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1876 Committee of Vigilance certificate, ‘witching balls’ headlining Dec. 17-18 auction

A Committee of Vigilance of San Francisco certificate from 1856 and three 'witching balls', which are examples of Americana, will come to auction Dec. 17-18.
Committee of Vigilance certificate and Witching Balls

Committee of Vigilance of San Francisco certificate, presented to Frank G. Edwards and signed on May 15th, 1876, plus three “Witching Balls.” (All photos courtesy Weiss Auctions)

LYNBROOK, N.Y. – Scarce vintage posters for the Beatles and Janis Joplin, a Committee of Vigilance of San Francisco certificate from 1856 and 'witching balls' will be some of what bidders can expect at a two-day auction planned by Weiss Auctions for Dec. 17-18.

Both sessions will be conducted in Weiss Auctions’ showroom, located at 74 Merrick Road in Lynbrook, New York.

The auction is scheduled to begin both days at 10 a.m. Eastern time, and internet bidding will be provided by and Phone and absentee bids will also be accepted.

Music Posters, 'Witching Balls', and Swords On Offer

The Beatles poster is from 1961 and advertises their debut appearance at Hambleton Hall in Huyton, England. The group has top billing as “The Sensational Beatles” and the poster is exceedingly rare. The Janis Joplin poster is for the singer’s 1968 appearance at the Aerodome venue in New York. Also sold will be a Rolling Stones Let it Bleed color variant pressing, and Bill Graham Fillmore posters, among others.

The Committee of Vigilance of San Francisco certificate was presented to Frank G. Edwards and signed by committee members on May 15, 1876. The lot also includes three 'witching balls', the largest of which is 12 inches tall and a fine example of Americana, with chromolithographic scraps. Included is his name in floral wreaths, with a fire pumper, animals, a hot air balloon and more.

Military Swords and Helmets Up For Bid

The selection of swords is long and impressive. Fans of the genre will be able to select from Japanese swords (Samurai, World War II-era, field officers, etc.), a late 19th century French military

Mormon Treasury note

Mormon U.S. Treasury note dated Jan. 20, 1849 and signed by Brigham Young.

sword, Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) swords, a U.S. Naval sword with scabbard, Civil War-era swords, a Polish World War I sword, British 18th and 19th century swords (pattern and dress), and assorted presentation swords.

The militaria category will also feature high-end British helmets, 19th century handguns, and World War II German items. In addition, there are Civil War images, patriotic covers and artwork, and World Wars I and II posters. As well as military two powder horns and a hand-stitched and a 13-star American flag.

A collection of 1940s large Coca-Cola cardboard posters, an early 1902 Coca-Cola poster, railroad advertising and memorabilia (including a scarce Union Pacific metal herald crest with wings sign), automotive signs, and store display cabinets will represent the advertising interests of the sale.

Native American-themed objects will include Van Briggle Indian head vases, a large pair of Skookum display dolls, prints, tobacco jars, Weller vases, totems, and blankets.

Art offerings will include oil on canvas portraits of Civil War Generals Hancock, Burnside and McClellan, an Indian portrait by Ralph Waldo Emerson Meyers, and two oil on canvas paintings by Albert Tilburne (1887-1965) titled “Dance to the Sun” and “Crazy Horse.” Historical material will include autographs, and a signed portrait of Winston Churchill.

The rare books category features a selection of first-editions, including a signed British first-edition and a signed American first-edition of Bram Stoker’s “The Snake Pass,” a signed copy of DNA pioneer James D. Watson’s book “The Double Helix” (and many books signed by Watson and Crick), a signed copy of John Steinbeck’s “The Red Pony.”

Rounding out the sale is a collection of travel posters with a 1950s Air France example. Also sold will be a 1933 Mistinguett poster, World Wars I and II posters and French posters. A White Star Line color lithograph for the Titanic, along with paper ephemera and dishes will be on offer.

For more information, visit, call 516-594-0731 or email