All eyes may have been on the sale of John Lennon's original lyrics for The Beatles' classic A Day in The Life, sold for $1,202,500 at Sotheby's June 18 Books & Manuscripts auction.
But, for collectors with an interest in aviation, the sale also offered a more modestly price memorabilia item whose historical significance rivals The Beatles' much-loved song.
After going missing during an attempted round-the-world flight in 1937, Amelia Earhart's legacy as the first female to fly solo across the Atlantic, the first woman to receive the Distinguished Flying Cross and a setter of several World Records still endures...
And, auctioned among old handwritten manuscripts by the likes of John Lennon, J D Salinger and René Magritte, was an opportunity to own a singular insight into the thoughts of one of the 20th century's most important women.
Featured in the Sotheby's auction was a letter by Earhart, dated June 1929, written to Jesse Heiges who was associated with Teachers College in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania.
The letter was written a year after Earhart had completed here incredible transatlantic flight. In it, she thanks Heiges' for some kinds words in articles written about her in Cosmopolitan magazine, and answers some of the Heiges' questions.
These include queries on the price of an airplane ("The price depends on the type of airplane you wish, and your proficiency as a pilot") and the future possibilities of transoceanic flight ("Trans-oceanic flying is inevitable... very possibly within the next decade").
In her letter, Earhart offers a fascinating revelation of her views on long-distance endurance flights, describing them as, "a striking example of what the body can accomplish. The individual himself, in the flight, becomes the subject of a laboratory experiment."
It sold at Sotheby's as part of an album containing cards with signatures of a wide array of early twentieth-century Americans including: Calvin Coolidge, Orville Wright, John Philip Sousa, Mary Pickford and the "Stamp Collector-in-Chief" Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
For the lucky collector clever enough to see beyond the auction's star lots, this rare and historically-important letter was snatched up for a bargain price of $3,125 including buyer's premium - a value that is sure to appreciate in coming years.
But it isn't too late for collectors who missed out on this sale - another rare and valuable Earhart signature, this time on a photograph, is still available on the market. Follow this link for more information.
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