Auction of the Week: Potter & Potter Fine Books Sale, July 28, 2018



2018-07-06 11:33:28

Our featured auction this week is Potter & Potter's Fine Books sale, which takes place in Chicago on July 28. The sale features everything from rare first editions to historic memorabilia – and here are ten of our favorite lots...

Collection of 'The Detective' police journal, circa 1900 - 1902

Estimate: $250 - $350

This superb collection of antique periodicals features 40 issues of 'The Detective: Official Journal of the Police Authorities and Sheriffs of the United States', published in Chicago between 1900 and 1902.

The journal was devoted to real-life crimes, combining tales of captured criminals with mugshots of those on the run, such as murderers, bank and train robbers, swindlers, pickpockets and highwaymen.

It also features advertisements aimed at those in law enforcement, including the latest locks, handcuffs and bullet-proof vests. A fascinating collection perfect for historians and true crime fanatics alike.

Jumanji first edition book

Estimate: $400 - $600

Here's a first edition copy of the much-loved children's picture book Jumanji, written and illustrated by the American author Chris Van Allsburg.

First published in 1981, Jumanji won Van Allsburg the Caldecott Medal for the "most distinguished American picture book for children", and was later adapted into a blockbuster movie starring Robin Williams.

First edition copies of Jumanji, and Van Allsburg's 1985 book The Polar Express, are now considered amongst the most valuable and sought-after children's books of the 1980s.

John Kennedy’s personally owned Zippo lighter

Estimate: $1,500 - $2,500

This vintage Zippo lighter is believed to have been personally owned and used by U.S President John F. Kennedy whilst in office.

The lighter bears an image of the U.S.S. Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., and U.S Navy destroyer named after Kennedy's older brother who was killed in action during World War II.

The ship was active during the Cuban Misile Crisis, serving part of the blockade put in place to prevent the Soviet Union delivering missiles to its military base in Cuba.

The lighter originate from the collection of Lt. Henry E. Hirschy, Jr., a Navy Lieutenant who served in the White House whose duties included taking care of the President's needs on overseas trips, aboard the presidential yachts and at Camp David.

Important Chicago jazz club photo archive, circa 1930s – 1950s

Estimate: $2,000 - $4,000

This remarkable archive features hundreds of vintage photographs capturing the vibrant Chicago jazz and nightclub scene of the 1930s – 1950s.

The photographs were taken by Lonnie Simmons, a noted Chicago nightclub musician who played piano, organ and saxophone alongside greats such as Fats Waller and Ella Fitzgerald.

Simmons documented his career and the world of jazz clubs through a camera lens, and his archive features images of stars such as Sammy Davis Jr., Miles Davis, Count Basie, Fats Waller, Jimmy Smith, Pearl Bailey, Joe Louis, Dizzy Gillespie, Tony Bennett, Redd Foxx and Isaac Hayes.

In addition he was also an amateur crime scene photographer, and was known to dash off-stage in the middle of a set to visit a fire or a murder scene in search of a shot – many of which are also include in this archive.

His two passions led him to be described in a 50s newspaper article as "the man who never sleeps", and this archive is a fascinating look into the night-time world Simmons inhabited.

George Bush personally owned cowboy hat

Estimate: $2,000 - $2,500

This cream-colored, beaver felt cowboy hat was owned and worn by President George W. Bush during his eight-year tenure in the White House, between 2001 and 2009.

Bush was regularly photographed in the hat, and it remains in a battered, well-worn state, complete with rips, marks and burn holes.

The hat comes from the personal collection of Samuel Sutton, who served as a valet to both President Bush and President Obama.

'March for Freedom Now!' protest placard

Estimate: $3,000 - $6,000

This original protest placard bearing the slogan "March for Freedom Now!" was carried during an important Civil Rights march led by Martin Luther King Jr. in 1965.

On July 25 King, A. Phillip Randolph, and Ray Wilkins led a march in Chicago to the Republication National Convention, to present civil rights demands to the candidate Richard Nixon.

The 5,000 protesters in attendance marched five miles from the Tabernacle Baptist Church to the International Amphitheatre, chanting "Jim Crow must go", but were unable to meet with Nixon.

A similar march on the Democratic convention the same year led to a private meeting between King and candidate John F. Kennedy.

Cuban cigar gifted to a British M.P by Winston Churchill

Estimate: $2,200 - $2,400

This Cuban cigar was presented as a gift to a fellow MP by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

Churchill's lifelong love of cigars began in 1895 at the age of 19, during a trip to Cuba to witness fighting in the Cuban War of Independence.

Whilst there he developed a taste for Cuban cigars, particularly the brands Romeo y Julieta and La Aroma de Cuba, and for the rest of his life he ensured he always had a steady supply from Havana.

He kept a stock of up to 4,000 Cuban cigars in a room next to his study at his country house Chartwell Manor, and often gave them as gifts.

This example was given to Roderick Bowen, QC, MP, during a meeting at 10 Downing Street in December of 1954, and remains in its original cellophane wrapping.

It was originally sold at Sotheby's in 1999 to an American collector, but due to the embargo on Cuban imports it could not be exported until 17 years later.

Lee Harvey Oswald's childhood toy electric organ

Estimate: $6,000 - $8,000

This child-sized tabletop electric organ was a Christmas gift to future presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald in 1953, when he was 14 years old.

At the time he was living in New York with his mother, his half-brother and his wife, and attended 7th Grade in the Bronx, before being referred to a juvenile reformatory for truancy.

A reformatory psychiatrist later described him as having "personality pattern disturbance with schizoid features and passive-aggressive tendencies".

In January 1954, less than a month after he received the organ, Oswald and his mother returned to New Orleans after he allegedly struck his mother and threatened his half-brother with a knife.

Fidel Castro letter to revolutionary arms smuggler Pedro Luis

Estimate: $8,000 - $12,000

This eleven-page letter was written by future Cuban leader Fidel Castro in 1958, as he led an army of revolutionaries in guerrilla warfare against the Cuban President Fulgencio Batista.

Castro wrote the letter to Pedro Luis, a commercial pilot who also served as head of the Revolutionary Air Force, and smuggled weapons and ammunition from Costa Rica and Florida into Cuba by air.

In the letter, Castro complains about the organization of his men (“I’ve had to go down, because around here the people waste a lot of time and don’t do anything”), and asks Luis for supplies (“We need more anti-tank bullets, and if possible, more anti-tank rifles”). He signs off with the cheery “A big hug, Fidel Castro.”

Following the revolution in 1959 Luis became Castro's personal pilot, but fled to the U.S six months later due to his anti-communist beliefs, and eventually joined Operation 40, a group of CIA operatives specializing in anti-Castro assassinations and acts of sabotage.

'Destroy This Mad Brute' WWI recruitment poster

Estimate: $12,000 - $18,000

This famous U.S WWI recruitment poster was created by illustrator H.R Hopps in 1917, in an effort to stir American men into enlisting in the fight against Germany.

Hopps depicts the enemy as a "mad brute", a terrifying ape in a German military helmet, clutching Lady Liberty and dragging a bloodied battle club onto Americans shores, leaving the burning wasteland of Europe behind it.

The club also bears the word "kultur", a term used to negatively describe German culture in relation to its authoritarian and racist elements during the early 20th century.

100 years on, this violent, overtly sexual and emotionally charged image remains one of the most famous propaganda posters in U.S history.

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