Heritage Political Auction is Historic in More Ways Than One On March 1, 2008, Dallas-based Heritage Auction Galleries will present the Edward C. Gillette Collection of Early Political and Presidential Display Items . The auction includes 446 items.
News-Antique.com - Feb 07,2008 - DALLAS, TEXAS: On March 1, 2008, Dallas-based Heritage Auction Galleries will present the Edward C. Gillette Collection of Early Political and Presidential Display Items . The auction includes 446 items, all from the era between George Washington and Teddy Roosevelt. "What makes this collection so special," said Heritage Historical Americana Director Tom Slater, "is the unusual character of the items. Most political collectors focus on buttons, badges and other small, wearable campaign novelties. Gillette collected a wide range of larger items, mostly three-dimensional in nature - call them display items for want of a better term - that are both rarer and more evocative of the real flavor of early American politics. These items really make history come to life."
"The range and quality are the second sense in which the Gillette auction is historic," Slater said. "I have been involved with organized political item collecting since the infancy of the hobby in the 1960s, and I have seen a lot of collections come and go. There is no question that the Gillette auction presents the finest array of these very special items ever offered in a single auction catalog."
"Ed Gillette has been both a knowledgeable and highly disciplined collector," Slater observed. "He has systematically sought not only representative examples for each president or defeated candidate, but also examples of the various types of items used to honor or promote these public figures." Among the diverse categories found in the collection: Glass and china items, lamps, canes, pipes, clocks and watches, boxes and other containers, jewelry, original hand-painted portraits, White House china, drawer pulls, statuary, reverse-on glass portraits, personally owned artifacts, razors, spoons, tin trays, posters, and even a one-of-a-kind signed, 1904-dated Persian rug depicting Theodore Roosevelt!
The collection also contains a small but select grouping of autograph items, including checks signed by Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson while president, and several fine Lincoln items, including a rare officer's appointment to the tiny Marine Corps, and a delightful envelope and letter, with Lincoln's personal signed free frank in lieu of postage, a personal favorite of Slater's: "it contained a letter home from an Illinois friend who was staying for awhile with the Lincolns in the White House in 1863. The franking privilege is strictly restricted by law, and not supposed to be used for third party correspondence. But Lincoln decided to save his friend the price of a stamp, making this correspondence evidence of a rare, if forgivable, violation of the law by a sitting president."
"It is all but impossible to single out just a few highlights from the collection," Slater declared. "A high percentage of the material is genuinely rare, even unique." However, a short list of notable items would include: A Liverpool cream ware pitcher featuring the most sought-after transfer of Washington as president; a mammoth Liverpool punch bowl, picturing John Adams as president; a serving dish from the service used by James Madison in the White House; A dinner plate from James Monroe's White House