by Franklin, $10,690; a 1569 Inquisition-related document signed by Philip II of Spain, $6,192; a 1604 James II document, $5,729; and a letter from Custer to the future official historian of Gettysburg, $5,362.
Little did he know he’d become a vegetarian when
Paul McCartney and his band mates draped
themselves in raw meat and doll parts.
A rare copy of the notorious “butcher”
cover signed by McCartney topped the
music category at $6,812.
Notable items in space and aviation included a letter from the Apollo 11 crew to an enterprising hotelier with lunar aspirations, $8,638; an excellent letter in which Amelia Earhart encourages a young woman interested in aviation, $6,933; a photo signed by the Mercury Seven astronauts, $5,362; and a NASA photo signed by Neil Armstrong, $4,916.
Art and literature collectors vied for a signed limited-edition copy of James Joyce’s Tales of Shem and Shaun, $4,784; a 1930 letter from T. E. Lawrence signed with his RAF alias, “T. E. Shaw,” $4,734; and an 1837 Audubon letter seeking the assistance of a fellow ornithologist, $4,303.
Paul McCartney demonstrated “peel appeal” with a copy of the Beatles’ Yesterday and Today album, signed on the notorious “butcher” cover, $6,812. Other musical highlights included a 1970 check signed by John Lennon, $6,302; a Please, Please Me album signed by McCartney and Ringo Starr, $4,933; and handwritten lyrics to the song “War
Baby” by Mick Jagger, $3,812.
The timeless Audrey Hepburn led the entertainment category with a vintage signed photo accompanied by unusual documentation, $4,734. Also worthy of note were a signed photo of Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara, $3,176; a gorgeous vintage photo signed by Elizabeth Taylor, $3,024; and a Humphrey Bogart letter wondering whether The African Queen will be “any good,” $2,766.
All prices above include the buyer’s premium. R&R Enterprises’ next auction begins on January 28 and ends on February 13. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.