Artifacts including the leather from the back seat of the car in which J.F Kennedy was assassinated in, and a Rolex watch that belonged to Dwight D. Eisenhower, are due to be sold in one of the world’s most historic auctions today. The auction is curated by RR Auctions, will take place at Boston’s Omni Parker House hotel on Sept. 17-18, and will include over 420 items, all of which will be available to members of the public.
This is an amazing chance for anyone who wants a piece of American, and British history, dating back to the Second World War and beyond. Many of the items have enormous historical value, take for instance the Rolex watch, which was given to Eisenhower by the Swiss watch makers for their gratitude to the President for the role he played in helping Europe overcome the Nazis in WWII.
The watch has Eisenhower’s initials engraved on the back, and the date 12.19.1950, which was the day he became the head of NATO and the day Rolex presented him with the watch. Rolex have a history of awarding their finest watches to military heroes, and this was 150,000th to be produced by Rolex. The 100,000th Rolex had been presented to Churchill. The watch is expected to reach around $1million (£650,000).
Amongst the other items is the cane used by Franklin Delano Roosevelt when he attended important meetings, a pair of Abraham Lincoln’s eyeglasses, a lock of hair from John Adams, and much more.
Raleigh DeGeer Amyx, who worked as a former messenger for FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, and became friends with many Whitehouse staff, including maids, waiters, butlers and even Secret Service agents, collected all the items at the auction. Bobby Livingston, executive vice president of RR Auction said:
“If Raleigh didn’t purchase them, curate them and take care of them, they would have been lost,” he said.
DeGeer Amyx also managed to amass his collection by placing advertisements in Washington DC newspapers, where he asked White House staff to sell him any gifts they had been given by the presidents they had served.
DeGeer Amyx’s more gory additions to the auction must of course include the bloodstained upholstery of the car the President John F Kennedy was travelling in when he was shot in the back of the head in Dallas in 1963.
F Vaughn Ferguson, who had the task of looking after the car and was the only person allowed to touch it after the assassination, kept the blue upholstery from the car. Ferguson stated:
“The leather, light blue and dark blue, is from the automobile in which John F. Kennedy, President of the United States, was Assassinated in, on November 22 1963. Four days after the Assassination the White House upholsterer and I removed this leather at the White House. The light blue leather is from the center of the rear seat. The dark blue leather is from the border of the rear seat. The spots on the leather are the dried blood of our beloved President, John F. Kennedy.”
Kennedy fans that are not interested in the more morbid aspects of the auction might be keen to learn that other Kennedy items include dolls which belonged JFK’s daughter Caroline, and a silver teething ring used by his baby son John Jr.
There are some lighter notes in the collection, such as the itinerary used by the Queen Mother for her Royal visit to the U.S on the eve of the Second World War, and one of the iconic Cuban cigars belonging to Winston Churchill, which was given to the auction by his private nurse, Sister Muriel Thomson.
The auction is being curated by RR Auctions, at Boston’s Omni Parker House hotel on Sept. 17-18.
You can bid online by visiting http://www.rrauction.com/.