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A copy of the Declaration of Independence

Pick of the week: Philadelphia to Scotland and back again at $3.7m

05 July 2021

Charles Carroll’s printed copy of the Declaration of Independence – discovered earlier this year in a Scottish family home – sold at auction in Philadelphia for $3.7m (£2.85m) plus premium.

Constable watercolour

‘Elegy’ from 1836 reveals original John Constable watercolours

07 June 2021

Discovered lying unrecognised on a bookcase in a Sussex cottage, a unique edition of Thomas Gray’s Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard will be offered at Gorringe’s this month with a £100,000-150,000 estimate.

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‘Living saint’ Einstein proves he is not always deadly serious

07 June 2021

Sold for $42,500 (£30,795) was a very appealing Einstein lot that offered a short but amusing letter dating from November 1928 and a signed photo-portrait.

Professor Stephen Hawking in his office

Archive of Stephen Hawking acquired by Cambridge University Library and the Science Museum after tax deal

26 May 2021

Archive papers and personal objects belonging to the late Professor Stephen Hawking (1944-2018) have been acquired by two institutions.

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The call of bigger premises

24 May 2021

Albert Einstein letter on Communism is one of the stand-out performers in a Chicago auction

Cuddled up with a good read

17 May 2021

A couple of Winston Churchill letters were among the more successful lots in a second selection from a History in Manuscript collection* formed over the last 20 years and offered at Sotheby’s (26/20/13.9% buyer’s premium).

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Roald Dahl: ‘Never shelter children from the world’

10 May 2021

The Library Auction at Hansons (Bishton Hall, Staffordshire) on June 15 includes this autograph letter by Roald Dahl.

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Unique piece of the action

10 May 2021

How letters related to wars bring a connection that history books cannot match

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Napoleon’s letter giving orders to invade of England sold at Sotheby's

10 May 2021

In the bicentenary year of his death, relics connected to Napoleon will inevitably catch the eye.

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Draft of letter at Philadelphia auction shows Churchill’s dilemma over JFK offer

10 May 2021

This typewritten draft of a letter from President Kennedy to Winston Churchill, with annotated amendments by JFK, will feature in the auction of Books and Manuscripts to be held by Freeman’s in Philadelphia on May 20.

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Letter describing first-hand horror of Dunkirk sold at Bonhams

10 May 2021

The great British tradition of celebrating last stands and heroic defeats includes the evacuation of Dunkirk in 1940.

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Captain who saved the bacon in Danish attack

10 May 2021

Convoys to protect merchant vessels have a long history in naval conflict. A letter sold at Kent saleroom C&T (22% buyer’s premium) in a timed Military Books, Ephemera & Photographs Auction reveals Royal Navy ships in action back in 1808.

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Admiral came to grief four years later

10 May 2021

After a long and illustrious naval career, it is a pity that Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell is best known for the circumstances of his death.

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Princess Di on ‘the Boss’ – the queen

19 April 2021

A group of some 40 letters and greetings cards sent in 1990-97 by Diana, Princess of Wales, to her good friend Roger Bramble sold for almost £70,000.

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Pick of the week: ‘Greatest enemy of the East African slave trade’

22 February 2021

The handwritten journal of Colonel Christopher Rigby, recording his success in securing freedom for thousands of slaves in east Africa, was the highlight of a collection of his papers sold in London.

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Letter including drawing of turbulent lovers Verlaine and Rimbaud sold at at Christie’s

01 February 2021

Sold for €160,000 (£144,145) was a letter sent by Félix Régamy to his brother Frédéric including a drawing of Arthur Rimbaud and Paul Verlaine in England.

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Dorset museum raises funds to secure Thomas Hardy archive from London book dealer

07 January 2021

The Dorset Archives Trust (DAT) has raised the final £5000 needed to purchase a collection of important manuscript and printed material once owned by novelist and poet Thomas Hardy (1840-1928).

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A Bizarre discovery for Clarice Cliff historians

14 December 2020

The latest Specialist Collectors’ Sale at Cuttlestones in Wolverhampton included a little bit of 20th century ceramics history.

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Sang collection of historical documents returns to Sotheby's New York

30 November 2020

Several decades on from the last of the five major auctions Sotheby’s held to disperse items from the remarkable collections of American historical documents and letters formed by Philip (1902-75) and Elsie Sang (1906-97), a further selection appeared at Sotheby’s New York (26/20/13.9%).

Prince Philip letter

Prince Philip letter stars in our pick of five auction highlights sold this week

20 November 2020

ATG’s weekly selection of items that caught bidders’ eyes includes a letter from Prince Philip where the Duke of Edinburgh gives his views about New Zealand.