This just in

On Yale & Yale alumni.
Ico print Print | Ico email Email | Facebook | | RSS

A treasure trove of Yale & New Haven history

When New Haven's city historian, Richard Hegel ’50, died in February 2012, he left behind one of the most remarkable collections of Yale and New Haven memorabilia in private hands.

Assembled over more than 50 years, the collection was so large that it had to be auctioned off in two pieces: first, in October, Hegel's extensive collection of scripophily (currency notes and stock certificates) from such storied Elm City institutions as the New Haven Savings Bank and the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad; then, a few weeks later, his stash of antique furniture, books, prints, ephemera, artifacts, and souvenirs.

The Yale Club of New Haven (of which Hegel was past president) thought it was significant enough to hold its own auction preview event at the New Haven Museum. On December 8, collectors from near and far gathered at Nest Egg Auctions's unassuming Meriden warehouse to compete against online bidders from around the world for items such as A. C. Howland's famous 1891 lithograph of the Yale Fence, matchbooks and ashtrays from Mory's dating back to 1849, a dozen Yale beer steins, 30 bound volumes of the Yale Literary Magazine, framed copies of the Yale College Catalogue from 1799-1816, a plush felt Yale puppy dog souvenir doll, a rare bound volume of architect Russell Pope's 1919 drawings for future development of the Yale campus, a print of Handsome Dan that appeared in Life magazine in 1890, and a 53-piece set of glassware from Calhoun College.

One of the surprises of the sale was the bidding war for a handsome nineteenth-century lithograph of prominent Yale buildings by New York artist Ed Valois, which ultimately sold for $2,300. (Its value had been estimated at $100 to $300.) But that was still less than a group of five antique wooden goose decoys by Connecticut carvers, which went for $4,200. Overall, the sale netted close to $100,000.

In April, New Haven mayor John DeStefano Jr. tapped Judith SchiffYale's chief research archivist, a New Haven native, and the Yale Alumni Magazine's "Old Yale" columnist—to serve as Hegel's successor as city historian.

Filed under New Haven, Richard Hegel, history
The comment period has expired.