One of the Most Diverse Art, Autograph, Manuscripts and Memorabilia Auctions Ever

Rare items are auctioned every week, but large, diverse collections of rare art, historically important legal documents and letters, literary collections and priceless entertainment items seldom hit the auction block all at the same time.
By: Nate D. Sanders
Rockwell's original "Mr. Apple"
Rockwell's original "Mr. Apple"
Spread the Word
Listed Under

Nate Sanders
Norman Rockwell
Lee Harvey Oswald


Los Angeles - California - US

March 13, 2011 - PRLog -- LOS ANGELES, Cal.  –  Rare items are auctioned every week, but large, diverse collections of rare art, historically important legal documents and letters, literary collections and priceless entertainment items seldom hit the auction block all at the same time.  This month, renowned collector and dealer Nate D. Sanders is auctioning one of the most expansive collections ever offered.

Included in Sanders’ March auction is an original oil painting by Norman Rockwell paying homage to Rene Magritte.  Rockwell’s interpretative painting, measuring 13" x 17.5”, is a playful rendering of Magritte's famous "The Son of Man" using a red apple rather than a green one – and with the apple replacing the man's head rather than just obscuring it as Magritte had painted.  This Rockwell original has never before been exhibited and is a unique departure for the artist most recognized for his more realistic depictions of American life.

Rockwell’s painting will be auctioned with copious documentation proving that Rockwell painted “Mr. Apple” in June of 1970 at his home in Stockbridge, Mass.  Letters of provenance include: (1) A typed letter signed "Norman," dated June 11, 1970 on his personal stationery, stating in part: "… I must tell you that I got the two apples, and I haven't eaten them, but I have put them in the refrigerator so they will keep bright and shiny… It will be fun doing such a unique painting …" (2) An autograph letter signed on his personal stationery stating , "Dear Mr. Blum - Here it is! I really enjoyed painting Mr. Apple. I sure hope you like it. The painting may still be wet when you get it.  But do not varnish it for a couple of months.  If you use a fine mastic varnish it will preserve it forever.  Cordially, Norman Rockwell."

The Rockwell lot also includes two other letters of provenance describing the reason for Rockwell completing the work (it was painted as a label for United Vintners), and tracing the painting’s path of ownership.

This month, Sanders will also auction the actual "State of Texas vs. Jack Ruby / Murder" subpoena signed by Marguerite Oswald ordering her to testify in the Jack Ruby trial at the Dallas County courthouse, dated March 10, 1964.  The subpoena was issued just four days before Ruby was convicted of murdering Lee Harvey Oswald, for which he received a death sentence.

In part, the subpoena states, “You Are Hereby Commanded to Summon Marguerite Oswald, Dallas County Courthouse, Dallas, Texas to personally appear before the Honorable Criminal Defense Court No. 3 of Dallas County, Texas, at the Courthouse in the City of Dallas County, on Instanter…in behalf of the State, in a Cause pending in said Court wherein the State of Texas is Plaintiff and Jack Ruby Defendant …”  

The Oswald subpoena contains the signatures of two Texas deputies.  Marguerite Oswald has signed the subpoena in the "Witnesses" section of the document:  "This is the actual subpoena served me in the Jack Ruby trial.  However, I was never called as a witness.  Marguerite C. Oswald". Marguerite Oswald's writing is faded and tape remnants affect a few of her words.  The two-page document (front and back) measures 7" x 8.5".  One small tear – starting along center fold – is on the subpoena that is in very good condition.

A handwritten letter from Nobel Prize winning scientist and a pioneer of DNA research, Maurice Wilkins, is also being auctioned by Sanders.  In one of the most important and interesting scientific pieces to ever be auctioned, Wilkins later ponders his own legacy after first seeing the Crick & Watson Double Helix model (completed without him) in early 1953.  In hindsight, Wilkins writes about his own unmentioned significant contributions to the model which, it can be perceived, gave him concern that he might not be equally recognized for part of the discovery and invention.

In the fascinating Maurice Wilkins manuscript – entirely written by hand – signed and dated October 17, 1999, Wilkins discusses in great detail a March 1953 letter he had written to Francis Crick after seeing the Watson & Crick double-helix for the first time, including numerous references to Rosalind Franklin whom many credit with first discovering the DNA helix. Included is a photocopy of that original March 3, 1953 letter on "Kings College" letterhead.  The manuscript, written in black ink, is on three pages with a bold "MHF Wilkins" signed at the upper right-hand corner of each page. Wilkins provides extensive detail of the working relationship between the parties (including Watson, Crick, and Rosalind Franklin) and the order of events leading up to their discovery.  Very few items offering this insight into the scientific process as it relates to a major scientific discovery have ever been offered for  public auction.

Sanders’ current auction, which closes on Tuesday, March 22, 2011, also includes a handwritten letter from President George Washington discussing the removal of British troops (written just days before the Treaty of Paris was signed), a number of rare Earnest Hemingway and J.D. Salinger items, numerous items carried into outer space by U.S. astronauts, original Charles Schulz “Peanuts” drawings, and countless signed presidential, music, sports, and literary documents.  All of Nate Sanders’ auctions include rare books, autographs, sports collectibles and Hollywood memorabilia.

For more than 30 years, Nate D. Sanders has been one of the industry’s most respected autograph and rare book experts and dealers.  A collector since the late 1970s, Sanders was already widely known in collectors’ circles when he opened his auction business in Los Angeles in 1990.  Today, he conducts twelve major auctions every year drawing bidders, collectors and investors from around the world.  In recent years, Sanders has also been increasingly viewed as an expert on sports and Hollywood memorabilia.

Sanders is always interested in buying unique items and collections.  To learn more about Nate D. Sanders, Inc. and to see a complete listing of items from his current auction, go to or call (310) 440-2982.

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