Elvin Montgomery, Ph.D.

Materials for Sale

Some of the more interesting and rare items in Elvin Montgomery’s inventory include:

  1. Civil Rights Movement Scrapbook with M.L.K. Photos and Other Key Material, 1960’s.

    A remarkable and unusual in-period scrapbook of black and white photos, pamphlets and flyers of Martin Luther King and various other key civil rights movement personages and themes. There are 32 photos of varying sizes (many 8" x 10", some 7" x 4 3/4", a few 4" x 5"). Subject matter includes MLK and Coretta Scott King cutting a cake to celebrate an event (perhaps an anniversary or a birthday) and civil rights scenes such as marches, speeches and movement people (e.g. a very young Jessie Jackson, Andrew Young, Abernathy and even show people such as a young Lou Rawls). There are also flyers, pamphlets and a report on "The State Of The Movement" (a presentation by King to the SCLC Staff Retreat, Penn Center, Frogmore, S.C., November 28. 1967). Other documents include a keynote address by Sidney Poitier to the SCLC 10th Anniversary Convention Banquet (August 14, 1967 in Atlanta) and a six page typewritten copy of a "Letter To My Dearest Friend, Martin Luther King Jr." delivered by Ralph Abernathy, April, 7, 1968. Remarkable and important historical material that will not be found elsewhere. Just looking through the material was a transporting experience. Obviously, this item belongs in a museum or historical library special collection. VG (Many photos are loose. The papers are stapled or pasted in). $10,000
  2. National Negro Opera Company, 1940’s.

    Historically important 10"x8" b&w (sepia toned) photo of The National Negro Opera Company and its founder. This pioneering, nationally acclaimed singing group was founded by Mary Cardwell Dawson to give aspiring Black opera singers a chance to develop and perform. Mrs. Dawson (1894-1962) was a musician and promoter whose opera group performed and had chapters in various cities (Pittsburgh, Chicago, Washington & New York). She was born in North Carolina and trained at the New England Conservatory Of Music and the Chicago Musical College. In 1941 she founded the National Negro Opera Company. Dawson was an impressive person, a pianist and a soprano who could play a number of musical roles well. She encouraged and supported not only those in her own opera company (who were primarily classically oriented) but also others including jazz musicians (e.g. Ahmed Jamal and Errol Garner). Many important Black concert and classical singers and musicians worked with her at one time or another (e.g. Evanti, Boatner, etc.). In 1939-41 she was the first woman president of the National Association Of Negro Musicians. She was a woman of great determination and almost single-handedly kept the opera going despite many financial, logistical and racial obstacles. After daunting fundraising challenges she was - at literally the last minute before the curtain rose - able to get top name unwilling Black opera stars to sing by somehow coming up with the money to pay them. Her career triumph was the 1956 production of Clarence Cameron White’s “Ouanga” at the Metropolitan Opera in New York (the first time a group other than the Metropolitan Opera’s own singers performed there). Historic, rare & desirable. VG. $750
  3. Adelaide Hall Photographs, 1920’s.

    2 postcard-sized photos (perhaps unpublished) of Adelaide Hall (1901-9993), the famous singer and showgirl of the Harlem Renaissance and later. From Harlem, she started as a teenager and appeared in many key shows and nightclubs in the 1920s, winning much critical acclaim for several famous songs associated with her and her outstanding style (which was unlike that of all others). After great success in New York, she went on to an impressive career in Europe, returning to New York in later life and sang up to her 90th birthday. Though reviews and writings about her are plentiful, photos of Hall (especially ones from her Harlem Renaissance days when she became known to the world as a unique and talented performer) are certainly not. VG. For both: $600
  4. Record of the Massachusetts Volunteers, 1861-65. 1085pp. Boston. 1870.

    Wright & Potter. Adjutant General’s Office. Large thick compendium of lists of civil war soldiers from Massachusetts. Has name, rank, age, bounty, date of muster, residence, cause of termination, etc. for each regiment. The Black history content of this item lies in its 21pp. section on the famed 54th Mass regiment of Black soldiers who were immortalized in the movie “Glory”. This book is a source of detailed useful information on the hundreds of soldiers who were associated with this unit. Although there are many books and articles on this heroic unit, almost none are detailed when it comes to facts about individual soldiers. Here this critical information is all gathered together in one section of an official report which would take many hundreds of hours to compile from separate soldier files. This book is therefore useful for genealogical as well as military and general historical research. For serious researchers or military historians. Very scarce. G (text broken into sections, some pages loose, covers worn and frayed at the edges. However, the text is repairable, complete and the section on the 54th Mass is intact with no loss of information). $400
  5. 1st & 2nd Rucker Basketball Tournament, NYC 1964.

    Photographic negatives. The Rucker Tournaments are a major annual community-level basketball event in New York City. Though amateur, the basketball played is nothing less than fine and top flight, drawing some of the best players and teams from around the City. This tournament is very important as an athletic "show your stuff" event since those with aspirations professional careers or those who think they should have had such careers look forward to these games with great anticipation. The talent shown as well as the audience’s participation makes it the athletic version of Amateur Night At the Apollo. The Rucker games have been in existence for some 40 years and extensive visual documentation of the earlier years cannot be easily found. VG. $3,500
  6. Richard Roundtree Scrapbook, 1970’s & Later.

    Large scrapbook of several dozen pages full of news clippings, photos and magazine ads referring to the career of the actor Richard Roundtree (of "Shaft" fame). Someone has carefully accumulated an archive on this actor whose entire career is chronicled in visual form. References to Roundtree’s family and his early life in Westchester County, New York are also present. The scrapbook contains many ads in which Roundtree appeared as a model early in his career, reviews of his movies, magazine articles about him and some photographs. Perhaps a hundred or more separate pieces are stapled onto the scrapbook pages and it is surprising to see how encyclopedically he is documented and how multifaceted career has been. Unusual and useful for research as well as collecting. VG (some pieces loose). $650
  7. [reference] Moebs, Thos. BLACK SOLDIERS, BLACK SAILORS, BLACK INK – Research Guide To African Americans & American Military History. 1654pp. Chesapeake Bay. 1994 (1st ptg., 1 of 500 copies).

    Moebs Pub. Co. Large, very thick and detailed reference on Black military history drawn from governmental archives. For serious researchers. VG/VG. $500
  8. Richmond Barthe Poster & Preliminary Sketch: “Aggrey of Africa”, 1930’s.

    Richmond Barthe is one of the most important Black artists of the first half of the 20th century and an acknowledged "Black master" of the Harlem Renaissance and beyond. Best known as a sculptor, Barthe also did work in other formats and mediums such as graphics. This is a scarce example of his graphic work. In this poster, Barthe rendered a commemorative illustration of the great African educator and leader J. E. Kwegyir Aggrey, who was from Ghana. Very interestingly, the poster is accompanied by a larger preliminary sketch which has been colored and which was obviously a study for the poster. Barthe posters are rare enough, but to find an original one accompanied by a preliminary study is good luck in the extreme. In the study, obviously done by the same hand as the poster, Aggrey is rendered pretty much the same as in the poster but lacks a mustache. VG (one small bottom corner piece of the poster is separated, otherwise quite nice). $10,000
  9. Tom Feelings Painting of a Pensive Black Woman.

    Framed oil painting in Feelings’ characteristic black and white color scheme. The subject is the upper body of a relatively young Black woman looking downward with her head resting on her hands in what seems to be a somber mood. The visible portion of the painting is 14¼" tall and 6 5/8" wide. The frame is 19 1/4" tall and 12 ½" wide). It has a very surreal, vaguely spiritual quality. Tom Feelings (b. 1933, Brooklyn N.Y.) is an important and prolific contemporary Afro-American painter and illustrator who was active at least since the late 1950s. He is extensively documented in many key reference books on modern Afro-American art (see Igoe, “250 Years Of Afro-America Art”, p. 670-674) and has had many exhibitions. An outstanding contribution was his Middle Passage series. Signed “Tom Feelings”. Undated but not recent. VG. $7,500
  10. [photos] Martin Luther King with Union Officials in New York City.

    Two large (11x14") b&w photos. showing a young-looking King giving a speech at District Council 65, AFL-CIO and standing with union officials. Rare, possibly unpublished heretofore and historically important in showing the varied sources of support King received, particularly in the labor community in the north. They are accompanied by a well-illustrated commemorative booklet of King’s civil rights career issued by the 1199 Drug and Hospital Union in May 1968 (which has many striking photos). VG. $2,500
  11. Glass Photo Slides of a Black Couple in Song from a Theater, circa 1906.

    15 glass slides from Len Spencer’s Lyceum theater, 4"x3 3/16". Color scenes of a Black man & woman interacting romantically in a park (he in a suit, she in a fancy dress & large feathered hat). On one the words to the song: “I’m Happy All The Time” by Keller Mack & Frank Orth. Images projected from slides helped theater audience sing along. It is highly unusual to find a set in good condition. Negatives can be made from the slides. Unusual. Fine. $750
  12. Old New York City Document with a Roosevelt Signature, 1796.

    A court document related to debtors (J. Caskaden, J. marshall and S. Kelso) whose case appeared before Alderman Cornelius Roosevelt (who signed at the bottom). G+ (has been folded, frayed on one side, 1 " splits at the margins but generally intact). $300
  13. “My Pastors”, N.Y. & N.J. Pastors & Churches, Late 19th–Early 20th Century.

    Photographic scrapbook of Alfred R. Kimball containing pasted in photos, newsclippings and other ephemera (e.g. a letters, invitations, notes, programs. etc.) relating to clegrgymen of New York and New Jersey of the period. There are approximately 20 pastors featured, most of whom have a cabinet card and a newsclipping about them or their obituary (the compiler seems to have outlived them all). A unique and informative view of church history and the church life of what seems to have been a devoted layman from about the 1870s to the 1930s. A few photos may be of Kimball (there is one letter to him from his brother). VG. $300
  14. Harvard–Arthur French Football Scrapbook, 1927-31.

    Scrapbook of several dozen pages of pasted-in illustrated newsclippings, telegrams, letters and other ephemera related to the college football career of Arthur French, a star halfback for Harvard in the late 1920s. French was from Winchester, Mass., played for Worcester Academy and was a member of the class of 1929 at Harvard. He was, as this scrapbook reveals, quite a sportsman and was elected captain of the Harvard foottball team in 1927. There are significant references to others who were prominent on the Harvard sports scene at the time (e.g. Arnold Horween, the football coach). Telegrams and leters from university officials, alumni, admirers, football fans and friends congratulate him on his sports accomplishments. French kept many newsclippings, paper memorabilia and a few photos of his college football career in this scrapbook and they speak of the anticipation, the drama and the extreme feeling related to major games against Yale, Purdue and others (one must read the scrapbook to see who won). He also was in demand as a dinner guest or a speaker given a number of invitations. An unusual, authentic, detailed and exciting in-period sports and college item. VG. $300
  15. A Collection of Harvard Memorabilia:

    1. 1906, 1907, 1911 Official Programs, Intercollegiate Championships for Track & Field at Soldiers Field, Harvard. Lists competitors for each event, their schools, etc. Each $40
    2. 1941 Harvard Athletic Assoc. News magazine, features the football game vs. Army. $40
    3. Pinback football button with attached miniature football (says "Webber Duck Inn"). $35
    4. 1922 medal, Princeton vs. Harvard Dual Meet (high jump). $35
    5. 1920 medals, Harvard Athletic Assoc., (Freshman Interdormitory High Jump and Pole Vault). Probably made of bronze or copper alloy. Each $25
    6. Harvard track & field jersey (old, no date). $35
    7. 3-page Divinity School Announcement of faculty, degrees and courses (1907). $40
    8. Football score cards: Harvard vs. Princeton (1916) & Dartmouth (1924). Both $50
    9. 1883 & 1866 Class Day Tickets (for dancing at Hemenway Gymnasium & Memorial Hall). Both $90
    10. Two old Harvard Glee Club Photos (no date, possibly early 20th cent.) Both $125
    11. 1925 Class Day Booklet & Class Day Stadium tickets (1914 & 1921). For all $100
    12. Late 19th cent. portrait cabinet photos of Harvard students. Each $40
    13. Luncheon & dinner menus of the Freshman Halls, Harvard Union, 1941. $10
    14. Address book, Harvard College Class Of 1902, compiled for the 1905 Triennial Celebration. $100
    15. 1917 Official Guide To Harvard University. $40
    16. Portrait Photo of Prof. Andrew Peabody (no date, probably late 19th century). $75
    17. Family Record Of Abijah Edwin Hildreth. Small book with genealogical information about the Hildreth family of Cambridge, Mass. and the Kimball family of New Jersey, one or both of whom had a Harvard connection of some type along with a book of 19th century photos of the Kimball and/or Hildreth families. Scarce and useful for research. $500
    18. Harvard Graduate Magazine, June 1924, contains much about the thinking and doings of Harvard people of the era. $45
    19. Photo of the Class Of 1875 in front of University Hall. $125
    20. Harvard University President’s Reports to the Board Of Overseers (1937-46). $100
    21. 1927-28 Official Register, Courses Of Instruction. $25
    22. Graduation Program 1939 & 1940 (in Latin). $40

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