Letter from Grant to Lee sells for $63,250 at Gallery 63 Gallery 63 in Atlanta's August 4-5 sale featured a trove of material from the '60s pertaining mostly to Dr. Martin Luther King ($17,250) and a letter from Ulysses S. Grant to Robert E. Lee ($63,250).
a handwritten copy of the original document, presented by Grant to Lee the day after Lee surrendered at Appomattox, Va., on April 9, 1865. Grant wrote the copy, it is presumed, for posterity's sake. The late Civil War historian Shelby Foote said of it, “It is almost certainly Grant's...he wrote it either on the train back to City Point or up the coast to Washington.”
The original period steel engraving of General Lee was exceedingly rare and bore the Confederate legend's signature. Fittingly, these items were sold in Atlanta, a city closely associated with the Civil War and the civil rights movement. From Sherman's march through Georgia to the movie “Gone With the Wind” to Dr. King's sermons and marches, Atlanta has been at the epicenter of it all.
Other top lots from the sale follow. All prices quoted include a 15% buyer's premium.
A watercolor rendering, “Figures and a Cabin,” by the renowned landscape painter Joseph Mallard William Turner (British, 1775-1851) soared to $32,200. Turner is widely regarded as one of the finest landscape painters in English history. He is sometimes referred to as the 'First Impressionist' because many of his works (like the one sold) exhibit a hazy wash of light, captured in the moment.
Another painting, done by the accomplished marine painter Montague Dawson (British, 1890-1973), and titled “Sailing Ship in Rough Seas,” gaveled for $10,350. Dawson's reputation was such that by the 1930s he was firmly established as one of the leading marine painters of the day. He secured important commissions from Queen Elizabeth, and his work has hung in the White House.
A delft blue 1974 Triumph TR-6 convertible, looking ready for the road after a frame up restoration, sped away for $11,040; an antique player piano with multiple animated automata, pipes, bells and drums, for years a fixture at the 1960's-era blues club in Underground Atlanta called Blind Willie's, fetched $9,315; and a restored oak barber chair by the Theo Kochs Company made $2,185.
A rare Alabama Kentucky rifle made by D. Evans and featuring beautiful brass hardware and curly maple stock rang out at $4,830; a matched pair of consecutively numbered Colt Derringer pistols, in the original Colt leather-bound case and with mint high-gloss blued barrels and carved grips, achieved $3,565; and a lifetime collection of over 25 rare military swords sold for $1,035-$4,025 each.
A stunning Art Deco bracelet in 18k gold inset, with over nine carats of diamonds, was the top lot of the fine jewelry, sliding on to a most appreciative wrist for $8,337; a pair of Louis Vuitton valaises (suitcases), in excellent condition with leather ribs and straps, hammered for $1,035 each; and an Otto Altenburg 5-foot baby grand piano with an immaculate black lacquer finish went for $8,510.
A fine American Baroque buffet in quarter sawn golden oak, executed in the late 19th century by R.J. Horner and in museum-quality condition, realized $9,200; a centennial center table in walnut and burl walnut, with a surface depicting the Great