John F. Kennedy’s Harvard Sweater, Plus Locks of Abe Lincoln and George Washington’s Hair, Are Among Presidential Oddities Up for Auction
You could be the proud new owner of a lock of Abraham Lincoln's hair—or strands of George and Martha Washington's, if that’s more your speed.
As CNN reports, those two artifacts, along with 283 other pieces of presidential history, are currently up for grabs via RR Auction. The collection doesn’t only include the well-preserved tresses of past executives—there’s also a variety of signed documents, pictures, books, personal letters, and novelty items that span Washington’s era all the way up to Joe Biden’s.
The auction’s crown jewel might be a red knit sweater with an H over the left breast, mother-of-pearl buttons down the front, and a hand-stitched tag bearing the name Kennedy—a relic from John F. Kennedy's Harvard days, though it hasn’t stayed in the family this whole time. During a CBS interview with Jacqueline Kennedy in May 1964 (just six months after Kennedy’s assassination), a household staff member lent the cardigan to a chilly cameraman named Herman Lang. When Lang later tried to give it back, he was encouraged to hang onto it as a keepsake. It’s now expected to fetch $35,000 or more at auction.
Other Kennedy memorabilia include a rosary and religious medal gifted to the couple when their son, John F. Kennedy Jr., was born; a brooch that Jacqueline gave her secretary for Christmas in 1960; and a number of documents, photographs, and books. But those items are practically new compared to a 1789 letter that Thomas Jefferson wrote while trying to make travel arrangements to return to the U.S. after his years-long stint in France. It’s estimated to sell for at least $25,000.
If you’re interested in taking home anything mentioned above—or just curious about the other offerings—you can browse the whole auction here. Online bidding is open through this Thursday, February 18.