News-Antique.com - Jun 03,2008 - Photo Caption:
A 1772 autograph document signed twice in full by George Washington in the body, as part of his struggle to get land for his men and for himself that was promised to them for participation in the early days of the French and indian War. It was Washington's first independent command.
Manhattan, New York – June 3, 2008 - On Wednesday, June 17, Spink Smythe will hold its first Autograph Auction, bringing the finest in historical autographs to a truly international market after the acquisition of RM Smythe by Spink this past March. Smythe has long enjoyed a reputation for quality, service, and integrity as an auctioneer of autographs, Americana, and other collectibles, characteristics that have been associated with Spink, headquartered in London, for over 300 years.
In keeping with its international scope, Spink Smythe’s auction features an unmatched collection of letters of state signed by world royalty and heads of state from the 19th to the 21st century. Letters of state are among the most desired documents because of their importance and rarity on the market. This collection includes, among many others, letters from Fidel Castro of Cuba; Nicholas II of Russia; England’s Victoria I (announcing the birth of her son, Prince Arthur, later Duke of Connaught); Edward VIII of England (a rare document from his single year as king!); Chulalongkorn of Siam (plus a letter from his successor, Vajiravudh, announcing his succession on Chulalongkorn’s death); Franz Joseph of Austria-Hungary; Karl I of Austria-Hungary, announcing Franz Joseph’s death; Japanese emperors from Mutsuhito to Akihito; Wilhelm II of Germany; and scores more. Another rare world leader present is Josef Stalin, who is present in the form of a typed order signed during the Battle of Moscow in which the Soviet leader reorganizes the command structure of tank divisions!
Also offered will be a choice selection of artists’ letters from such immortals as Monet, Manet, Whistler, Picasso, Matisse, and Braque. Each is framed with a print of one of the artist’s works. Included in the collection are original signed drawings by novelist Robert Louis Stevenson, cartoonist Thomas Nast, and illustrator Charles Dana Gibson.
Spink Smythe will also continue to offer the best in American autographs. One of the most important items in the sale is a lengthy autograph letter from 1772 signed twice in the body by George Washington with his full name, “Colo. George Washington,” a rare form for him. The historic letter lists all the volunteers who served with him on his first independent command, when he led the so-called Virginia Regiment into French territory and touched off the American theater of the French and Indian War! Washington records a council resolution favoring the payment to the volunteers of a land bounty promised to them by the province of Virginia. The letter is estimated at $30,000-40,000.
Other founders present in the sale include Signers of the Declaration Thomas Jefferson, William Ellery, Elbridge Gerry, John Hart, Francis Hopkinson, Thomas McKean (also signed by Declaration engrosser Timothy Matlack!),