Alexander Historical Auctions LLC

Lot 693

Previous image preload Next image preload

Most interesting pair of original courtroom sketches, executed in pencil and watercolor, created by LEO HERSHFIELD (1904-1979), who would become known as the 'Dean of Courtroom Artists' for his work covering hundreds of cases for NBC News, including the McCarthy Hearings and the trials of Jack Ruby and James Earl Ray. The sketches depict the court-martial hearing of American officer and war criminal WILLIAM CALLEY JR. (b. 1943), charged with the premeditated killings of 22 unarmed South Vietnamese civilians in the My Lai massacre. The first sketch, 12.5 x 9.75 in. (sight), shows Lt. Calley sitting stone-faced with his attorneys, including George Latimer, who notably botched Calley's defense with his rambling questions, blame-shifting to those lower-in-command, and outright denial of Calley's horrific actions. At the upper-left, Hershfield adds the label in pencil: 'Feb 10, 1970 - Ft. Benning - Lt. Calley Hearing'. He signs 'Leo' at the lower right, adding the date '2/17/[19]70'. The second sketch, 16.25 x 10.5 in., depicts an obnoxious looking high-ranking American officer at the witness stand, callously smoking a cigarette, while the judge stares at him wide-eyed. Hershfield at the lower-left also adds a hand giving a 'peace sign', with index and middle fingers extended. He signs twice in pencil, once 'Leo Hershfield' with the place 'Ft. Benning, then again 'Leo', adding the date '3/3/[19]70'. Each also bears a hand-penciled dedication to BOB GORALSKI (1928-1988), an NBC News correspondent that served for extended periods as White House, State Department, and Pentagon correspondent, and later anchored NBC's coverage of John F. Kennedy's funeral. Both have been double-matted and framed to a total size of 23.5 x 17 in. Very fine condition. As many as 500 villagers - mostly women, children, infants, and the elderly - had been systematically killed by U.S. soldiers at My Lai, yet of the 26 officers and soldiers charged for their part in the massacre or subsequent cover-up, Calley was the only one convicted.

Accepted Forms of Payment

American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Money Order / Cashiers Check, Paypal, Personal Check, Visa, Wire Transfer


Shipments are sent via FedEx and DHL (for most overseas shipments) or FedEx Ground at the auctioneer's option. Due to complications from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we will ship with USPS Priority Mail only if the buyer submits their request to us in writing and accepts responsibility for delayed shipments. Signature is always required, unless other arrangements are made. Handling and shipping charges will be added to the invoice in one entry. Buyers should be aware that large, framed, fragile or odd shaped items can incur substantial shipping and packing charges. International shipments are invoiced by DIMENSIONAL weight, not the item weight. Please contact us for an estimate before bidding NOTE: Large, heavy or bulky items may not be shipped by the auctioneer - arrangements for shipping of these items via a third-party shipper may be arranged through the auction house. Customers who supply their own courier account number will still be charged a handling fee. Please allow 2-3 weeks for shipments after receipt of payment due to the high volume of packages being shipped.

February 8, 2021 10:00 AM EST

Chesapeake City, MD, US

You agree to pay a buyer's premium of up to 25.0% and any applicable taxes and shipping.

View full terms and conditions

Bid Increments
From: To: Increments:
$0 $99 $10
$100 $499 $20
$500 $999 $50
$1,000 $1,999 $100
$2,000 $4,999 $250
$5,000 $9,999 $500
$10,000 $19,999 $1,000
$20,000 $49,999 $2,500
$50,000 $99,999 $5,000
$100,000 + $10,000