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Lenny Bruce & the Post-War Counterculture

Section I: Lenny Bruce: The Keith Burns Collection, Lots 1-80

SPECIAL NOTE:  This sale will be held at our new permanent home - 605 Addison Street, Berkeley, CA 94710.  Please join us there for an exciting new chapter in the history of PBA.

Over 200 lots reflective of the massive social changes that occurred in the United States in the decades following the Second World War, as the Beats gave way to the Hippies, and what became known as the Counterculture emerged. The first 80 lots in the auction comprise an important archive of material from the life and career of the comedian Lenny Bruce, best remembered today for his arrests for obscenity and drug possession. At the time, his comedic challenges to social mores captured the evolution of middle-class America, underscored by the first amendment issues and his tragic death from a heroin overdose in 1966. Included are letters, business records, performance transcripts, court documents, and other key source materials. Also in the auction are scarce publications and ephemeral items from the era, from such authors as Allen Ginsberg, Richard Brautigan, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and others, plus classic rock and psychedelic posters, counterculture newspapers, underground comix, drug culture, and more.


Monday, June 10th, 1pm - 5pm
Tuesday, June 11th, 9am - 5pm
Wednesday, June 12th, 9am - 5pm
Thursday, June 13th, 9am - 11am

PBA Dynamic Bidding
When you place an absentee bid online, PBA's Dynamic Bidding will calculate your absentee bid against competing absentee bids and determine the current high bid amount.  So, for example, if you place an absentee bid of $200 on an item with a minimum bid of $100, you will be notified that you are the high bidder and the bid is at $100.  If a second bidder then places a bid of $150, your bid will be incremented up to $160. The under bidder will also be notified by email that their bid was outbid with a link to the item to enter a higher bid if desired. The current high bid will be the starting bid when the lot comes up in the live auction itself. In addition to providing full transparency, Dynamic Bidding will allow you to make more informed decisions.


Shipping info:

We have a full service shipping department to ensure proper packing and safe delivery of purchases at reasonable cost. We are specialists at packing and shipping books and works on paper.   All lots purchased by the same client are combined for shipping in order to keep the cost as economical as possible.  Our preferred method for domestic shipments is UPS Ground but we can also ship via FedEx or USPS Priority Mail. We do NOT ship USPS Media Mail under any circumstances.For international orders we select the most appropriate carrier depending on the value and weight of the items purchased.  We are happy to accommodate special arrangements by request.

Invoices are sent out the day following the auction and include a minimum $10 handling fee plus actual shipping and insurance charges.

Shipping estimates can be obtained  by contacting [email protected] prior to the auction.


Terms and conditions


All accepted bids are contracts and are considered final and non withdrawable.


A buyer's premium of 20% will be applied to all purchases.


The person posting the bids online has to be the person who has registered for the auction.

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