Past Timed Auction

Autograph Seeker: The Estate of Gary Combs

Soft close begins Thu, Apr 23, 2020 at 10am EDT
View Lots

1799 Letter from John Adams as President Achieves $8,125

  • Online-Only Auction of The Estate of Gary Combs on April 23, 2020
  • 1799 Letter from John Adams as President Achieves $8,125
  • We Invite You to Contact Us for a Complimentary Auction Appraisal of Your Collection

NEW YORK, NY -- Doyle was honored to auction property from the Autograph Seeker: The Estate of Gary Combs. The online-only auction on April 23, 2020 offered a wide range of autographs by major historical figures, composers, scientists, artists and entertainers.

With competitive bidding, the auction totaled a successful $135,706 against an estimate of $105,750-161,150 with an exceptional 94% sold by lot and 100% by value.

The top lot of the day was an April 1799 letter from President John Adams to Secretary at War James McHenry recommending several soldiers during his buildup of troops during the XWZ Affair. In fine condition, the letter found favor with bidders, selling for $8,125, surpassing its estimate of $5,000-8,000.

The Manhattan autograph dealer Gary Combs was top of his field for decades and known for finding unique and special manuscripts, letters, and documents for many prominent collectors. Combs had an industry training that will bring many a collector back to the good old days. Combs started his career in the mid-1970s as a salesman in the legendary Book Department at B. Altman & Company, an eight floor department store located on Fifth Avenue at 34th Street in Manhattan. For decades the store had a flourishing antiquarian book, map and autograph business which must have provided a wonderful environment to learn the trade from within. Combs was Altman's main buyer at the time the store closed in the late 1980s and then opened his eponymous company which specialized in the sale of autograph items by major historical figures, composers, scientists, artists and entertainers.

All prices include the Buyer's Premium.

PAYMENT
Payment can be made in the following ways:
· By credit card (an additional 2.9% fee will be charged)
· By wire transfer. For instructions, please email [email protected]

PICK UPS & SHIPPING
For information, please contact [email protected]


We Invite You to Auction!

Consignments are currently being accepted for future auctions. We invite you to contact us for a complimentary auction evaluation. Our specialists are always available to discuss the sale of a single item or an entire collection.

For information, please contact Peter Costanzo at 212-427-4141, ext 248, or Edward Ripley-Duggan at ext. 234, or email [email protected]

Consignments are currently being accepted

To have your property evaluated for possible consignment in the next auction, please contact:

Peter Costanzo
212-427-4141, ext 248
[email protected]

Edward Ripley-Duggan
212-427-4141, ext 234
[email protected]

Media Contact

Louis LeB. Webre
SVP, Marketing & Media
212-427-4141, ext 232
[email protected]

  • The Estate of Gary Combs

A Selection of Auction Highlights