Astounding collection of presidential memorabilia to be sold by Great Gatsby's in Atlanta, Oct. 12 A massive single-owner private collection of White House Presidential, First Lady and First Family mementos, memorabilia and gifts will be sold at auction Friday, Oct. 12, by Great Gatsby’s in Atlanta
News-Antique.com - Oct 03,2012 - (ATLANTA, Ga.) – Perfectly timed to coincide with election season, a massive single-owner private collection of White House Presidential, First Lady and First Family mementos, memorabilia and gifts – gathered by a man who worked at the White House from the Truman through the Reagan administrations – will be sold at auction Friday, Oct. 12, by Great Gatsby’s Auction Gallery in Atlanta.
Mr. Bonner Arrington was a carpenter at the White House for 33 years, and during his time there he had unique and direct access to the most powerful office-holder in the world. Involved in all of the day-to-day maintenance and special events that occurred within the public and private rooms of the White House, Mr. Arrington began, early on, to proudly cherish every small memento that came his way while doing a job that, as a poor boy from Covington, Va., he never dreamed possible. Mr. Arrington’s wife Alphadine (“Deanie”) also worked at the White House from the 1970s to the mid-1980s.
The collection was consigned by the couple’s grandson, Johnny Lloyd of Atlanta. “Even if it wasn’t a presidential election year, this collection would still attract enormous attention,” said Marie Kowalik, President of Great Gatsby’s Auction Gallery. “It’s quite literally a historical timeline of 20th century White House history.”
Mr. Arrington’s grandson has stories of his own to share, from walking in awe as a small boy through the halls of the White House holding onto his granddad’s hand, to later years when his grandfather would tell him of building the bier for President Kennedy’s coffin so that it might lay in state in the East Room of the White House, to happier times of building the gazebo for Tricia Nixon’s White House wedding.
Highlights of the sale include President Truman’s inauguration invitation from 1949, original signed photos of President and Mrs. Truman, original photos of President Truman at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds, and one of President Truman’s monogrammed handkerchiefs.
From the Eisenhower years come President Eisenhower’s inauguration invitation dated 1957, an original framed and matted photograph of first Lady Mamie Eisenhower taken by noted portrait and fashion photograph Louise Dahl Wolfe (Am., 1895-1989) signed in pencil by the photographer, a letter handwritten and signed by Mrs. Eisenhower, two Presidential golf balls, one imprinted “Ike”, the other imprinted “Mr. President”, two thank you notes typed on White House stationery, one signed Dwight D. Eisenhower and the other signed Mamie Doud Eisenhower, and an official White House photo of President Eisenhower with Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
From the Kennedy administration will be offered official White House photos of President and Mrs. Kennedy (inscribed by JFK and signed by both), and an official packet issued by the Ford Motor Company for “The Presidential Continental” (the very limousine the President was riding in the day he was assassinated), “John John’s” (John F. Kennedy, Jr.’s) diaper pin monogrammed “John F. Kennedy Jr., November 25, 1960”, mementos from First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy’s redecoration of the White House in 1961-1962, a note handwritten