Texas State Historical Society Auction

- by Bruce E. McKinney

Tshs.1013

A Jim Bowie signed document.


By Bruce McKinney

Birthday wishes are in order as the old Texas dame the Texas State Historical Society celebrates its 110th birthday on March 2nd and stages its Gala and Texana Sale in Austin on March 4th at the Convention Center. This year's gala honors Bill Hobby for public service, Horton Foote for a career of artistic achievement, Roger Clemens for his achievements on and off the mound; Clayton Williams for business and First Lady Laura Bush for her achievements on behalf of education. The Gala is the culmination of the TSHA's annual 3-day meeting.

The auction, which benefits the Society, includes "works of art, books, manuscripts, maps, furniture, dinners & excursions, and specialty items." This year's auction includes online bidding that has been arranged through the generous support of Heritage Auction Galleries of Dallas. The sale is online at http://americana.heritagegalleries.com/common/auction/catalog.php?SaleNo=644. Whether you are attending or not you can directly participate by registering and making bids online at any time up until the live auction begins. A hit movie, twenty-one years ago, seems to sum up precisely the sale of old material in a thoroughly modern way: Back to the Future. The sale includes 183 lots. A grace period of six months to pay is also being offered. The link to the auction details also includes information about signing up to bid online. It will also be possible to bid by phone so long as arrangements have been made in advance. The highest online bid on each item will be entered as the starting bid in the live auction.

Among the lots are items with no reserves right on up to one reserved at $250,000. For that sum you are bidding not for a piece of history but rather for a place in it. Read on --

Lot 1002. The Texas State Historical Association has been given the opportunity to auction the right of a donor to select a State approved institution to exhibit for five years the Republic of Texas Legation to Washington, D. C. Papers from the period 1836 -- 1839, after which the collection will be deposited in the permanent care of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. The donor will receive all appropriate recognition for his or her role in securing this Texas treasure for the benefit of the people of Texas.

There are also included, sprinkled among the lots, an interesting selection of broadsides and ephemera that are modestly reserved, and in some cases, unreserved. Such material is attractive, displays well and is one of the nicest ways to experience the collecting of history. Among the ephemera are letters, paper money, printed documents, an engraved Texas bond, photographs and tintypes, warrants and certificates. There are also maps, paintings, toys, and of course, because no Texas sale would be complete without them: saddles and spurs.