9 Iconic Collectibles Celebrating Black History

9 Iconic Collectibles Celebrating Black History

In honor of Black History Month, Hindman is pleased to highlight nine remarkable lots included in the upcoming African Americana sale presented by Cowan’s Auctions, a Hindman Company.

A number of influential figures including Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, Madam C.J. Walker, Marcus Garvey, Martin Luther King Jr., Huey Newton, Eldridge Cleaver, and Angela Davis are represented in the February 18 African Americana auction. Collectors can expect over 275 lots dedicated to themes such as slavery & abolition, militaria, civil rights, politics, art, literature, and more. Below are celebrated collectibles, relics and memorabilia exploring the intersection between Black History, Civil Rights, Art & Culture, and Music.

Civil Rights

Lot 178 |KING, Martin Luther Jr. (1929-1968). The Birth of a New Age. Cleveland: Stephens’ Recording Service, Memo Records, 1956. 33 rpm vinyl record (not tested for playback); original publisher’s illustrated cardboard sleeve (light scuffs, partial split to lower edge, light wear to extremities).

A RARE RECORDING of the address King delivered in Cleveland on 7 August 1956, at the convention of the National Negro Funeral Directors Association when he was just 27. The recording was made by Carlton M. Stephens, a metallurgical engineer whose side business was producing records. Stephens corresponded with Dr. King throughout 1956 and early 1957 in a series of letters in which he requested permission, which Dr. King granted in a 27 September 1956 letter, and gave details and updates on the project. In a letter dated 20 December 1956, Stephens shares that “Sterling Hykes, local Negro artist of Kamaru House, designed the attractive jacket. It is modern, done in red, white, and blue," adding “we took the liberty to add a few notes about Montgomery with the biography on the back. Material for this was collected and written by Mrs. Carriebelle J. Cook, local librarian and my wife." Dr. King received $100 in proceeds from sales in a letter from Stephens dated 28 February 1957. (MLKP-MBU, Box 65, Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center, Boston University, Boston, MA). VERY RARE: OCLC locates no copies and according to online records, no copy has ever sold at auction

Estimate: $8,000 – $10,000

Lot 174 | [CIVIL RIGHTS]. Assorted Civil Rights ephemera. Comprising: CORE Comments. 3 issues (incomplete run). [Chicago]: Committee of Racial Equality, 1943-1944. 8.5 x 11 in. mimeographed newsletter, 3 issues numbering: Vol. 1 Number 12, September 1943; November 1943; 24 January 1944. –PECK, Jim (1914-1993), editor. CORE-Lator. 3 issues (incomplete run). New York: Congress of Racial Equality, 1959-1964. 8.5 x 11 in. newsletter, 3 issues number: Number 78, Fall 1959; Number 90, June 1961; Number 106, May-June 1964. — PECK, Jim, editor. Sit Ins: The Student Report. New York: Congress of Racial Equality, 1960. 6 x 8.5 in. booklet (soft vertical fold, abrasions with tape residue on front wrapper). With letters from 6 African American students about their experiences. — Freedom Riders Speak for Themselves: Mary Hamilton, Louise Inghram, and Others. Detroit: News & Letters, 1961. 5 x 7 in. booklet. — Southern Christian Leadership Conference: This is SCLC. N.p., [ca 1965]. 3.75 x 8.5 in. brochure with folding SCLC Organization Chart. — BOND, Julian (1940-2015). LEWIS, T.G., illustrator. Vietnam. [Tucson, AZ]: [Sixties Project], 1967. 8.5 x 11 in. comic book (staining at staples, small folds at lower right corner). Anti-war comic politician and civil rights leader Bond, who during his career helped to establish the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), helped found the Southern Poverty Law Center and served as its first president, and was the chairman of the NAACP from 1998-2010. — And 8 others. Together 19 works in 15 volumes, all in good to fine condition.

Estimate: $1,000 – $1,500

Lot 229 | [Black Panthers] Black Panther. N.p., ca late 1960s-1970s. 25.25 x 15.5 in. (637 x 398 mm) hand-painted broadside on Hasko wooden tray (wood slats slightly separated at right edge, some chipping to paint). Hand-painted in black and orange with profile of a black panther and hand-lettered

Estimate: $1,000 – $1,500

Art & Culture

Lot 267 | [AILEY, Alvin (1931-1989)]. LINDQUIST, John, photographer. A group 54 photographs of African American performers and dance pieces. Including: Silver gelatin photographic stills of dancers, most performing at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Beckett, Massachusetts, ca 1958-1980. Almost all of the photos are by John Lindquist who was staff photographer at the acclaimed dance festival from 1938-1980, and many of the images are stamped with his imprimatur. Photographs include Alvin Ailey at Jacob’s Pillow, 1958 (7) — Alvin Ailey & Co. at Jacob’s Pillow, including Carmen de Lavallade and James Truitte, 1958 (14) — Charles Moore (8) — Donald McKayle & Co. performing Rainbow Round My Shoulder (2) — Miscellaneous dancers, including Pearl Primus, Billy Wilson, Clay Taliaferro, and Jean-Léon Destiné (12) — Studies of Alvin McDuffie at Jacob’s Pillow by Stephen Driscoll, successor to John Lindquist (9, each 3 1/4 x 4 3/8 in.). Together, 54 photographs, 8 x 10 in. or smaller. Condition generally very good, with corner/edge wear to some prints.

Estimate: $1,000 – $1,500

Lot 265| The Flaming Crisis with a Notable Colored Cast. Kansas City, MO: Quigley Litho. Co., [1924]. 28.25 x 42.25 in. movie poster. A large movie poster for the silent Western romance starring Dorothy Dunbar as Tex Miller, a beautiful cowgirl who falls in love with a young Black newspaperman convicted of murder on false evidence who has escaped the law. He defeats an outlaw band and gives himself to the law to discover that the real murderer confessed, allowing him to be reunited with Tex.

Estimate: $700 – $900

Lot 258 | Jet: The Weekly Negro News Magazine [Vol. 1, Number 2]. Chicago: Johnson Publishing Company, 8 November 1951. 4 1/4 x 6 in. Illustrated throughout. (2 inner gatherings loose.) Original illustrated wrappers featuring Katherine Dunham (light soiling, spine split but covers attached).

Also included in this lot, Jet: The Weekly Negro News Magazine. [Vol. 1, Number 5]. Chicago: Johnson Publishing Company, 29 November 1951. 4 1/4 x 6 in. Illustrated throughout. (1 central gathering loose.) Original illustrated wrappers featuring Josephine Baker (minor creasing). Two early issues of Jet magazine, founded in November 1951 by John H. Johnson (1918-2005). The magazine is considered one of the most influential African-American media businesses and chronicled the Civil Rights Movement including early events like the lynching of Emmett Till. RARE, with online records indicating that only one copy of each issue has seen the market.

Estimate: $400 – $600


Lot 262 | EULA, Joe (1925-2004), artist. A group of two 1960s music posters featuring Eula artwork. Including: The Supremes, Lincoln Center, Philharmonic Hall, Friday, October 15, 1965. 25 x 38.25 in. concert poster (several small black marks on recto, minor wear). Distributed by Darien House Inc., New York, 1965. — Bobby Short, October 23, The Living Room. 25 x 38 in. concert poster (9.5 in. vertical tear at right bottom edge). Distributed by Darien House Inc., New York, 1966.

Estimate: $400 – $600

Lot 261 | [FRANKLIN, Aretha, Harry BELAFONTE, James BROWN, Wilson PICKETT, The TEMPTATIONS]. Group of 9 programs. Comprising: Aretha Franklin. Program from “Lady Soul" 1968 UK concert tour. Sussex: Hastings Printing Co., [1968]. — Aretha Franklin / Exclusive Booking / QBC. Booking handbill/flyer from 1968 “Lady Soul" concert tour. New York: QBC, [1968]. — New Queen of the blues: Aretha Franklin. Program from 1968 “New Queen of the Blues" concert tour. New York: QBC, [1968]. The Biggest Show of Stars for ’61. Program featuring Fats Domino as headliner. N.p., [1961]. — Supersonic Show of Stars of 1961. Program featuring Jackie Wilson as headliner. N.p., [1961]. — The Temptations. Program from 1967 “With a Lot O’ Soul" US tour. New York: Raydell Publishing & Distributing Corp., 1967. — James Brown. Program from 1968 “I Got the Feelin" concert tour. New York: Moore Publicity, Inc., [1968]. — Wilson Pickett. Tour book from concert headlined by Wilson Pickett, with Sam & Dave, Junior Walker & the All Stars, and Billy Stewart. N.p., [ca 1960s]. — The Belafonte Folk Singers. Program. New York: Dunetz and Lovett, [ca 1960s]. Founded in 1957, the Belafonte Folk Singers followed Harry Belafonte while on tour. Together, 9 items, each 9 x 12 in. or smaller. Condition generally good, with some corner/edge wear.

Estimate: $300 – $500

Lot 263 | Jazz Musician Photographs, Duke Ellington and Oscar Petersen. Three views of Duke Ellington and the caption noting his death; from May 28, 1974, AP Wirephoto. Publisher’s notes on verso. 7.5 x 10 in. Three photos of Oscar Peterson. First was from Examiner Reference Library, 1983 and used in publication April 22, 1986. (7.5 x 10 in.) Second was from Examiner Reference Library and used in publication in October 1989. Third has publisher’s lay-out markings and was received from the Library in April 1962. (both 8 x 10 in.)

Estimate: $300 – $500

Cowan’s Auctions, a Hindman Company, is delighted to present its first dedicated various owner African Americana auction on Thursday, February 18 at 10AM ET. Click here to view all lots and register to bid.

Featured image: Lot 273 | [BOXING] — [ALI, Muhammad (1942-2016)]. Sports Illustrated. Vol. 18, Number 23. Chicago: Time Inc., 10 June 1963.