A real treasure presidential memorabilia, including one lottery ticket signed by George Washington, photographs by John F. Kennedy and his family, and documents signed by James Monroe — is now on sale at RR auction.
By a declaration from the Boston-based auction house, the online auction opened on February 11, before Presidents Day, and ends tonight. The sale includes 285 lots covering the presidencies of George washington by Joe biden.
“We have things starting at $ 100 in five figures,” said RR Auction executive vice president Bobby Livingston. WBZ News‘Rachel Holt, “So this is an incredible history lesson from US presidents.”
Among the most expensive items up for auction are locks hair from George and Martha Washington, which carries an estimate of $ 75,000. The strands are housed in an elaborate floral frame measuring 20 inches in diameter and 4.5 inches in depth. In addition to the hair clippings, the frame features engravings of the couple and a gold version of the Great Seal, which shows a bald eagle holding an olive branch in its right greenhouse and three arrows in its left greenhouse.
Collectors have turned to presidential hair for years. As Cassandra Good reported for Smithsonian magazine in 2016, curator of the 19th century Smithsonian Jean Varden has compiled a collection of the first 14 presidents’ padlocks, each of which has been given its own place in a “grid of gold framed rectangles” now housed in the National Museum of American History. (During the Victorian era, what was called hair relics were popular on both sides of the Atlantic, with individuals exchanging padlocks as tangible “tokens of love and friendship,” according to JSTOR Dailyby Matthew Wills.)
Another important item on the auction block is a signed, sepia portrait of Lincoln and his son Tad looking at a photo album. Expected to sell for $ 75,000 or more, the 3.75 x 5.25-inch photograph “is one of three known specimens of this particular size and pose,” according to the list of lots.
Photographer Antoine Berger took the intimate father-son image at Mathew Brady’s studio in Washington, DC on February 9, 1864. The work has been widely reproduced: in 1865, Harper’s Weekly issued an amended version on its cover, and in 1984 the United States Postal Service issued stamps with the photograph accompanied by the caption “A Nation of Readers.”
The other items offered are a Check signed by James Madison, a 2011 letter of George HW Bush to the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, a photograph by Biden signed in gold ink and Kennedy college sweater. The crimson cardigan, adorned with the Harvard letter “H” and white mother-of-pearl buttons, is expected to sell for around $ 35,000. CBS cameraman Herman Lang acquired the sweater in May 1964, when a White House staff member loaned it to him because he was catching a cold.
Other Kennedy memorabilia for sale include a rosary and religious medal, both of which were offered in honor of the birth of John F. Kennedy, Jr. in 1960, and a brooch given from Jackie Kennedy to his personal secretary the same year.
“It’s so neat to know that this person was president and that she was wearing it, she signed it,” said Winston Blair, member of the association’s board of directors. Collectors of American political objects who personally owns an assortment of 3,000 presidential artifacts, New York Times‘Christina Morales. “We can once own what they held in their hands. It creates a connection.
Artifacts that belonged to Washington, Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt appeal to a wide range of presidential artifact collectors, although modern presidents like Kennedy and Ronald reagan probably have the most enthusiastic collector bases, according to Hyperallergicby Cassie Packard.
Speak Times, highly contested elections, such as those of 2016 and 2020, tend to spark increased interest in presidential memorabilia.
“It tells the story of the United States,” Livingston told the Times. “History is repeating itself in America. Everything is going well here in this auction.