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Item 1014 - US Presidents Collection Catalog 438 (Sep 2014)

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(we are no longer accepting bids on this item)
Minimum Bid: $2,500.00
Sold Price: $40,625.00 (includes buyer's premium)


An exceptional collection of all 44 presidents from George Washington through Barack Obama consisting of signatures, letters, documents, photos, a book, and engravings. All of the items (with the exception of the signed photos) are accompanied by portraits of the respective president, and the entire collection is housed in an attractive black document preservation portfolio made by Cohasco.

The Collection

George Washington

Free-franked address panel, 4.5 x 3, addressed in another hand to “Miss Bordley, Union Street, Philadelphia,” dated “April 9,” in the upper left, “1798,” and marked “Free,” in the upper right corner and franked in the lower left (all in an unknown hand), “Go: Washington.” Panel is accompanied by an unsigned period letter of provenance which reads, “This letter was franked for Miss Eleanor P. Custis Mrs. Washington’s granddaughter—who afterwards married Laurence Lewis Esq. of Virginia, nephew of General Washington—who lived and died on the Estate part of Mount Vernon devised to him by his uncle.” In very good condition, with several light vertical folds, one through a single letter of signature, and scattered light soiling and staining.

John Adams

Endorsement, signed “John Adams,” on the reverse of a partly-printed document, 7.25 x 9.5, one page, both sides, dated July 1769, concerning the matter of Gridley et al v. Holmes, praying for judgement on behalf of the plaintiff, pleading the defendant’s answer to complaint is insufficient in law. Endorsement reads, in part: “And the said Nathaniel agreeing to the Reservation aforesaid…his plea is a sufficient answer in law.” Signed at the conclusion by Adams. In very good condition, with some mild toning, soiling, and pinholes to intersecting folds, a few small areas of ink erosion (none to endorsement or signature), and a few stray ink marks. Front of the document retains most of its red wax seal.

Thomas Jefferson

Very bold and crisp franking signature, “Free Th: Jefferson,” on an off-white 4.25 x 1.75 slip. In fine condition.

James Madison

Partly-printed DS, as president, one page, 15.25 x 10, July 3, 1812. President Madison grants Francois Valliquet 185 acres of land in Michigan, with the document providing a detailed description of the borders. Signed at the conclusion by Madison and countersigned by Commissioner of the General Land Office Edward Tiffin. In very good to fine condition, with intersecting folds, some light toning over beginning of signature from seal, and some scattered toning. The seal is toned, but intact.

James Monroe

Partly-printed DS, as president, one page, 13 x 10, December 26, 1817. Land grant issued to Henry Dager “late a private in Griswolds Company of the Second Regiment of Infantry,” 160 acres of land in the Illinois Territory for his military service. Signed at the conclusion by Monroe and countersigned by Commissioner of the General Land Office Josiah Meigs. In very good condition, with intersecting folds, a bit of light rubbing over signature, and some light toning and soiling. The seal is intact with a central vertical crease.

John Quincy Adams

Partly-printed DS, signed as president, “J. Q. Adams,” one page, 12.25 x 9, July 1, 1825. President Adams grants Samuel Mars, assignee of John Adams, 160 acres of land in Missouri. Signed at the conclusion by Adams and countersigned by Commissioner of the General Land Office George Graham. In very good condition, with intersecting folds and scattered soiling. The seal is worn and creased, but intact, and Adams’s signature remains quite bold.

Andrew Jackson

Partly-printed DS, signed as president, one page, 15.25 x 9.75, January 10, 1830. President Jackson grants an Indiana man almost 40 acres of land. Signed at the conclusion by Jackson and countersigned by Commissioner of the General Land Office Elijah Hayward. In very good condition, with Jackson’s signature and most of the handwritten text of the document light, but still mostly legible, intersecting folds, and some light soiling. The seal is missing.

Martin Van Buren

Hand-addressed free-franked mailing panel, 5.25 x 2.5, addressed in Van Buren’s hand to, “Rutland Smith, Esq., Bank of the Metropolis,” and franked in the lower left, “M. Van Buren.” Two vertical folds, one through a single letter of signature, a bit of toning along folds, and some light dampstaining to right edge, otherwise fine condition.

William Henry Harrison

Manuscript DS, signed “Wm. H. Harrison, Aid de Camp,” one page, 7.75 x 3, February 16, 1795. Harrison, as aide-de-camp to General ‘Mad’ Anthony Wayne, approves ten whiskey rations for a five-person barge crew for two days. Some scattered mild toning, as well as some show-through from notations on reverse, otherwise fine condition.

John Tyler

LS, signed “J. Tyler,” one page, 7.5 x 5, no date. Tyler sends a dinner invitation. In full: “Will yourself and Major Lee, and if he be in the city, Mr. Z. Collins Lee join our family circle at dinner to-morrow at three o’clock.” In fine condition, with intersecting folds, a couple passing through signature.

James K. Polk

Ink signature, “James K. Polk,” on an off-white 3 x 1 slip. In fine condition.

Zachary Taylor

LS, signed “Z. Taylor, Col, 1st Regt, U. S. Infy, Comd.,” one page, both sides, 7.75 x 9.25, Fort Crawford, April 3, 1833. Letter to Colonel Jones. In part: “On a minute examination of the Books pertaining to the 1st Regt of Infantry, I find several of them have been irregularly kept for the past two years, particularly Court Martial Book No. 10 in which there hasn’t been entered the proceedings of a Court Martial of any description since the 12th of April 1821…I must acknowledge that I have been somewhat remiss since my promotion in not giving all the Books of the Regiment a thorough investigation sooner but when I joined in August last I was very much engaged with Indian affairs for several months.” In fine condition, with intersecting folds, and a few small areas of light toning.

Millard Fillmore

ALS, one page, 7.75 x 8, Washington, April 30, 1850. Fillmore responds to an autograph request. In full: “In compliance with your request I take great pleasure in giving you my autograph. I can not esteem it of any value but if it serves at some future time to remind you of the pleasant acquaintance which I have made, that will be a source of gratification.” Letter is affixed to an identical size sheet. Intersecting folds, one through a single letter of signature, a light block of toning over signature and portion of text, and a bit of light soiling, otherwise fine condition.

Franklin Pierce

Bold franking signature, “Franklin Pierce,” on an off-white 4.5 x 2 clipped address panel, bearing an August 16, North Hampton, New Hampshire postmark. Slip is affixed to an identical size heavy stock sheet. In fine condition.

James Buchanan

Ink signature, “James Buchanan,” on an off-white 5.25 x 1.25 slip clipped from a larger document or letter. A horizontal fold under signature, a few partial letters visible at top, and a uniform shade of toning, otherwise fine condition.

Abraham Lincoln

Handwritten war-dated endorsement, signed as president, “A. Lincoln,” on an off-white 8.25 x 1.25 lightly-lined slip, June 29, 1864. In full: “Let the prisoner above named, be discharged on the terms stated. I do this now, on a promise made to Mr. Ross some time ago.” In fine condition, with some scattered light soiling.

Andrew Johnson

Ink signature, “Andrew Johnson, Tennessee,” on an off-white 5 x 1.5 lightly-lined slip. In fine condition, with an ink spot to bottom (affecting nothing), and a small spot of toning to top edge.

U. S. Grant

Crisp ink signature, “U. S. Grant,” on an off-white 3.25 x 1.75 card. In fine condition.

Rutherford B. Hayes

ALS, signed “R. B. Hayes,” one page, 5.5 x 7.5, Fremont, Ohio, June 28, 1886. Letter declining an invitation to a dedication. In full: “I regret that it is not practicable for me to attend the dedication of the monument to that patriotic and gallant Soldier Gen. John F. Reynolds. Be pleased to accept my thanks for your courteous attention.” Letter is affixed to an identical size sheet. In very good condition, with scattered light toning and soiling, typed and ink notations to bottom, as well as a small affixed caption, and a light stamp remnant to top.

James A. Garfield

Franking signature, “J. A. Garfield mc,” on a 5.5 x 3.5 mailing envelope, addressed in another hand to “L. Andrews, Southington, Ct.” Envelope also bears a March 11, Washington, D. C., postmark. In fine condition.

Chester A. Arthur

Huge ink signature, as president, “Chester A. Arthur, 30th March 1892,” on an off-white 6 x 3.5 sheet affixed to a slightly larger card. In fine condition.

Grover Cleveland

Ink signature, “Grover Cleveland, July 29, 1890,” and “Frances F. Cleveland, July 1890,” on an off-white 5.75 x 3.75 sheet. In fine condition, with some mild toning.

Benjamin Harrison

Partly-printed DS, as president, “Benj. Harrison,” one page, 16.75 x 14, May 7, 1889. President Harrison appoints Andrew J. Servin Postmaster of Lenox, Massachusetts. Signed at the conclusion by Harrison and countersigned by Postmaster General John Wanamaker. Central horizontal and vertical folds, a uniform shade of mild toning, and some mirroring of seal over end of signature, otherwise fine condition. The gold foil seal is tarnished, but intact, and retains its original ribbon.

William McKinley

TLS, signed “W. McKinley,” one page, 7.75 x 10.75, State of Ohio Executive Department letterhead, November 11, 1893. Governor McKinley sends a brief letter of thanks. In full: “Please accept my warmest thanks for your cordial congratulations over the splendid victory of last Tuesday.” In fine condition, with intersecting folds, one through a single letter of signature, and a bit of light soiling to lower right.

Theodore Roosevelt

TLS, signed “T. Roosevelt,” one page, 6.25 x 7.5, Oyster Bay letterhead, June 3, 1915. Short letter to John Jay Pierrepont. In full: “I thank you for your note and I am concerned to learn of your really serious accident. I hope you will soon be all right.” In very good to fine condition, with intersecting folds, one through a single letter of signature, mounting remnants to reverse top edge, and some scattered small stains to top left.

William H. Taft

Vintage matte-finish 9.5 x 13.25 Harris and Ewing portrait of Taft, signed and inscribed in the lower border in fountain pen, as president, “For Mr. E. J. Emmons, New Milford, Conn., with grateful appreciation and best wishes, Wm. H. Taft, April 23, 1912.” In fine, clean condition, with a couple trivial creases to right side.

Woodrow Wilson

Vintage 1919 steel engraving of Wilson by Timothy Cole, 9.75 x 13.25, signed in the lower border in pencil by Wilson, and also signed in pencil by Cole. In fine condition.

Warren G. Harding

Endorsed Auditor’s Office Marion County Ohio Treasurer’s check, 7.75 x 3.25, filled out and signed in another hand, payable to Harding for $10.00, dated July 7, 1898, “for printing,” endorsed on the reverse, “W. G. Harding.” In fine condition, with a small pinhole to center of check.

Calvin Coolidge

TLS, as president, one page, 6.75 x 9, White House letterhead, February 9, 1927. Letter to Rev. Dr. William E. Barton. In full: “I realize just how anxious you are that I should go to Berea, and do appreciate the honor the trustees offer in wishing to bestow a degree. But it will be impossible for me to get away. Of course, it would be a pleasure to see you and to meet President Hutchins here, but I am sorry to say that my mind and time will be entirely occupied with public business just before and after Congress adjourns.” In fine condition, with light uniform toning and mounting remnants along reverse top edge.

Herbert Hoover

TLS, one page, 7.25 x 10.5, personal letterhead, September 5, 1951. Brief letter of thanks for sent birthday wishes. In full: “I want you to know that I deeply appreciate your most kind birthday message.” In fine condition, with some tape toning along top edge.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

TLS, as president, one page, 7 x 9, White House letterhead, April 18, 1933. Letter to Nancy Byrd Turner. In full: “I am glad you wrote me about Sidney. I shall certainly keep him in mind and am already making inquiries about possible places.” In fine condition, with central horizontal and vertical folds, one through a single letter of signature, and a few trivial spots.

Harry S. Truman

Vintage color print of Truman’s official presidential portrait, 9.5 x 13, signed and inscribed in the lower border in black ink, “Kind regards to Mrs. Gertrude Swartz from Harry S. Truman 11-30-60.” In fine condition, with some light corner tip creases.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

TLS, as president, signed “D. E.,” one page, 6.75 x 8.75, White House letterhead, May 16, 1955. Letter of thanks to E. M. Burnham. In full: “I understand that again you have sent me a generous supply of the first crabs of the season. Since you know how much I enjoy them, you therefore must understand how appreciative I am of your thoughtfulness.” In fine condition, with a couple of light paperclip marks to top edge and mounting remnants to reverse top edge. Accompanied by the original mailing envelope.

John F. Kennedy

TLS, signed “Jack,” one page, 6 x 8, United States Senate letterhead, January 7, 1955. Letter to Champ Clark at Time. In part: “Many, many thanks for your very kind message to me when I was in the hospital in New York. Hospitals are gloomy places, I am afraid; and it makes a tremendous difference when friends remember you as you did. I am feeling much better and looking forward to getting back to Washington around the first of March. Perhaps then I will have a chance to thank you again in person.” At the bottom, Kennedy adds a short handwritten postscript, “Hope you are in good shape. Getting along fine here.” In fine condition, with a subtle shade of uniform toning.

Lyndon B. Johnson

Tls, as president, one page, 6.75 x 8.75, White House letterhead, December 28, 1967. Letter to Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and his wife. In full: “Your Christmas remembrance is as handsome and thoughtful a gift as I have seen. It will stay close by me as a reminder of all I owe to your good hearts and strong hands. This will be an eventful New Year for you both. Lady Bird and I hope that it will be bright with new blessings and achievements. We will always be happy and proud to share them with you.” In fine condition.

Richard Nixon

TLS, one page, 6.25 x 6, personal letterhead, January 9, 1989. Letter of thanks to an admirer reads, in part: “Your taking the time to write as you did on November 28th was most thoughtful. I greatly appreciated your very generous comments about my latest book, 1999: Victory Without War.” In fine condition.

Gerald Ford

Color 8 x 10 paperstock photo, signed in the lower border in black felt tip, “Gerald R. Ford.” Light overall haloing to signature, otherwise fine condition.

Jimmy Carter

Color satin-finish 8 x 10 photo, signed and inscribed in black felt tip, “Best wishes to J. Thomas Russell, Jimmy Carter.” In fine condition.

Ronald Reagan

TLS, as president, signed “Ron,” one page, 6.5 x 9, White House letterhead, June 9, 1986. Letter to Mrs. Paul Ballachino. In full: “Just a line to let you know you’ll be hearing directly from Walt McCay or one of his people about arrangements for a meeting June 24th. It was good to hear from you and I’ll look forward to the 24th. I’m glad you’ve found the West to be so pleasant. I think I warned you that would happen. Best regards to Paul, Linda and Heather. See you soon.” In fine condition. Accompanied by the original mailing envelope.

George Bush

Color satin-finish 8 x 10 photo of George and Barbara Bush in the White House, signed in the lower border in black felt tip, “George Bush,” and “Barbara Bush.” In fine condition.

Bill Clinton

Glossy 8 x 10 photo, signed in black felt tip, “Bill Clinton, 4/92.” In fine condition.

George W. Bush

Satin-finish 5 x 7 photo of Bush posing between the American and Texan flags, signed in silver ink. Matted and framed to an overall size of 9.25 x 11. In very fine condition.

Barack Obama

Title page from The Audacity of Hope, 5.5 x 9, signed near the bottom in black felt tip. In fine condition.

Aside from perhaps a complete collection of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence, a complete presidential collection represents one of the pinnacles of autograph collecting, both from a historical and a collectible standpoint. A very impressive collection celebrating almost 225 years of the American presidency.

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