JFK White House Christmas card will be auctioned June 9

'63 JFK White House This 1963 White House Christmas card was signed by JFK (presumably days before his assassination) and inscribed by First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy. Image: Waverly Rare Books

An expected top lot at Waverly Rare Books' Catalog Auction #269, planned for Thursday, June 9, in Falls Church, Virginia, is a 1963 White House Christmas card, signed by then-President John F. Kennedy (presumably just prior to his assassination) and inscribed by Jackie Kennedy, who wrote: “Christmas 1963, With our deepest appreciation, Jacqueline Kennedy.” The card features a reproduction of an engraving, “The President's House, From Washington.” Waverly has assigned the card a modest pre-sale estimate of $3 000-$5 000.

The card is but one item in the Rex Wayne Scouten collection of White House memorabilia that promises to be a highlight of the auction. Mr. Scouten (1924-2013) served ten US Presidents, as White House Chief Usher from 1969-1986 and White House Curator from 1986-1997. The items include President and First Lady signed photographs and documents, original artwork, architectural fragments from White House renovations and White House memorabilia. Also in the sale will be rare first edition copies of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Antique vampire killing kit will haunt bidders on May 22

Photo caption: This mid-19th-century vampire killing kit was marketed and sold as a serious item, not a joke or curiosity. This one is expected to fetch $15,000-$25,000. Image: Kaminski Auctions This mid-19th-century vampire killing kit was marketed and sold as a serious item, not a joke or curiosity. This one is expected to fetch $15,000-$25,000.
Image: Kaminski Auctions

A mid-19th century vampire killing kit with a hand-made brass plate inscribed “Nosferatu” will come up for bid on the second day of a two-day spring estates auction scheduled for May 21 and 22 by Kaminski Auctions in Beverly, Mass. The kit includes two crucifixes, assorted Bibles, two sets of rosary beads, eight bottles of holy water, a hand-forged knife with bone handle, a wooden mallet with wooden stakes, a pin fire pistol, garlic, six silver bullets and a mirror, all in a case. The kit has been estimated to sell for $15 000-$25 000.

Vampire killing kits were produced, marketed and sold in the 19th century as serious items, not amusements. There is some evidence to suggest that the kits became very popular, especially in western Europe, after the release of Bram Stoker's book Dracula in 1897. Legend has it superstitious travelers would purchase one of the kits if they were planning a trip to eastern Europe, where vampires allegedly resided. Some kits, though (like this one), pre-dated Dracula. The kits have surfaced in recent years at auction but, like anything else, some are fakes and not antique.

Marilyn Monroe items will be exhibited, sold

Photo caption: This personal check, for $150, dated July 25, 1952, is written in Marilyn Monroe's hand and made out to her mother, Gladys Eley, who endorsed the check. Image: Julien's Auctions This personal check, for $150, dated July 25, 1952, is written in Marilyn Monroe's hand and made out to her mother, Gladys Eley, who endorsed the check.
Image: Julien's Auctions

A huge collection of documents and personal items once owned by the late actress Marilyn Monroe will be exhibited in a worldwide tour before being sold at auction November 19-20 by Julien's Auctions in Los Angeles. It will be the largest collection of Marilyn Monroe artifacts ever offered at auction. The seller is the estate of Lee Strasberg, Monroe's late acting coach and the acknowledged father of method acting in America. Monroe and Strasberg (and his wife, Paula) were so close, Monroe willed all of her personal effects to the couple upon her death in 1962.

The collection will include Monroe's stunning Swiss platinum and diamond cocktail watch; items pertaining to Joe DiMaggio (including his alligator men's accessory case with custom “JDim” initialed in brass on the lid, with a combination lock closure set to “555” -- a repetition of his Yankee number 5); a beautiful 1950s brown alligator ladies' handbag from I. Magnum & Co.; a check written in Monroe's hand to her mother, Gladys Eley, in the amount of $150, endorsed by Mrs. Eley; original drawings and poems by the star; and various notes and correspondence.

Rare Rolex 'Paul Newman' watch might top $100 000

Photo caption: This Rolex watch was nicknamed the 'Paul Newman' after the dial on the watch the late actor wore in several films. The example will be sold on May 26th. Image: Heritage Auctions This Rolex watch was nicknamed the 'Paul Newman' after the dial on the watch the late actor wore in several films. The example will be sold on May 26.
Image: Heritage Auctions

No, the late actor Paul Newman never actually owned or wore the wristwatch you see pictured here. But the model was named after him. It's a Rolex Ref. 6239 “Paul Newman” Cosmograph Daytona wristwatch, one of Rolex's most famous and desirable timepieces. It was nicknamed for Newman after the dial on the watch that he wore in several films. It's also the principle enticement to collectors when Heritage Auctions, based in Dallas, holds a Watches & Fine Timepieces Signature Auction on May 26 at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York. It's expected to bring over $100 000.

“This beautiful timepiece, with its dial variation, Art Deco look, different color pattern and subsidiary dials – featuring squares instead of numerals – is a classic of horology,” said Jim Wolf, the Director of Fine Timepieces at Heritage Auctions. “It's also the ultimate vintage Rolex for the serious connoisseur.” Also being sold are watches by renowned makers such as Patek Philippe, A. Lange & Sohne and Albert H. Potter & Company. A curiosity lot is the gold and enamel pocket watch once owned by J. M. Studebaker, the famed automaker who passed away in 1917.

Go ask Alice, I think she'll know (this book's worth)

Photo caption: This exceedingly rare first-issue copy of Lewis Carroll's 1865 book Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is one of only ten known that are in the original red cloth. Image: Christie's This exceedingly rare first-issue copy of Lewis Carroll's 1865 book Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is one of only ten known that are in the original red cloth.
Image: Christie's

One of only ten surviving first-issue copies of Lewis Carroll's iconic book Alice's Adventures in Wonderland from 1865 still in the original red cloth will come up for bid in a stand-alone sale planned for Thursday, June 16, at Christie's in New York, immediately following their Books & Manuscripts Auction. Only two of the ten are in private hands (the other one has been described as “heavily worn”). The book will embark on a four-city world preview tour that will take it to London, San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York, from May 21 to June 15.

The story of the 1865 edition begins on July 4, 1862, when Charles Dodgson (alias Lewis Carroll), along with a friend, the Rev. Robinson Duckworth, took the three daughters of Dean Liddell of Christ Church, Oxford – Lorina, Alice and Edith – on a trip to the Thames, during which he related the first parts of Alice's Adventures Under the Ground, the precursor to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. On their return, Alice asked him to write down the story. The copy up for bid has been assigned a pre-sale estimate of between $2-$3 million.

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