Profiles in History

26662 Agoura Rd., Calabasas, California 91302

About Auction House

Founded in 1985 by Joseph Maddalena, Profiles in History is the nation’s leading dealer in guaranteed-authentic original historical autographs, letters, documents, vintage signed photographs and manuscripts. Born into a family of antiques dealers in Rhode Island, Joseph “Joe” Maddalena learned early on how to turn his passion of collecting historical autographs into a career.

Auction Previews & News

2 Results
  • Auction Industry
    “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” Original Puppets To Be Sold Before the Holidays

    Fans of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, the 1964 television special about a misfit reindeer and his friends, have an unusual opportunity this November. Two of the most iconic stage-used puppets that starred in the stop motion film will come to auction with Profiles in History. Santa Claus and a teenaged Rudolph carry a presale estimate of USD 150,000 and $250,000. The sale will begin at 2:00 PM EST on November 13th, 2020. The original Rudolph and Santa Claus puppets from the 1964 TV special. Image from Profiles in History. These puppets are now more than 50 years old and are the only survivors from the original film. Inspired by Johnny Marks’ hit holiday song from 1949, the Rudolph special was planned during a wave of post-war optimism. Producers Arthur Rankin and Jules Bass combined forces to bring an underdog reindeer to the movie screen. General Electric heard about the project and agreed to fund its production while promoting the newly-invented red LED lightbulb. The 55-minute special cost around $500,000 to produce, or more than $4.5 million today.  Much of the budget supported the work of groundbreaking Japanese animator Tadahito Mochinaga. His team was responsible for much of the styling and technical aspects of the film. The puppet makers created more than 200 figures, each measuring no more than a few inches high. “I don't even think of them as puppets,” says Rick Goldschmidt, the official historian for Rankin/Bass Productions. “I think of them as personalities. And that’s what [the designers] brought to the art form.” Tadahito Mochinaga’s puppet production team works on props for Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Image from Profiles in History. The film was an instant classic. Rankin and Bass went on to produce many other television specials together, and the original puppets were lost from the public eye. Several lead characters— including Rudolph, Santa Claus, and Yukon Cornelius— were taken home by a company secretary after landing in the trash can. They remained in her family for years, reportedly finding a home under the Christmas tree. The puppets were never intended to survive more than a few…

  • Auction Industry
    Stunning collection of historical letters, autographs & manuscripts going up for auction

    A Henry VIII rare document signed as King of England, dated 12 July 1514, to Sir Robert Dymoke, Treasurer of the town of Tournay (Tournai). In the document, 23-year-old Henry VIII orders Sir Robert Dymoke, the "King Champion" at his coronation, to make payment on behalf of England and the occupied French town of Tournay (Tournai). LOS ANGELES, CA.-Profiles in History announced a stunning collection of historical letters, autographs and manuscripts will be going up for auction on July 23rd in Los Angeles. Many are from the collection of multiple Emmy Award-winning writer and television producer William J. Bell. Highlights include: • A Vladimir Ilyich Lenin rare and important handwritten letter, dated 1 November 1911, written to the Czech Social-Democratic leader Anton Nemec in Prague. The letter concerns organizing the famous All-Russia Conference of the Russian Social-Democratic Labor Party in Prague -- a milestone event in the development of Communism. • A George Washington historic handwritten letter as Commander of the Continental Army, dated 28 January 1781, written "To The Officer Commandg. the Jersey Troops at Pompton". Washington writes as Commander of the Continental Army: "...the Pennsylvania troops have crossed the Delaware." • A Joseph Stalin rare handwritten letter signed as Secretary-General of the Communist Party, dated 20 May 1931. Early in his massive push to industrialize Russia, Stalin writes influential Soviet propaganda author Marietta Sergeevna Shaginyan to say that, although he is much too busy to comment on her new novel, Hydrocentral, he can have publication sped up and hostile critics silenced. • A Thomas Jefferson handwritten letter to future President and fellow Virginian James Monroe, dated 16 January 1811. • An Abraham Lincoln handwritten endorsement as President, dated 7 March 1864. Lincoln directs Attorney General Edward Bates to draft a special pardon for Willard M. Randolph "an Attorney for the Rebel Government, but now taking the oath and going to work to carry the free-state Constitution..." • A Henry VIII rare document signed as King of England, dated 12 July 1514, to Sir Robert Dymoke, Treasurer of the town of Tournay (Tournai). In the document, 23-year-old Henry VIII orders…