♪ ♪ CORAL PEÑA: The results are in.
"Antiques Roadshow" is declaring the winning treasures that show off the history of American democracy.
The poster shows Grover Cleveland trying to win the fish of the presidency.
PEÑA: It's "Antiques Roadshow: Election Collection."
♪ ♪ PEÑA: When it comes to objects from our nation's past, there is no debate.
We the people of the United States love treasures connected to our political history.
In this special episode, we'll see objects related to civic leaders both elected and appointed.
We'll also explore the collectibles of political movements and events that have impacted our nation since George Washington's presidency.
Speaking of Old George, check out this incredible souvenir from his inauguration in 1789.
My mother said this was a scarf worn at George Washington's inauguration.
He did not wear it.
The men got these and the women got the earrings.
You have some distinguished ancestry, I should put it, right?
Entirely possible that you would have some family member that went to that ball, right?
But you don't know exactly which one, right?
Okay, you know, looking at this, now framed and, and folded, a silk banner that probably was seven feet long if you extend it, and it's all folded under itself right here.
It's really long.
I did not realize that.
When this showed up, I was so excited because, first of all, I love American folk art.
I also love American history.
This piece combines a great folk design...
With great history.
So as you know, President Washington was inaugurated on April 30, 1789.
A week later, they held a big ball down near Wall Street, in New York, for the president.
All the ladies wore their finest.
It was just, something like this certainly would not be unusual at that.
We have this American eagle, painted eagle on the silk, and it's a classic stance with the laurel branch in one claw symbolizing the peace, and in the other claw, the arrows symbolizing strength.
And the eagle's banner here says, "E Pluribus," written out in gold.
There are 13 stars above that in yellow with blue outline, and up here it looks like an abstract design.
Somebody else actually pointed out-- I can't take credit-- this is G, and this is a W. Oh, my heart.
For George Washington.
Isn't that great?
No, it is better than fabulous!
It's better than fabulous because the G, if you look sideways...
I see the G. And then the W for George Washington.
They're probably silver little spangles with glass beads.
Each one is carefully sewn over the star for G.W.
and the 13... Oh, that's, that is so exciting.
Isn't that neat?
And above it, the French...like a fleur-de-lis!
Now, a week after the major ball... Yeah.
Count de Moustier had another ball-- the French count.
For Washington-- de Moustier.
Now, we don't know, we certainly can't prove it, because these relics are so rare.
But to my knowledge, no other of, of these banners exist.
But it's very possible that a banner like this would have been at that ball a week later.
And I've checked with several experts here.
The silk, the fine silk, is of the period.
The spangles, it's all right.
I got good news and bad news.
Which one, which one do you want first?
(laughs): I think I'll take the good news today.
You want the good news first?
Okay, I think that's a good way to do it.
The value, on a, on a bad day, would be $3,000 to $6,000, and this is a kind of object, that, in the right situation...
Could bring $10,000, $15,000 at an auction setting.
Now I'm gonna give you the bad news.
These are costume jewelry from around, from after 1900.
So they aren't...
Mother lied to me.
They didn't make clips like this...
This ear clip until after 1900.
So, you know...
Okay, oh, that's interesting.
Yeah, and also the metal's not gold, and it's not even enamel.
So they're nice, decorative ear clips, but...
So these weren't made for the...
So I can wear them without feeling like I'm... All right.
You can wear them without worrying about losing them as much, you know?
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
But this you want to, you want to really preserve, as you've always done.
I'm excited, really, Leigh.
I just love it.
WOMAN: This hat was given to my ancestor by Teddy Roosevelt, and this cartoon was drawn about my ancestor resigning from the election.
You have this cartoon of your ancestor whose name is Jonas Van Duzer, and I did look him up and he was active in Republican Party politics in the late 19th and early 20th century.
He ran for the State Assembly a couple of times, never won, but he was still an active party member.
But apparently, in 1912, when Teddy Roosevelt broke away from the Republican Party, because he was very frustrated with all of the internal fighting and the rightward drift of the Republican Party, he broke away, did form his own party, the Progressive Party or the Bull Moose Party.
Your ancestor followed him, left the Republican Party, which would have been a very big deal, and then campaigned as a Progressive or a Bull Moose Party.
So as a member of the Bull Moose Party, Teddy Roosevelt gives your ancestor this hat, and you can see your ancestor wearing the hat in the photograph-- that's a piece of campaign material.
And it says, "Jonas Van Duzer for Congress."
So Roosevelt runs for president in 1912.
He does not win.
The party is not successful, but it also doesn't die.
It continues for a few more election cycles.
So here is the hat, and it actually has the gift presentation.
So it says, "T.R.
to J.V.D.," so Teddy Roosevelt to... Jonas.
Jonas Van Duzer, and the cartoon, it's a 1914, so it's, it's from his election for Congress, which he doesn't win.
Only five out of 138 people were elected from this party.
The cartoon is by a man named Zimmerman, who was a popular political cartoonist of the day, and it's a caricature of your ancestor and the fact that he's hanging up his hat.
He's dropping out of the race, he's bidding adieu, but he still has the chip on his shoulder, which is the chip the Progressives had when they left the Republican Party.
It is one of these groups that is greater than the sum of its parts, right?
For the group, I would put an auction estimate of $3,000 to $5,000.
MAN: Well, in 1968, I was working in a campaign for a candidate for governor of Arkansas, and across the street was the Bill Fulbright campaign, and a young man was working for him and we became good friends.
He had just graduated from Georgetown University, and after the campaign was over that summer, he went off to Oxford to go to school-- he was a Rhodes Scholar.
And his name happened to be Bill Clinton.
We corresponded with each other, and this is a letter that he wrote me in response to a letter I had written him.
It was written the Sunday before the election in 1968, and he talks about in the letter that by the time I get this letter, we'll know who won the campaign.
This was sent to me and also a flyer.
He had apparently been to an anti-war rally, and he was wanting to show me what was going on over there.
Now, you said he wanted, criticized you on something?
The first paragraph, he talks about, I didn't put enough postage on the letter to him and to include more postage next time I wrote.
This is sort of a general letter.
He's just talking about the elections, the details.
But there was one paragraph in this...
Yes, toward the end of the letter, he says he's been playing rugby a lot and, "I've got a cut over my eye."
And he said, "Maybe it'll be enough to keep me out of the draft," and he says, "Wishful thinking."
Boy, I imagine that he'd be happy not to have had that letter come out when he was running for president.
Did he have other sentiment like that?
Yes, he was very much, of course, opposed to the war, although he's very critical in that flyer of the people who are attacking the war, that they really aren't saying very much that's important.
So this was a demonstration in London?
Let me turn this around.
He says that there's a lot of the false statements and things that he's seen in an Arkansas political campaign and referencing that to me, 'cause both of us were very interested in politics.
So he's very much criticizing the speaker here and saying, basically, the same bull that's going on there... Yeah, exactly, exactly.
Is, is going on in Arkansas.
So this is a nice, long letter, handwritten, lends insight into his character, his personality.
It's signed "Bill," because you were a friend, so he's not gonna sign it "William Jefferson Clinton."
It's a fabulous letter.
Have you ever had these appraised?
Never had them appraised.
I've never shown them to anyone until today.
Well, let's start first with the demonstration.
I would say that that note is probably a minimum retail value of $2,000 to $3,000, and the letter...
It's a great letter and it's hard to compare this, because most of the letters that you see are on presidential stationery, which is good, but they don't give young Clinton's attitudes and what he thought.
I would say easily, retail, this is a $10,000 letter, easily.
So the combined, $12,000 to $13,000 retail, on a very conservative basis.
Do you have a lot of other correspondence from Clinton?
No, no, I just happened to save this.
No, you... We corresponded about once a month, but I just happened to save this letter, I don't know why.
Strangely enough, I really thought someday this guy might be president of the United States.
He was that impressive.
♪ ♪ MAN: My freshman year of college, 9/11 happens.
When I was in college later at NDSU in Fargo, it turned out George W. Bush was traveling to Fargo immediately after the State of the Union address in 2005.
So President Bush came around, and sure enough, he signed this for me.
It's a very emotional cover, it's a very poignant cover, right after 9/11.
George W. Bush had approximately 34 "Time" covers that he appeared on.
But this is probably the one that is the most poignant in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
I would put an insurance value of $1,500.
So this is an "Ike" dress that my mother wore in the '52 election.
See, it was made for one-time event, you know?
It wasn't something anybody thought would be saved.
It's definitely something that either a fashion person or someone who collects political memorabilia would be interested in.
I would put a retail value on this in the $400 to $500 range, so, yeah.
I bought it in a thrift shop about 25 years ago for ten dollars.
And it just had a little tag on it that said, "Nixon dress."
I researched it at Nixon Library, and they told me that it was worn by some of the women who were campaigning for Nixon in 1968.
Well, Nixon was running against Hubert Humphrey in 1968, and he really was trying to get the women's vote.
And so they decided to make clothing for the women to wear to promote Nixon and his campaign.
Today, this dress would sell at auction for between $400 and $600.
So you did great.
WOMAN: I have a retirement or get well card that was presented to my great-great-aunt.
And who presented it to your great-great-aunt?
Uh, it was Robert Kennedy when he was the attorney general.
And what kind of job did your great-aunt do at the...?
I don't really know.
That was one thing, unfortunately, I never asked.
She either worked in the White House or worked directly with Robert Kennedy.
This is a very official-looking box, saying, "The Department of Justice," and it is a box made for your great-aunt, Evelyn J. Wright.
And it says down underneath, "Robert Kennedy."
And there's an official card of the attorney's general in Washington.
And it says, "Dear Mrs. Wright, We all miss you terribly.
"Come back quickly.
Affectionately, Robert Kennedy."
So it's a beautiful, charming sentiment... Mm-hmm.
That Bobby Kennedy wrote to your great-aunt-- you don't get that kind of heartfelt sentiment from a government official that often.
There's a little pencil note in the lower left corner, where, I think that indicates that it was signed in the second of July 1964.
He was still the attorney general, appointed by his, by his brother, who died in November of '63.
Unfortunately, the condition of it is not 100%.
It was some staining that has affected the signature and the actual inscription.
So that kind of takes away from the value.
On the other hand, the sentiment is heartfelt and, of course, the person who signed it, Bobby Kennedy, is incredibly important.
At auction, I would say a conservative estimate would be $400 to $600 for the note.
And the box, for, for the package.
All right, sounds good.
Thank you very much for bringing it in.
Well, thank you.
MAN: Well, in 1968, I was a cameraman for CBS.
You know, the streets were full of the hippies and yippies who were gonna disrupt the convention and run a pig for president.
And I was hit by the cops in, in '68.
At the riots in '68, the convention riots.
At the riots, yeah, yes.
And that's you.
(chuckles): That's me, yes, it is.
Poor guy, I mean, you really like you've been... battered up pretty bad, I mean, it was... Well, yeah, yeah.
My, my correspondent was a guy named Jack Laurence, and he had just come back from Vietnam.
And he took his walkie-talkie and he says, "We're taking casualties."
So... (laughs) It's serious stuff.
We were walking with a group of people from Lincoln Park.
Who were pretty good.
There were only, like, two cops... Yeah.
Minding them on the, keeping them on the sidewalk.
But when division got to LaSalle Street, a whole a bunch of cops came running around the corner, and I had my back turned to them.
So they didn't see me or any, they just... Just... Just took a swing at me.
In August of '68, I mean, this, this was the epicenter of what was going on, with the riots...
It was, yeah.
And the anti-war protests.
The yippies, like you said, Abbie Hoffman.
The Chicago Seven.
The Chicago Seven.
It was Chicago Eight.
It was Chicago Eight, but, but one of the guys was sent out of court.
Bobby Seale, yeah.
Bobby Seale, who was a Black Panther, as well.
What is this document here?
We used to cover the court trial every day.
And I actually was subpoenaed to appear.
I think was I subpoenaed by both people, eventually.
And all during my testimony, everybody objected.
So I may have had only two or three words.
Two or three words.
(laughs) But what you did was very interesting.
Well, here's what happened, when I walked into court, Abbie Hoffman put his arm around me and walked me up to the witness stand.
I think that got the judge...
He was creating havoc in the courtroom.
(laughs): Yes, he was.
I had the subpoena with me.
When I left the witness chair, I walked down to their table and they, they were all sitting there.
I just had an idea, just have them sign it if they would, and they all did.
They were all very friendly.
That you did that was really remarkable, because to get all the seven here-- it doesn't have Bobby Seale.
Bobby Seale was...
But you've got the whole group there.
There's, there's Jerry Rubin, Abbie Hoffman... Lee Weiner.
Rennie Davis, yes.
Dave Dellinger, Tom Hayden, and then John, uh... Froines.
They were found guilty of not conspiracy, but crossing state lines to incite riot, I think.
And they got five years, but then it was...
But then it was...
It was, it was lessened, I think in '72.
Do you know what they're, they're doing now?
Well, Tom Hayden went on to marry a movie star.
Yeah, Jane Fonda.
And Abbie Hoffman got plastic surgery and went underground for years and years and years.
Yeah, he probably stayed the most radical out of them, I would think, yeah.
Because of your, your instinct to do that, which was a great instinct, you've really kind of captured that moment historically.
And that's what makes manuscripts valuable.
That's what makes things interesting and collectible.
An auction estimate that I would, I would feel comfortable putting on this would be $5,000 to $7,000 as an auction estimate.
I would insure it for about $10,000.
It's not insured now.
It's, I mean, it's just... You can't, you couldn't repeat that now.
And you'd have to be at that right place at the right time, as you were.
Well, I brought a ceremonial sword that was given to my great-great-grandfather in about 1856.
And he later became the consul to Bavaria.
And I brought his certificate naming him as the consul.
Well, who was the sword presented by?
It was presented by his men in the, it was Philadelphia Artillery Brigade in the Pennsylvania militia.
And it was presented at the time also by the governor of Pennsylvania and Simon Cameron, who eventually became Lincoln's first secretary of war.
Correct-- do you know what that regiment was called?
His regiment ultimately became the 27th Pennsylvania.
At the time, they were just a militia brigade, right?
I found a neat reference to him.
They're actually the Philadelphia Flying Artillery.
And he's the man that actually founded it.
Which is why they were giving him this token of their esteem.
It's got a beautiful presentation on the front, where it was presented by his men to General Max Einstein.
The sword itself is made by the Ames Manufacturing Company in Chicopee, Massachusetts.
And it has the correct Ames mark on the back of the scabbard.
This is pretty much the pinnacle of an Ames sword.
Beautifully executed, it has the original silver handle, with beautiful floral and geometric patterns on the grip.
Eagles on the cross guard, eagles on the pommel cap.
Beautifully done sword.
This was the top that Ames made.
Have you been able to do much research about when the sword was given to him?
We have a book that mentions it.
The book is called "The Jews of Philadelphia," and it's mentioned, no doubt, the author actually went to his home.
He said it was hanging on the wall, and there's a description of the presentation, and it mentions Cameron and the governor of Pennsylvania, who I think was John Pollock.
And the appointment mentions where he was being made consul to "His Majesty the King of Bavaria."
And what's interesting about this is, not only is it an important piece of paper of history, it's also important because of who it's signed by.
This one has a full ink signature all in his hand.
Deep colors, no fading.
It's a beautiful signature, and if you notice, it's dated in 1861.
That's early in Lincoln's presidency.
Also a wonderful thing to have with it.
It's not a sword that you'd ever decide to sell.
So I'd insure it for $15,000.
(laughs) It's been hanging on a wall for years and years, you know?
So... And the appointment, with the good, clear signatures is something you would need to insure for around $5,000.
Okay, that's good to know.
I'm really honored and impressed to see the collection you've brought with you from your time in the Kennedy administration.
I wonder if you could just tell us a little bit about the background and what you did there.
Well, I worked in the White House press office.
I actually started working for him in 1958.
I got out of college and he was just starting his presidential campaign.
Oh, my gosh.
And went then into the White House...
So you were asked to join the team as a, in the, as a press officer.
Yes, yes, well... And you worked under Pierre Salinger, or you...
So you traveled with him quite a bit, I'd understand.
I did, yes.
And this is a picture of you on a aircraft carrier, is that right?
You brought in an enormous amount of material.
It's fascinating to see the archive of someone who was there personally.
But one of the things I wanted to pull out were these three transcripts that were of speeches that he crafted and you helped him with, just to show something about the nature of, of manuscripts from our perspective.
Of course, Kennedy is renowned for having a lot of ephemera in the marketplace or have... People have got signatures for him, but of course, many of those are secretarial and not in his own hand.
Some of them are mine.
(laughs) And some of them might have been yours, in fact.
What we want from historians and so forth is the closeness to his thinking and the process of his conceptual rethinking of, of speeches.
And so to have, in the sort of the pantheon of manuscripts, the original-- or transcripts, which he is obviously revising on the go, as you say-- is incredibly interesting to understand the man and, and his thought process.
So, starting over here, we have a speech he gave in 1961 on the anniversary of "Life" magazine.
And I think it's fascinating to see how much work went into his rethinking it.
He mentions in the speech the need for "the great organizational communications in this country "to have an obligation and responsibility to our national life."
It sort of picks up his theme of how we all have responsibility.
This is a speech, a political one, that he gave in Pittsburgh, and he rails against the blind opposition of the Republican congressmen for a farm bill.
And we know that it was a very rambunctious crowd, and we see that he's made some annotations here.
One of things I note, and we've seen in other cases, that his handwriting was pretty awful.
And then this, of course, is a fascinating piece, which is his first draft for the speech he gave at Amherst College for the founding of Robert Frost Library...
Which, of course, is one of the last speeches that he gave.
Yes, it is.
I wanted to talk about this object, as well.
And you, you were on the trip to Dallas in 1963.
Well, it was a campaign trip.
He was not doing well in Texas.
Lyndon Johnson, the vice president, was on the trip with him, and they were trying to really begin the campaign for the next presidency.
So this is the manifest, the press manifest for the trip.
That's a, a schedule for the press.
We see, of course, his day in Dallas, and the... And at 12:30, he was supposed to arrive at the luncheon, and of course, never made it.
Well, it's an incredible document, obviously, from an incredible time.
And will you just tell us where you were when you found out about the assassination, and what your reaction was?
I was on Air Force One, actually, in the president's cabin.
One of the stewards came through and said, "Put everything away, we got to leave."
And, you know, a couple of minutes later, he said, "The president's been shot."
Did they evacuate you from the plane, or did you stay... No, they didn't, actually.
Um, I did leave the plane of my own free will, once I found out what had happened and that the president was dead... Mm-hmm.
Because I knew that Johnson's staff was there, also.
And they would need to be on that plane.
Somehow you got transported back to Washington.
I went back on the backup plane, and in that case, it was also the Texas delegation going back with me.
It was not a very good flight.
They were a little happy, actually, about...
Were they, on the flight down?
Some of them.
I look at it from an auction house perspective.
And we try to be conservative, but in many cases, the whole is greater than the parts.
If one of these pieces were in a family, it, it wouldn't be the same as the whole entire collection together.
My conservative view would be, at, at this juncture, it would have an auction estimate of $60,000 to $80,000.
Of course, on the day, with something so unique and this interesting collection, it could certainly do much better than that.
(chuckling): I'm surprised.
My grandfather was an usher at Griffith Stadium in the '50s and '60s, and he used to send me baseballs all the time, of which there's only a few left because I ended up playing with them in the streets.
Who knew back then?
This is, this is a particularly special one, jam-packed with signatures.
This is a 1950s Senators baseball, but probably the best signature on the ball isn't a player.
It's President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who also signed the ball.
And what we figure here is that this ball was probably signed Opening Day.
That would make sense why the president of the United States was there.
This ball, because of the special people on it...
Is worth between $3,000 and $4,000.
Wow, that's outstanding.
APPRAISER: It was done about 1869, the year that Grant was inaugurated for his first term as president.
George Washington is the father of the nation, Lincoln is the savior, U.S. Grant is the custodian of the nation.
I'd put about $1,200 on it.
And it's just a, it's just a wonderful piece.
MAN: This decanter was given to my mother by her mother around the turn of the century.
APPRAISER: As you can see, on one side is George Washington's initials.
As you turn this, on the other side, it has an American eagle and the word "liberty."
But it is not American glass.
It is Irish glass.
I would say $1,000 to $1,500 conservatively.
And the misspelling of "independence," is that interesting?
That's just because somebody didn't know how to spell it.
(laughing) WOMAN: This was a piece of my dad's-- um, I actually just inherited it a couple of months ago when he passed away.
APPRAISER: Staffordshire figurines were made all throughout the 19th century... Mm-hmm.
In the Staffordshire region of England.
Staffordshire figurines, they mostly depicted, in terms of people, things having to do with Great Britain.
But they did make some things for the American market.
So these figures do show up from time to time.
They clearly depict... Uh-huh.
Who we know is Benjamin Franklin, but then they say, this one says, "General Washington."
They were made repeatedly, but then occasionally, you'll see some that actually have the correct name.
But they're popular with collectors, not only because of the mistake, which is kind of quirky and fun...
But because of the American association.
There is some dispute about exactly when these were made.
In my opinion, 1850s, 1860s, 1870s.
I would think a conservative retail price for this piece would be somewhere between $800 and $1,200.
MAN: I buy houses, that's a business of mine.
And ten or 11 years ago, one of the first houses we bought, this happened to be amongst a bunch of junk in a house that was kind of a hoarders type of situation, and we found him in the basement buried under a pile of trash.
Any sense of how a piece like this ended up in the basement of a, of a house?
I believe that this was given to the owner of that house who had passed away.
He was a president of a community council, and this had sat on top of a pedestal that was a World War II monument.
And this has recently been replaced by a bronze bust which is a copy of this.
This used to sit on Lincoln Park Drive, which is now called Ezzard Charles Drive in Cincinnati...
And Lincoln Park Drive used to lead into Lincoln Park, which, now Union Terminal sits on Lincoln Park, so...
Okay, so why did you keep it?
(chuckling): Why not?
Look at it.
It's a, it's a...
It's an amazing piece.
It's a terrific object, it really is.
Well, there's an amazing history with Cincinnati and with Ohio and Lincoln and the anti-slavery movement.
So this is a World War II monument, though.
To African American soldiers in the war?
Yes, I believe so.
The piece looks to me to pre-date that pretty significantly, and... Oh, yes.
I gather the, the monument was erected, and then this was placed up there well after it, it was crafted.
Any sense of age here?
I think it was about 100 years old.
We found an article in "The Inquirer" from 1951...
That describes that this sat on this monument since 1946.
And they had claimed back then that it was about 40 years old.
There's no question this was made for public display.
This must have been a commission for a public space.
My sense is that this piece is coming out of a tradition of more of a folk kind of a piece.
Think of carousel carvings or ship carvers of the 19th century.
I would date this piece to about 1880 or so.
It is not the most finely carved, and that sort of gives it a little bit more of the, the folky feeling.
But it's a very good rendering.
Like the carousel figures, it's made out of laminated wood.
It has great presence and great scale.
This has had many different coats of paint on it...
But there are traces of the original green on here, and if it's displayed up high in the air, looking at it from below, you're going to say, "Look at that, at that great bronze."
As a piece of folk sculpture, this has a lot of presence.
The flip side of that is, what do you do with it?
It makes it harder to place in a collector's home.
But a folk art collector with a big enough place, this makes a huge statement.
I would say at auction, maybe $5,000 to $7,000.
MAN: I bought them a few years ago from a garage sale.
They were with a number of dorm-type posters, and I knew I was buying a piece of history and I knew it was an important piece of history, but I really haven't had a chance to, to really research them.
I figured they were from the, probably the early to mid-1960s, based on their content.
And how much did you pay for them?
Well, I paid 25 cents apiece for them, and I think they charged me that because they do have some holes and a little bit of, a little bit of wear.
Quite frankly, they have been used.
Uh, hey have tape marks on the corners where they were taped to the walls.
You'll notice on each there's a tear, and when they were all rolled together at some point, they were torn in the same place, and some animals got to them; there were little nibbles taken out.
They look like dorm room posters.
But more than just dorm room posters.
As you said, they're, they're a piece of history.
And more than just a piece of history, they're a piece of recent history.
They're pieces of the Civil Rights Movement in America.
Now, these three photos were taken by a photographer named Danny Lyon.
Danny Lyon is a very prominent and famous photographer who really made his name by elevating social democratic photography to an art form.
This was his milieu, this is where he shone, and he did a lot of work with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the SNCC, or "snick," as they were known.
And SNCC was part of the Civil Rights Movement that was formed in relation to the sit-ins that began happening in the early 1960s.
And within the Civil Rights Movement, they had wanted things to move a little bit faster and a little bit more aggressively.
And these posters were advocating the work of SNCC within the Civil Rights Movement.
They date to around 1962, and the images are these images from marches, they're images from protests.
The one next to you that says, "NOW," was taken at the march in Washington, DC, where Martin Luther King gave his "I Have a Dream" speech.
One of these posters to me stands out more than the other ones.
And that's the one on the bottom.
"Come let us build a new world together."
What to me stands out about it are the people who are involved in the photograph.
Do you recognize any of them?
I, no, I don't.
I only recognize one, to be honest, and that's the figure closest to you.
That's John Lewis.
Congressman John Lewis... Sure.
Who was then a 22-year-old civil rights activist.
He's been a congressman now for over 30 years, and this was when he was involved in the movement.
So, coincidentally, he was caught in this photograph in this incredibly poignant moment... Mmm.
Praying for a new world together, a better world.
And it's great.
Two of these three posters have come up at auction before, the John Lewis poster and the "One Man, One Vote" poster.
The "NOW" poster has never come up for auction.
In my estimation, in their current condition, were they to come up at auction, with all of their Civil Rights poignancy, with all of their, the prominence of the figures, with the importance of the photographer, I would estimate these three posters between $7,000 and $10,000.
And as I understand it, you paid 75 cents.
Yes, I did.
I'm a little better at history than I am at math, but that's a very good return.
The John Lewis poster came up for sale as recently as March 2018, the first and only time it's ever come up for auction, and in perfect condition, it sold for $6,500.
I'm flabbergasted, I really am.
I collect posters, but not these kinds of posters, so...
I guess I did all right.
You shared an important part of your early life with the 44th president, Barack Obama, when you were a student.
Sure, well, we were freshmen together at Occidental College in Los Angeles.
And we were there for two years.
We were in the same dormitory freshman year, and then, after our sophomore year, we both transferred to Columbia College in New York, and we were roommates for the first semester that we lived there in New York.
And then after we both graduated, we stayed in touch.
We wrote letters back and forth, and that's what I brought here, is some of the letters.
And what was he like?
Well, he was a very charismatic, fun guy.
You could tell he'd be successful at something.
I didn't see him as the first Black president of the United States, but I knew he'd be successful at something.
Well, what I find fascinating about this group of letters, which includes seven postcards and three very lengthy handwritten letters... Mm-hmm.
Is the two sides of Barack Obama, the, the man and the student, and then the idealist and the philosophy that he was building in these years.
The letters date from the early 1980s to the late 1990s.
To start with some of the, the later material first, I think this is a great card that he sent you, soon after he married Michelle, and he included a photograph of her with it.
And he wrote this little wonderful biographical comment: "I still have the nicotine habit, "but Michelle has made me promise to quit "as soon as the book is done.
Otherwise, no babies."
That'd be "Dreams from My Father," the book that became a best-seller and helped, helped him in his career, yeah.
That's right, that's right.
And then, five years later, as his, he's ascending in his career, the, this letter gets very short.
"Michelle and I have a beautiful baby daughter, "Malia, one year old.
"I'm running for Congress.
Life is hectic, but good."
As his life got busier, and became a senator and so on, his communications became shorter.
In real estate, we all know the famous phrase about value: "location, location, location."
With letters and correspondence, it's "content, content, content."
And in this letter is really where we see incredibly important content.
This was written in November of 1985, five months after he became a community organizer in the South Side of Chicago.
He talks about his work with his colleagues and as a community organizer, and his thoughts and his reflections on what was going on.
He says, "I walk into a room "and make promises I hope I can keep.
"They generally trust me, despite the fact that "they've seen earnest young men pass through here before, "expecting to change the world and eventually succumbing to "a lure of a corporate office.
"And in a short time, "I've learned to care for them very much "and want to do everything I can for them.
"It's tough, though.
Lots of frustration when "you see a 43% dropout rate in the public schools "and don't know where to begin denting that figure.
"But about five percent of the time, "you see something happening-- "a shy housewife standing up to a bumbling official, "or the sudden sound of hope in the voice of a grizzled old man "that gives a hint of the possibilities "of people taking hold of their lives, "working together to bring about a small justice.
"And it's that possibility that keeps you going through all of the trenchwork."
We all remember Shepard Fairey's campaign poster of, of Obama, that wonderful image of him with the word beneath it, "hope."
And here it is, "hope."
Not only do we see the word "hope" in this letter, but we see "love," and others of the postcards and letters are signed "love."
These are two very simple, very basic four-letter words, and they show him in his formative years as he's developing what would evolve into his presidential politics.
And I think that that's an amazing resource for us biographically to, to kind of understand his mindset in, in these early years.
I did visit the White House in 2011.
It was nice to go to the Oval Office and hang out for what turned out to be 15 minutes, so that was pretty exciting.
In terms of putting on a value of letters like this, it's hard, because from a biographical point of view, there, there's endless value.
It's very, very rich.
Letters have come on the market, but nothing of, of this kind of caliber.
This letter alone, I would give a fair market value of $8,000.
Wow, that's a lot.
All together, I would give the entire group, the seven postcards and the three letters, a fair market value of $25,000.
And in terms of insurance, I think you should think of them in the range of about $40,000.
I'm interested in preserving them as historical documents.
It's good to have an appraisal and have some idea of what they're potentially worth.
Well, it's a montage of caricatures of Ronald Reagan.
He autographed it to me; I worked with him for a long time on the "General Electric Theater."
Early inscriptions from Ronald Reagan from this period are probably worth in the $300 to $500 range.
But having it in the context of being from the "General Electric Theater," having the connection to you, having the fun caricatures on a poster, I would definitely insure it for anywhere between $1,000 and $1,500.
Because I think it's worth a lot more because of what it is, in this context.
The word is, the word is priceless.
Oh, for you, for sure.
(laughs) That's for sure.
Um, so I brought some pins from Elfego Baca, when he ran for Congress in 1912 for the state of New Mexico, and I also brought some photos.
He's my great-great- grandfather.
Well, we were really excited to see the pin back buttons... Oh, okay.
Of his run for Congress in 1912.
Shortly after New Mexico was-- had just become a state.
And it was an unsuccessful run, but we couldn't find any other examples of these pins.
Because of the importance of these buttons and the rarity, we would estimate these two buttons to sell at auction for $2,500.
Oh, my goodness.
WOMAN: My father was on the crew of Air Force One.
He was with the crew and the squadron for over 20 years.
And this was, they all flew to Cairo, Egypt, for Anwar Sadat's funeral in 1981.
And as a thank you, they signed the picture.
That's great, that's great, and the photo on this side actually shows, on the, on the flight, there's President Ford on one side, President Carter, and your dad is... And my father's right there.
You see a lot of presidential autographed material.
You always have to wonder if it's authentic.
They're absolutely legitimate signatures.
It's a wonderful grouping.
In an auction setting, the jacket, the photo, and the unsigned photo, which only has value in that it ties it all together...
I would put an estimate somewhere between $5,000 and $8,000 for this little grouping.
So... Wow, thank you!
Bruce, you brought us a great piece of political folk art from the middle of the 19th century.
It's got a slogan on it, obviously.
"God and our native land."
It's probably related to the Know Nothings anti-immigrant group in the mid-19th century.
Somebody has written in script, in pencil here, "This belongs to the Know Nothings.
So my assumption is that it's related to the Know Nothing political movement.
The Know Nothings were a political group in the middle of the 19th century.
It was xenophobia.
They wanted to keep immigrants out of this country.
Cities were flooding with Roman Catholic immigrants at that time, and they demanded two things in their platform.
One was that any candidate for government, for election, have been native-born to this country.
The other was that citizenship would only be granted to immigrants after 21 years.
They were named the Know Nothings because they were a secret society.
When asked about membership, they always replied that they knew nothing.
Not one of the prettiest pictures in American political life.
No, not at all.
It's wonderfully painted.
It's in good condition.
I would say that, on the marketplace today, this box would probably bring about $2,500.
I was a graduate student at the University of Michigan, and one of my friends bailed on the program in 1968 and he brought me these posters.
Actually, he brought me a big stack of what he called junk paper.
(laughs) And I treated it as junk paper, and my wife saw this, said, "I think we ought to mount them, put them on the wall."
So for 45 years, they've been on our guest room wall.
The poster closest to you shows Grover Cleveland and James G. Blaine trying to win the fish of the presidency.
And there's a huge amount of tangled line, and it says, "New York."
And in this poster, it was printed after the election of 1884, and apparently it was designed to commemorate the outcome of the election.
Grover Cleveland wins the fish, or the presidency, and James G. Blaine skulks off as the loser.
That's right, and New York had 36 electoral votes, there were over a million votes cast, and Cleveland won by just over 1,000.
So it was a very, very close election.
And these prints were done, as you said, right after the election, and it's called "The Great National Fishing Match."
Here they are contesting the presidency, and there is the result.
And it was a very bitter campaign.
Cleveland was actually from Buffalo.
He started as a lawyer there, and within four years, went from a lawyer in Buffalo to president of the United States.
And these prints were both done by the Courier Lithographic Company of Buffalo.
They were published by M. Lee, and M. Lee is not somebody who's turned up anywhere else.
So it was probably something, Lee was probably a supporter of Cleveland, and it was sort of a "nah, nah, nah" to the Republicans.
And what's interesting about that is, there was another one of those in the same election, because one of the reasons it was close-- Cleveland was supposed to win.
But the report came out that he was having an affair with a woman in Buffalo and may have had a child.
And the Republicans said, "Ma, ma, where's my pa?"
during the election.
(chuckles) Well, after the election, the Democrats came back with, "Gone to the White House, ha ha ha."
(laughs) So this is much the same kind of thing, there was a lot of bitterness.
A supporter from Buffalo is saying, "Well, look, we won."
My guess is they would have been hung up in bars or Democratic clubs, where they would put them up, and everybody'd go... (cackling) Something like that.
They probably didn't run off a huge number of them.
Maybe 500 to 1,000 were done.
How many survive is, uh, very rare.
I mean, you said you found one, right?
I have seen this poster, which is the aftermath, and that's probably the one the Democrats love the most.
I've never seen this one anywhere.
And where did you see that one?
Library of Congress.
Library of Congress, and T.J. Nicholl, he was the artist-- he was a cartoonist.
Couldn't find any record of him doing any other prints, so he may have worked for a local firm.
Now, do you have a sense of what they might be worth?
I worked as a historian for many years, and yesterday, my wife and I had a guessing game that, if we got this far...
I said, "$100 or less."
She said $1,000, and our son in Singapore said $500.
(laughs) So there's the range in our family.
Okay, well, your wife is a little sharper than you are.
(laughs) I guess-- she always is.
If these were in a retail environment, I would think something on the order of $1,400 to $1,600 for the pair.
Now, that includes the fact they're not in good shape.
They're rare enough, and they're appealing enough to collectors, that that really doesn't matter.
I'm delighted that we have kept them for 45 years.
WOMAN: My great-great-great-grandfather purchased the painting originally in Cincinnati.
My grandmother always thought it was a George Caleb Bingham painting, and then we had it appraised and he told us that it was not by Bingham.
He identified the artist as James Henry Beard.
And there was a title of it?
Uh, "The Illustrious Guest."
Well, the guest here is Henry Clay.
He's the man in the center, and James Beard painted this in 1847 in Cincinnati.
Clay was the senator from Kentucky and was probably the most recognizable politician of the 19th century next to Abraham Lincoln.
He ran for president several times and, and lost, and was certainly well known.
And he shows up here in a tavern at an inn, and we see what's going on here is all sorts of incidents in this sort of American 19th-century genre painting.
From starting over here, you see the people in the back at the tavern, people here, there's a little bartender, there's some jars and bottles and a little glass here.
Then here's our main character, our illustrious guest.
He's sitting here reading the paper, and he's, still has his long traveling coat on here.
That trails down below.
Then there's a lot of curious gawkers.
They know... famous guy here.
So we start seeing things like, they're checking out his cane to see what the initials are.
And then what's sort of clever that Beard did was, he put in his name here on the guest register, J.H.
Then below it, we have H. Clay.
(chuckles) And so these guys are scrutinizing the guest list and looking and then checking to see if this is really him.
Then all the way over on the end, you have the womenfolk and children.
We have one child in here, but they're sort of looking on, because this is the tavern, and you're, you aren't supposed to have the women in the tavern.
And now, down at the end, you see his traveling bags, one of these, what we would call a carpetbag.
Have you ever had it appraised?
It was appraised in, what, 1969 for $20,000.
Well, it's interesting.
Beard is not a first-tier artist.
So he's not that well known.
And in fact, he's known really more for doing paintings with dogs in them.
And the high-water mark...
At auction for him is about $25,000, so we really haven't seen any.
But when you get a painting such as this, that's really important and really involved an important piece of Americana, you have to throw those records out.
If we were to put this into an auction, I talked to my colleagues, and we said we would probably at least put an auction estimate on this of $300,000 to $500,000.
Oh, my gosh-- really?
And we, we were speculating things like this that have had estimates like that have gone into the seven figures when they go to auction, because people just go crazy, because they haven't seen anything like this at auction.
It's an important piece of American history.
This could hang in a museum-- it's great to see it in here.
What can I say?
APPRAISER: You have probably one of the best collections of autographs APPRAISER: You have probably one of the best collections of autographs I think I've ever seen.
Am I correct when I say that you have photographs of yourself with everyone in this album that autographed for you, correct?
Most but not all, but most of them.
APPRAISER: Most of them you did.
This is only one of two books, correct?
You have another album at home.
So I started to go through this, and when I saw people-- Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter... Just one after another, Bobby Kennedy, J. Edgar Hoover-- the list just goes on and on and on.
Some of the other ones that were highlights that I saw in here, Joe DiMaggio.
You have two of Jackie Robinson, and a picture down here, not only his autograph, but actually a picture of you with Jackie Robinson, standing there.
Mickey Mantle, Uh, Muhammad Ali, Carl Sandburg, Truman Capote... How many years did you say it took you to put this together?
I would say about 50 years... APPRAISER: 50?
I would say 45 to 50 years it took me.
45 to 50 years?
She was very well aware of what was going on in the world because she read the newspapers.
And she knew who was in town, and... (chuckles) She managed to get Truman on his daily walk from the Olympic Hotel when he was in Seattle.
She knew he took a walk in the morning, so she went out, met him on his walk.
And when some, certain dignitaries were going to the airport... (chuckles): She got him at the airport.
APPRAISER: Oh, really?
Well, that was back when people didn't mind people coming up for autographs.
I've been able to sit down-- Jimmy Cagney.
Your personal favorite, you told me, Larry, Curly, and Moe.
Uh, just the list is-- Jimmy Stewart, Bette Davis, uh, Helen Hayes...
It just, the list just goes on.
Jerry Lewis, Jack Nicholson...
I don't think there's anyone you didn't get an autograph from, it's incredible.
Sammy Davis, Jr.
I've been able to sit down and do a little bit of research.
Just on your one album, I feel, to a collector-- because the individuals would actually sell more than the album itself.
So if you sold these as individual autographs, this album alone, I feel, would sell somewhere between $8,000 and $12,000.
APPRAISER: Just this one.
I would love to see your second album and see what's in the other one.
And I cannot thank you enough for bringing it into the Roadshow and showing it to us today.
It's a great album, thank you.
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