Signed Martin Luther King book tops Hake's Americana sale
A historically significant book signed and inscribed by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led the latest Hake's Americana sale of pop culture antiques and collectibles.
The sale on July 14-16 brought a final sum of $1.2 million, with everything from historic signed books and baseball cards to Disney and Superman memorabilia bringing impressive prices.
“From top to bottom we knew this auction was filled with amazing items, many from pedigreed collections of major importance," said Alex Winter, President of Hake’s Americana. "Obviously our bidders agreed, as we saw some of the most explosive closing-day bidding in the entire 48 years of our operation. The prices realized are a testament to the ongoing demand for premium-quality pop culture collectibles.”
Leading the sale was a signed copy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1958 book Stride Toward Freedom, personally inscribed to Chief Justice Earl Warren, which topped its high estimate to sell for $49,335. Warren was responsible for the Supreme Court’s 1954 unanimous decision that banned segregation in public schools, and King inscribed the book:
“To Justice Earl Warren, In appreciation for your genuine good-will, your great humanitarian concern, and for your unswerving devotion to the sublime principles of our American democracy. With warm Regards, Martin L. King Jr.”
Following Warren's death in 1974, the book had remained in his family's library before being consigned to auction.
“The price paid for the book did not surprise us," said Winter. "It is a historic artifact of the highest magnitude and truly a one-of-a-kind piece. Both men associated with the book were integral figures in the Civil Rights Movement, and the importance of their legacy cannot be overstated. For this important work of literature to be signed by the author, Dr. King, to Chief Justice Warren places it in its own stratosphere when compared to other MLK Jr.-signed pieces, or any artifact associated with social consciousness, for that matter.”
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