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Remembering the Price of Peace
by David Boozer

War, Heraclitus wrote so long ago, is the father of us all. That might explain why so many of us collect the souvenirs of war, an activity that can be traced back to the earliest armed conflicts between humans. More recently, the collecting of World War II souvenirs has been organized into a hobby which has seen exponential growth in the last thirty years. Now, two important documents associated with the end of that war are available for auction.

Harry Truman Press Release Signed as President Announcing the Bombing of Hiroshima August 2010 was the sixty-fifth anniversary of two important World War II events, each defined by one of these documents. The first event, which occurred on August 6, 1945, was the detonation of the first atomic bomb used in warfare. That bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, and it changed the very possibilities of warfare and ushered in a new age — the Atomic Age. But it also leveled a city and killed instantly an estimated 80,000 people. That was a high price to pay to convince Japan to surrender, but President Harry Truman shouldered the responsibility and at 11:00 a.m. on August 6, just hours after the detonation, he notified the U.S. and the world about it. His prepared statement began, "Sixteen hours ago an American airplane dropped one bomb on Hiroshima, an important Japanese Army base. That bomb had more power than 20,000 tons of T.N.T. . . . It is an atomic bomb. It is a harnessing of the basic power of the universe." That statement, signed by Truman as president, is now available at our upcoming October Historical Manuscripts Auction on October 13 and 14 in Beverly Hills, California. The statement is over three pages in length — 1,153 words — with the presidential signature following the final sentence. Harry Truman Press Release Signed as President Announcing the Bombing of Hiroshima.

Harry Truman Statement Signed as President Announcing the Surrender of Japan The second event was the surrender of Japan on August 14, 1945. On that morning, eight days after the Hiroshima bomb and five days after the Nagasaki bomb, Emperor Hirohito made the decision to surrender. His message reached President Truman at 4:05 p.m. on August 14. At 7:00 that evening, the president read a prepared statement to reporters gathered in his office. "I have received this afternoon a message from the Japanese Government. . . . I deem this reply . . . the unconditional surrender of Japan." That momentous statement informing the world that the deadliest war in history (60 million estimated casualties) was over is also now available at our upcoming October Historical Manuscripts Auction. Again, President Truman has signed below the final sentence. Harry Truman Statement Signed as President Announcing the Surrender of Japan.

These two statements — souvenirs of a war still vivid in our memories — recall to our minds the high price of peace. One statement ushered in a new and dangerous age; the other, heralded the end of the most destructive war ever fought. If war is the father of us all, it is best that we remember him. And collecting, in its essence, is all about remembering.

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Ezekiel Skinner and His Mission Against Slavery
by Sandra Palomino

Ezekiel Skinner letter archive
There exists today much ambivalence toward the American Colonization Society. It was established in 1816 by Robert Finley, Henry Clay, and John Randolph, and it brought together abolitionists and slave owners, two polarized groups who shared a deep concern for the condition of freed slaves in America, albeit motivated by very different reasons. Although the Society is most characterized as a racist organization — the result of beliefs expressed by its more vocal members like John Randolph, a slave owner who believed that freed blacks were dangerous — the majority of the members believed relocating blacks to Africa was in their best interest because of the extreme racism that existed. Within this majority there existed a faction that was also motivated by a desire to bring their Christian faith to the Dark Continent.

Although the Society's printed annual reports provide great information about their work, these publications express little about the religious beliefs of its members and give only second-hand information about the day-to-day lives of the men and women who made the voyage to Africa. Our October Historical Manuscripts Auction includes a fantastic archive of letters regarding both the spiritual and terrestrial life of Ezekiel Skinner, an early Colonial Agent in Monrovia.

Ezekiel Skinner letter archive
Skinner first travelled to Africa in 1834. His son, Benjamin Rush Skinner, was a minister who had made the journey three years earlier, but died of illness shortly after arriving in Africa. The elder Skinner, a doctor who had trained under Declaration Signer Benjamin Rush, undertook to finish his son's missionary work. That he could provide care for the body as well as the soul only strengthened his resolve.

Despite his advanced years (he was almost sixty when he went to Africa) Skinner served multiple roles in the colony. In addition to providing medical care for the emigrants, Skinner also acted as a minister. His letters to his family take the form of a diary. Each is multiple pages in length with daily entries describing his activities. He writes about his faith and, with painstaking detail, tells of the medical attention provided to the emigrants.

The story in his letters is a fascinating one. After a year in Monrovia, he was appointed to the role of Colonial Agent by the Society. He took to that role with the same tenacity demonstrated in his ministry and doctoring. Skinner was as amazed with the abundance of Africa as he was by the barbarity of the slave trade. The arrival of the colonists was not welcome by the native Africans. Although by the 1830s the slave trade had been outlawed by Great Britain, the practice continued in the United States and most nations worldwide. The colonists were clearly at odds with the African kings, who continue to wage war against their neighbors for the sole purpose of selling their captives into slavery.

There are many pages of Skinner's writings that focus on his desire to rid the West African coast of all "slave factories." He requests from Naval Secretary Mahlon Dickerson arms for protection against the warring tribes and suggesting that the Navy send ships to police off the coast.

To learn more about Skinner's letters visit our October Historical Manuscripts Auction. This auction also contains a scarce broadside address issued by the New York Colonization Society prior to its journey to Bassa Cove. Skinner was instrumental in the purchasing of land for the establishment of that colony. American Colonization Society in Monrovia: Ezekiel Skinner Archive of Letters and Manuscripts.

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From the Heritage Bookshelf: Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls, and an Old
Spanish Civil War Buddy

by Joe Fay

Ernest Hemingway was the prototypical man's man. He hunted big game. He punched other writers in bars. He loved a good bull fight. And he ran to wars when most people were running away from them. It was during one of these wars, specifically the Greek-Turkish War in 1922, where Hemingway met Col. Charles Sweeny, another rock-'em-sock-'em alpha male. Charles Sweeny was the perfect type of companion, idol, and perhaps father figure for Hemingway. Legend has it that Sweeny fought in seven wars for five different countries, and knew military history and tactics like no one else Hemingway had ever met before. Hemingway once wrote that Sweeny possessed "one of the most brilliant military brains I have ever known."

The two became fast, close, and lasting friends, and would often see each other in war zones, at the bicycle races in Paris, on hunting expeditions & fishing trips, and later in life, they would sit and trade old war stories and compare their collections of battle scars. Hemingway even used Sweeny as the model for one of his characters in the novel Across the River and into the Trees. The two old war horses spent a lot of time together in Spain during the Spanish Civil War in the late 1930s, where Hemingway drew the inspiration for his novel, For Whom the Bell Tolls, which he wrote largely in Cuba in 1939, and was published by Scribner's in 1940.

Hemingway. Sweeny. For Whom the Bell Tolls. Cuba. 1940. All of these bits of information are important to me as I sit at my desk, staring at a copy of For Whom the Bell Tolls, affectionately inscribed and signed by Hemingway to Sweeny, with Sweeny's ownership signature dated "Habana, 1940" on the front pastedown. Additionally, Sweeny has inscribed it to a lady friend of his, mentioning Hemingway in the inscription.

It is a rare sight to see such an intimately inscribed Hemingway title with such a personal connection from the author to the receiver. Hemingway writes on the front free endpaper, "For Charley with / the same affection and the / same admiration as always / Ernest." I doubt there were very many men for whom Hemingway would have had both affection and admiration, much less write down for posterity that fact, which makes this book an even more impressive rarity to me.

It's also fascinating to try and connect the dots on an item like this when cataloging it. Just from the information on the book, we can assume that Hemingway gave the book to Sweeny in Cuba in the year of publication, where Sweeny wrote his name, the place, and date inside. Sweeny was probably in Cuba specifically to see Hemingway, presumably to motor out into the Gulf of Mexico and pull some Marlin out of the deep blue sea. Or perhaps Sweeny was on his way to another battlefield, and simply stopped off at Hemingway's house for a shot of tequila.

I've had an absolute blast researching the connection between Hemingway and Sweeny, and have come to think of the book as mine in a certain way. That always happens with a few books in every auction. You spend so much time and effort discovering new information (at least new to you) about some of the books that you can't help falling in love with some of them. Alas, every love story ends. The book will soon leave our hands here at Heritage. It is lot 36506 in our Rare Books Auction #6048 in Beverly Hills, October 14-16. It was a pleasure to live with for awhile, and I will miss it. Much like Sweeny missed Hemingway after the latter's suicide in 1961, when the ole colonel was an honorary pallbearer at the great author's (and better friend's) funeral.

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Casino Chip Consignments Wanted For November Americana Auction

Casino chips debuted in our May 22, 2010 Americana auction, and we were very pleased with the results: more than 96% of the chip lots found buyers, for a total of over $125,000 in sales!

Heritage plans to include a regular section of casino chips in our Americana catalogs, and we are now soliciting quality consignments for the November auction. Here are some parameters:

Individual chips should be conservatively valued at a minimum of $500.

Aggregate consignment value should be at least several thousand dollars.

Chips under $500 may be accepted for individual or group lot presentation, but only if they are part of a consignment which includes numerous high-value chips as well.

There is no time to waste if you think you may have an appropriate consignment for November: the consignment deadline is Sept. 14. To inquire about consigning, please call 214-409-1441, or, even better, email images to TomS@HA.com. I look forward to hearing from you!

Here are several items sold in our May auction:


An extremely rare Sands Casino variety from the late 1950s
.
Sold for $26,180.

A key Golden Nugget rarity
.
Sold for $10,710.

A sought-after collector favorite: this 1946 issue came from Bugsy Siegel's Original casino which launched the Las Vegas miracle
.
Sold for $3,200.

Cordially,
Tom Slater

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  Is It Time To Sell?

Prospective consignors and sellers in all areas of Historical material are invited to call to discuss consignment options. Sell your high-quality Americana, Rare Books, Manuscripts, American Indian Art, Political, Space or Civil War Memorabilia in our high profile Grand Format Auctions. Remember, the earliest consignments get the most press and publicity, so call or email now!

For large collections, general Americana, and political memorabilia, please contact me personally at 800-872-6467, extension 1441, or e-mail me at TomS@HA.com. If there is anything I can do to be of assistance with your collecting decisions, I am always at your service. Another of our experts in the fields of Americana and political memorabilia is Marsha Dixey. Feel free to contact her at extension 1455 or at MarshaD@HA.com. If you have manuscripts or autographs to sell or consign, please contact one of our experts in those areas: Sandra Palomino (extension 1107, SandraP@HA.com); John Hickey (extension 1264, JohnH@HA.com); or Michael Riley (extension 1467, MichaelR@HA.com). Rare book inquiries should be directed to James Gannon (extension 1609, JamesG@HA.com). Clear images of your items are always greatly appreciated.

Tom Slater
Director of Americana Auctions
TomS@HA.com
1-800-872-6467 ext. 1441
Marsha Dixey
Auction Coordinator
MarshaD@HA.com
1-800-872-6467 ext. 1455

Interested in Selling?
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  Around Heritage

Heritage Launches Luxury Accessories featuring Rare Hermes, Chanel, and Louis Vuitton Pieces

Heritage Auction Galleries has launched Luxury Accessories as a new category that will feature significant and iconic pieces from top designers including Hermes, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Bottega Veneta, Judith Leiber, Balenciaga, Goyard, and others. These statement bags, clutches, and travel accessories, from vintage to current, produced by the top design houses, have stood the test of time and have become a part of fashion history. These investment pieces will include limited & numbered editions, pieces that have been discontinued or sold out at boutiques worldwide, and pieces finished in rare and exotics skins and materials. The Luxury Accessories category at Heritage is not only a ground-breaking move for the company, but also for both the auction and luxury worlds. For the first time, this will be a chance for discerning buyers and tastemakers to purchase these important, often one-of-a-kind pieces. For both emerging and long-time collectors of fine luxury, these unique auctions will be indispensible.

Rare Hermes Birkins and Kellys, Chanel Classic Flaps in exotic skins, Louis Vuitton Limited Edition and travel pieces, and other top-tier accessories will be sourced from around the world for each, special auction.

Heritage is seeking fine designer pieces of this caliber for the first Luxury Accessories auction that will be marketed globally and have viewings in the New York, Beverly Hills, and Dallas offices throughout November and ultimately auctioned in conjunction with Fine Jewelry in Dallas on December 6. The deadline for consignments for this significant auction is October 1. If you have pieces or a collection that you are interested in consigning to this auction, please e-mail Matt Rubinger at MRubinger@HA.com, or call 212-486-3519.

Click Here to receive more information about luxury accessory auctions.

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