Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Rarest Signer of Declaration of Independence, Letter up for Auction

The year of 1776 was a monumental one for both Thomas Lynch, Jr. and the United States of America. It was the birth of a nation and a life changing time for future Declaration signer, Thomas Lynch Jr.

For those who collect autographs of Declaration signers, Thomas Lynch, Jr. is the most difficult to find. In the last century, only three Lynch signed documents have been available.

Thomas Lynch, Jr. was released from the South Carolina militia so that he could replace his ailing father in the Continental Congress. For a short time, the two would become the only father-son to serve in the Continental Congress. Lynch, Sr. would be unable to sign the Declaration of Independence due to illness.

Thomas Lynch, Jr. would become the second-youngest signer of the Declaration of Independence. While Lynch's signature on the Declaration is his most famous, it is even more significant as one of 14 known documents signed by Lynch still in existence today. While most of the Declaration signers were lawyers and clerks, Lynch, a planter by trade, didn't generate much paperwork . Three years later, he and his wife would be lost at sea, thus, not many examples of his signature exist.

This extremely rare letter is the only letter, written and signed by Thomas Lynch, Jr., available to the public. Its significance is even more astounding because it includes the date of 1776 and mentions his father.

Not even Lynch's home state of South Carolina owns a Lynch autograph. The state previously owned two Lynch signatures, both on receipts, which were sold in 1929 to fund South Carolina's archives.

Lynch's autograph is more rare than that of Button Gwinnett. While many consider Gwinnett's signature to be the rarest among the 56 signers, there are, in fact, 47 known examples of Gwinnett signed letters/documents while there are only 14 of Lynch, making Lynch documents much more rare. In 2010, the erroneous belief that Gwinnett's signature is the rarest led to a Gwinnett sale at Sotheby's for $722,500. It is expected that a scarce Lynch signed letter should fetch a much higher price.

The auction for this Thomas Lynch, Jr. letter ends on February 15, 2012 at 7 pm. To view the letter, or for more information, visit www.rrauction.com .

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Green auction expected to raise millions for environment

By Chris Michaud

Tue Feb 7, 2012 2:59pm EST

(Reuters) - Bidders will be able to buy fine art, a vacation in the Maldives, or an internship with designer Donna Karan and help the planet at the same time in Christie's annual Green Auction, which is expected reap millions for environmental causes.

Proceeds from the third annual auction on April 11, which raised nearly a combined $5 million its first two years, will benefit four environmental charities -- Oceana, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Central Park Conservancy and Conservation International.

"We must all take responsibility to protect the natural world for future generations," said philanthropist and environmentalist Susan Rockefeller a co-chair of the event, adding the auction conveys a message about the relevance and necessity to conserve the planet's finite resources.

David Rockefeller, Vanity Fair Editor Graydon Carter and actress Salma Hayek are other co-chairs of the auction.

Proceeds from the event will be directed toward each organization's water-conservation projects, according to Christie's, which was set to announce the auction this week.

"Our ocean waters, which cover 70 percent of this blue planet, are hovering on the brink of an irreversible collapse, with 90 percent of the ocean's big fish gone," said Oceana CEO Andrew Sharpless.

"Luckily, history and science show us that our oceans can rebound if we put in place and enforce sensible policies," he added in a statement.

People not able to attend the invitation-only auction can bid in a concurrent online auction, which will run from March 29 to April 19. It will feature hundreds of items including art, fashion, travel and once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

In previous Green Auctions bidders have paid as much as $100,000 to spend a day with former President Bill Clinton or a trip to Hollywood to attend the Oscar parties and $26,000 for a one-hour tennis lesson with John McEnroe.

Past sales have also featured a backstage meeting with Lady Gaga and artwork by prominent contemporary artists.

Other artists and celebrities donating works of art or experiences will be announced in the coming weeks. An interactive campaign at Facebook.com/ABidtoSavetheEarth, includes a video contest and a chance to win tickets to the auction.

As in past years Christie's is waiving all fees associated with the event.