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George Washington Signatures (and Then Some) At Auction

George Washington, arguably one of the most famous Americans ever, has earned a special place in many a heart. He will always be regarded with respect for his phenomenal leadership of this country. Especially for his choice to take office as the first President, and then step down when his tenure was complete. He was a real American hero.

Not surprisingly memorabilia of his, especially those pieces containing his personal signature, are highly sought after. They are also rare and hard to find.

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On 10/16/2013 the RR Auction Company, located in New Hampshire, placed two George Washington items up for bid. They claim to be Thee auction house for signature items and it seems they may be the authority on such things. Every month they place over 1200 signed items on the block, all with guaranteed authenticity.

What makes one of the two items particularly special is more than just the signature. It is a beautifully framed portrait of Washington accompanied by a full signature in Washington’s hand from an indenture written in 1769, a swash of a cloak he once wore, and ………six strands of his hair!

It is thought that the original possessor of this hair was the granddaughter of Martha Washington. That is to say that after George himself was no longer in possession of them!

The other signature piece of our beloved President was a crucial document carried by ships after Washington’s Neutrality Act of 1794.

The document which has the same verbiage reprinted in English, French, and Dutch provided proof of the nationality of the ship’s owner. It is signed by Washington, Secretary of State Edmund Randolf, and Collector of Customs Isaac Holms. Ship captains caught without such documentation faced criminal charges.

The reason for which has all to do with the purpose behind the Neutrality Act, which made it illegal for anyone to attempt to go to war with another country, with the exception of Congress of course. Although this Act has been amended several times it is still in effect today.

Both auctions closed at the end of the day and the items of course sold. Washington memorabilia cannot be passed up as the value is just so high. The ship document fetched whopping price of 12,250 at final call!

As for the piece with the hair, well maybe human hair remains are a bit more interesting than they are valuable. That piece sold for 3,076.

The most expensive item of Washington’s that was ever sold was a letter from Washington to a delegate for the Virginia State ratifying convention, detailing points to make a case for ratification. The irony – written on paper from England that was watermarked with a tribute to the royal crown! That letter sold at Christies in December 2009 for an incredible $3,200,000!

And the weirdest Washington piece that ever sold…………wait for it……….a Chicken Nugget, three years old and frozen no less, that appeared to be in the shape of the famous leaders head. (Yes, I am serious!)

What did that nugget sell for? After over 70 different bids the final price was 5000 British pounds. Thus proving that even as a snack food, people just can’t get enough of George.

In his acceptance speech for Army commander in 1775 Washington was famously quoted as saying, “But lest some unlucky event should happen unfavorable to my reputation, I beg it may be remembered by every gentleman in the room that I this day declare with the utmost sincerity, I do not think myself equal to the command I am honored with.”

However, we now know he was more than equal, but far above the challenge. This is why every piece of his, from the incredible to the crazy, holds such high degree of value to the American people.

 

Photo credits: http://s3.reutersmedia.net/resources/r/?m=02&d=20091202&t=2&i=24857656&w=460&fh=&fw=&ll=&pl=&r=2009-12-02T144658Z_01_BTRE5B1152F00_RTROPTP_0_ART-AUCTION-WASHINTON