Auction of the Week: Alexander Historical Auctions Sumer Sale 2018



2018-07-20 09:10:33

Our featured sale of the week comes from Alexander Historical Auctions and takes place in Chesapeake City, Maryland on July 31 – August 1. From John Lennon to Mohandas Gandhi, WWII history, monkeys and Samurai warriors – here are some of our favourite lots heading for the block.

WWII patriotic monkey cage

Estimate: $1,500 - $2,000

This unusual piece of wartime memorabilia is a wooden monkey cage, painted with the slogan "Buy War Bond and Stamps" on both sides and a letter "V" for Victory.

According to the consignor, the original owner used his monkey and its patriotic cage to help raise funds for the war effort during WWII – but then allegedly kept most of the money for themselves!

James D. Watson DNA sketch

Estimate: $1,200 - $1,500

This large sketch of the DNA double helix, the genetic building block of life, was drawn by one of the men who first discovered it: James Watson.

Watson and his colleague Francis Crick first published their discovery in the scientific journal Nature in 1953, and were later awarded with the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Today their discovery is widely regarded as one of the most important scientific breakthroughs of the 20th century.

The only existing poster from the Beatles 1964 tour of Australia

Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000

This original hand-painted advertisement is believed to be the only poster in existence from The Beatles' tour of Australia.

The Fab Four made the trip in June 1964, but were forced to recruit drummer Jimmy Nicol for the early shows whilst Ringo recovered from tonsillitis.

Initially the tour only featured shows in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane; but when local disc jockey Bob Francis sent a petition to tour promoter Ken Brodziak, containing the names of eighty-thousand Beatle fans, Adelaide was added at the last minute.

When the band arrived in Adelaide from Hong Kong they received the biggest welcome of their entire career, as an estimated 300,000 fans turned out to line to the route from the airport.

The poster, featuring the band's famous Drop-T logo, was created to promote their first show of the tour at the Adelaide Centennial Hall on June 12.

USS Bunker Hill squadron ready room seat

Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000

This leather chair originates from the pilot 'ready room' of the USS Bunker Hill, an American aircraft carrier which famously served as part of the U.S Pacific Fleet during WWII.

It fought in several battles including the Battle of Iwo Jima and in support of the Battle of Okinawa, during which it was attacked by two Japanese kamikaze pilots, resulting in the deaths of almost 400 crew members.

It was returned to the U.S for repair and never saw action again. It was decommissioned in 1947, before finally being sold for scrap in 1973.

The 'ready room' is the room in which pilots wait on stand-by, ready to be called to action at a moment's notice.

The chair was originally owned by Admiral James Condit (1915-2003) who served on the USS Yorktown, became a Japanese prisoner of war, and was later present at the surrender of Japan.

Jimi Hendrix signed document

Estimate: $4,000 - $6,000

This superb document, boldly signed by rock legend Jimi Hendrix, is a receipt for a cash payment of $2,500 made by his tour manager Gerry Stickells.

The payment note is dated November 23, 1969, four days before Hendrix celebrated his 27th birthday by partying hard with The Rolling Stones in New York.

In need of a little spending money for the big occasion, Hendrix requested the cash advance from his manager Michael Jeffery before attending a Stones concert at Madison Square Garden and jamming with Mick Taylor in their dressing room.

Sadly it was the last birthday Hendrix ever celebrated, as he passed away from an accidental drug overdose in London ten months later.

17th century Japanese warrior's body armour

Estimate: $8,000 - $10,000

This imposing set of traditional Japanese body armour dates from the 16th-17th century, and would have been worn by a Samurai warrior – a high class of military officer trained in tactics and grand strategy.

Samurai warriors were traditionally employed by a Japanese clan and a lord during the feudal period of Japan (1185–1868). 

The decorative and stylised armour is comprised of several pieces, with ribbed panels constructed from irons strips and lacquered material, chainmail and a protective face mask.

The last-known use of Samurai armour on the battlefield was in 1877 during the Satsuma Rebellion, before the modernization of Japan led to the creation of a national conscription army that used uniforms.

Mohandas K. Gandhi signed photograph

Estimate: $20,000 - $30,000

This rare signed photograph of Indian nationalist and spiritual leader Mohandas Gandhi was a gift to his close friend and biographer Henry Polak.

Polak was the editor of 'India Today' and a prominent political journalist, who first met Gandhi in the early 1900s whilst working for his law firm in South Africa.

The pair struck up a life-long friendship, and Polk became one of his most dedicated supporters. He walked by his side on the famous 'Salt March' in April 1930, and was later imprisoned alongside him for civil disobedience until 1932.

The photograph features the inscription "God is Truth", one of the principle tenets of Gandhi's spiritual philosophy.

John Lennon 'Nazi' self portrait

Estimate: $20,000 - $30,000

This remarkable sketch was drawn by a teenage John Lennon, whilst the future Beatle attended art school in Liverpool in the late 1950s.

In the cartoon Lennon imagines himself as a Hitler-type figure, standing at a podium giving a Nazi salute as a crowd below him repeatedly chants "Heil John".

According to his first wife Cynthia, who originally sold the sketch in 1991, Lennon had a fascination with German WWII military memorabilia and collected pieces connected with the Third Reich.

The comical sketch says more about Lennon's desire for fame and his dark sense of humour than it does about his political sensibilities, which were firmly pro-love and anti-war.

The sketch is also highly reminiscent of the illustrations for his two books of nonsense poetry, In His Own Write and A Spaniard in the Works, some of which have since sold for six-figure sums at auction.

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