Upcoming Highlights: Printed & Manuscript African Americana

At Auction March 28

Complete Catalogue

A highlight is volume one, issue one of the Mirror of Liberty, July 1838–the first African-American periodical–edited by David Ruggles, and believed to be the first copy to come to auction. A scarce second edition of Phillis Wheatley’s Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, 1773, and Benjamin Banneker’s almanac for 1796 are also featured in the sale.

Manuscripts include an 1806 agreement for an American slave ship captain to bring an illegal cargo of people from Africa to Havana; and a Virginia Bible with four pages listing the births of the family’s enslaved people. Several lots of interesting postal material and stock certificates include one for the Negro Factories Corporation, signed by Marcus Garvey as president.

The sale also features a substantial selection of art and photography, with Inge Hardison’s bust of Sojourner Truth and a previously unknown carte-de-visite portrait of Frederick Douglass. Representing the performing arts is a broadside playbill for the 1833 debut of African-American actor Ira Aldridge as Othello at London’s Covent Garden.

Eighteenth Century

Lot 303: Phillis Wheatley, Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, with the frontispiece portrait, London, 1773. Estimate $15,000 to $25,000.

title page for Bannaker's Almanac, which also reads, the twentieth year of American Independence, and the eighth year of the federal government.

Lot 129: Benjamin Banneker, Bannaker’s Maryland . . . Almanack and Ephemeris, for the Year of our Lord 1796, Baltimore, 1795. Estimate $15,000 to $25,000.

Nineteenth Century

two boradsides side by side

Lot 394: Pair of letterpress broadsides for Ira Aldridge’s historic first two performances at London’s Theatre Royal, 1833. Estimate $10,000 to $15,000.

green wrappers containing the title of the publication

Lot 71: David Ruggles, The Mirror of Liberty, first issue of the first magazine edited by an African-American, New York, 1838. Estimate $8,000 to $12,000.

bust portrait of Frederick Douglass

Lot 236: Frederick Douglass, previously unknown carte-de-visite by Samuel M. Fassett, Washington DC, 1878. Estimate $3,000 to $4,000.

Twentieth Century

engraved document signed for 3 shares

Lot 267: Stock certificate of the Negro Factories Corporation, signed by Marcus Garvey, 1920. Estimate $3,000 to $4,000.

Lot 405: Papers of educator Sister Makinya Sibeko-Kouate, one of the leading popularizers of Kwanzaa, 1940-1975. Estimate $6,000 to $9,000.

Lot 204: Victor H. Green, The Negro Travelers’ Green Book, New York, 1958. Estimate $2,500 to $3,500.

Complete Catalogue

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