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Entries in Auction (11)

Monday
Nov262012

Photo of Iceberg That Sank the Titanic Up for Sale

Universal History Archive/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- An auction house is selling a black and white photo of the iceberg that experts say the Titanic struck shortly before it sank on its maiden voyage.

The photo was taken on April 12, 1912, two days before “the unsinkable ship” met her demise when she hit an iceberg shortly before midnight on April 14, killing 1,502 people.

The photo shows a huge iceberg with a distinctive elliptical shape.  The photograph was taken by the captain of the S.S. Etonian, according to RR Auction of Amherst, N.H.  The caption reads, “Copyright. Blueberg taken by Captain W.F. Wood S.S. Etonian on 12/4/12 [April 12, 1912] in Lat 41° 50 N Long 49° 50 W. Titanic struck 14/4/12 [April 14, 2012] and sank in three hours.”

There were no photos of the iceberg before this one emerged, but two Titanic crew members drew sketches of the iceberg that they saw on April 14.  Both sketches are similar to the elliptical shape of the iceberg in the photo, according to RR Auction.

The coordinates scribbled on the photograph are not far from where the wreckage of the ship lies on the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.

“In my professional judgment, this iceberg is the one that sunk the Titanic,” Titanic artifact collector Stanley Lehrer told the Daily Mail.

Lehrer is noted for his collections of rare Titanic artifacts that have been displayed around the world.

“The captain took the pictures because he was fascinated with the unusual shape of the iceberg.  This particular iceberg had an ellipse on the top right of the iceberg,” Lehrer added.

RR Auction expects the photograph to sell for $8,000 to $10,000 when bidding opens on Dec. 13.  The photo is one of more than 400 items from the Titanic that are up for bidding.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Sep262012

Rare $200,000 ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ Guns Go Up for Auction

Hulton Archive/Getty Images(NASHUA, N.H.) -- The story of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, the love-struck bandits who rose to fame during America’s "public enemy" era before suffering a violent death at the hands of police, has resonated across generations, spawning films, music, even an annual festival. Starting Sept. 30, some of the most crucial pieces of that iconic American story will be for sale to the public.

The center piece of the auction, which is being held at RR Auction at the Crowne Plaza Nashua, in New Hampshire, is a Colt .38 detective special revolver. The revolver, nicknamed “the squat gun” because Bonnie was squatting on it at the time of her death, was found taped to Bonnie’s thigh after she was shot and killed by Texas Ranger Captain Frank Hamer and his posse. Hamer later speculated that it was hidden there because it is one of the few locations “no gentleman officer would search.”

RR Auction vice president Bobby Livingston told ABC News that he estimated the gun would sell for between $100,000 and $200,000, but added, “the sky is the limit on artifacts that have this type of provenance.”

Also included in the auction is Bonnie Parker’s cosmetic’s case as well as numerous photos of the couple, including a few taken in the aftermath of the ambush that killed them. Also recovered from the scene is Clyde Barrow’s pocketwatch, which according to the auction house website is valued at somewhere between $20,000 and $30,000. Various other firearms belonging to the couple, as well as other famous gangsters of the time, are also up for auction, but none compare in value to the “squat gun” and the 1911 Army Colt .45 pistol that was removed from the dead Barrow’s waistband. Both are expected to sell for up to $200,000.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jul022012

Pennsylvania High School For Sale on eBay

Creatas Images/Thinkstock(LANGHORNE, Pa.) -- For sale: "One Pre-owned, But Extremely Successful, Public High School."

So begins the tongue-in-cheek, but completely serious, eBay listing for The Learning Center, a Langhorne, Pa., school that has found a unique method to fight debilitating budget cuts -- the school has put itself up for auction on eBay.

The Learning Center is an alternative high school program for students who have emotional or learning problems that prevent them from attending a regular high school, according to a statement from the school. Many of the school's students attend until they are ready to go back into the regular school system.

The starting bid is $599,995, the exact amount needed to keep the school open for the 2012-2013 school year. The Neshaminy School District is facing a $2 million deficit, according to the news release.

The eBay ad describes how the school has been a "saving grace" to students with problems who have suffered a number of problems, including physical or sexual abuse, anxiety, depression and substance abuse.

On a lighter note, the ad continues, "Sure, it sounds like a great cause, but what will you, the good Samaritan, get for your investment -- besides the feel good vibe of securing the future of so many otherwise lost young souls? Hold on to your bulging wallet, 'cause delivering an education to a group of kids who could really use it is just the beginning."

The ad lists benefits the buyer would enjoy including the naming rights, delivering the commencement speech on graduation day, a large pizza, a season pass for two to the football games and a personalized Learning Center coffee cup.

The new "owner" (students not included, according to the ad) would also get to choose the school's mascot, sort of.

"You get to choose a mascot ... out of the following three: a beaver, a hedgehog or a groundhog, all wearing an American Indian headdress (If you wish to select another animal you would need to pay an additional $7.65 over your winning bid to cover the additional Photoshop expense)," the ad reads.

The cheeky ad was written by father and son Steve and Casey Young of Langhorne and the original idea to put the school for sale came from 17-year-old Casey Young, who attended the school for about a year before going back to a regular school.

"The Learning Center basically turned him around and he needed it that year. And now, he's back in the general population doing great," Casey's father Steve Young told ABC News. "It could have saved his life."

Casey was recently doing a foreign exchange program in Brazil when he heard that The Learning Center was in danger of closing.

Ten years ago, the Young family had gained national attention when film and TV writer Steve Young put his family up for sale on eBay for $5 million. There were some bidders, but the ad was taken down by eBay before any deal was sealed.

But Casey thought the same idea could be applied to the school.

"Casey kept saying, 'What if, like, Bill Gates reacted or some guy shows it to a billionaire who had trouble as a teenager?'" Steve Young said. "It was realistic that if it did get attention, that someone would put up that money. It's like throwing a Hail Mary pass. It's a long shot, but sometimes they play out."

The school's principal JoAnn Holland and the Neshaminy School District got on board with the plan and the ad went up. Neither Holland nor the superintendent immediately responded to request for comment.

"To keep from being closed by the district, we cut expenses as far as we could," Holland said in a news release. "We would have to make up an additional $600,000 shortage to keep our school operating as we have in the past."

"I know it's crazy," said Holland. "But with the good The Learning Center does, it's crazier not to do it."

"Besides it being very important to us and to my son, there are too many stories from all the other parents and kids who it turned their lives around," Young said. "We cannot waste the future for these kids."

The ad already has nine offers and bidding closes Wednesday afternoon.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
May222012

Ronald Reagan Foundation Blasts ‘Craven’ Blood Auction

Dirck Halstead/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation’s executive director, John Heubusch, has declared an overseas auction house’s plan to sell off a vial stained with the late president’s blood “a craven act,” and promised his organization “will use every legal means to stop its sale or purchase.”

Heubusch also said that he’s been promised that George Washington University hospital administrators will launch a probe into “how something like this could possibly happen.”

Sixty-nine days after being sworn in, Reagan was attacked outside a Hilton Hotel in Washington by John Hinckley, Jr., a schizophrenic young man who later said he was trying to impress the actress Jodie Foster. The Secret Service rushed the president to George Washington University Hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery. Despite significant internal injuries and bleeding, Reagan recovered and was back at work at the White House only weeks later.

Reagan, of course, went on to become one of conservative America’s most beloved figures.

Now his fans can put in a bid for a 5-inch long, plasma-stained glass tube and an accompanying medical form listing Reagan’s patient identification number, age, sex, and the name of the hospital’s chief cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon. None of the boxes on the form indicating which tests should be done are ticked off, but instructions are written onto the page requesting the sample’s “lead level” be examined.

The anonymous seller provided online auctioneers with a “letter of provenance,” claiming that his mother, then a technician at Bio Science Laboratories in nearby Columbia, Md., was given permission by a supervisor to take the vial home at the end of the week Reagan was shot. When his parents died, the seller writes, the vial was passed on to him.

“About 3 to 4 months ago,” he continues, “I contacted the Reagan National Library (sic) and spoke to the head of the library, a Federal Agent. I told him what I had, how I came across it and so on. We spoke for about 45 minutes. The reason that I contacted the Reagan National Library was to see if they would like to purchase it from me. He indicated that if I was interested in donating it he would see to it that he would take care of all of the arrangements.”

But he wanted to sell it, and after finding that the “National Archives was not interested in what I had, nor was the Secret Service, the FBI and other agencies,” he decided to put it on the block.

“Pres. Reagan when he was my Commander in Chief when I was in the ARMY from ’87-’91,” the mystery man writes, “and that I was a real fan of Reaganomics and felt that Pres. Reagan himself would rather see me sell it rather than donating it.”

The auction opened on Wednesday, May 9, with a bid of 1,500 British pounds sterling ($2,370.90). By Tuesday morning, “Lot 160 – Ronald Reagan Blood Vial” had a new top offer of $11,977.60.

PFC Auctions is based on the island of Guernsey (an autonomous British protectorate and controversial tax haven, just off the northern coast of France).

For all interested parties, bidding expires Thursday, May 24, at 2 p.m. EDT. All submissions are considered official and cannot be altered. Payment, according to the PFC Auction website, is due within seven days of the date of your invoice.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
May212012

Ronald Reagan’s Blood for Sale -- Bid Now!

Dirck Halstead/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Thirty-one years after Ronald Reagan was shot and nearly killed by a would-be assassin, an online auction house on the island of Guernsey (an autonomous British protectorate and controversial tax haven just off the northern coast of France) is making available to the highest bidder a glass vial it says once held the president’s blood.

Sixty-nine days after being sworn in, Reagan was attacked outside a Hilton Hotel in Washington by John Hinckley, Jr., a schizophrenic young man who later said he was trying to impress the actress Jodie Foster. The Secret Service rushed the president to George Washington University Hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery. Despite significant internal injuries and bleeding, Reagan recovered and was back at work at the White House only weeks later.

Reagan, of course, went on to become one of conservative America’s most beloved figures.

Now fans can put in a bid for a 5-inch long, plasma-stained glass tube and an accompanying medical form listing Reagan’s patient identification number, age, sex, and the name of the hospital’s chief cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon. None of the boxes on the form indicating which tests should be done are ticked off, but instructions are written onto the page requesting the sample’s “lead level” be examined.

The anonymous seller provided online auctioneers with a “letter of provenance,” claiming that his mother, then a technician at Bio Science Laboratories in nearby Columbia, Md., was given permission by a supervisor to take the vial home at the end of the week Reagan was shot. When his parents died, the seller writes, the vial was passed on to him.

“About 3 to 4 months ago,” he continues, “I contacted the Reagan National Library (sic) and spoke to the head of the library, a Federal Agent. I told him what I had, how I came across it and so on. We spoke for about 45 minutes. The reason that I contacted the Reagan National Library was to see if they would like to purchase it from me. He indicated that if I was interested in donating it he would see to it that he would take care of all of the arrangements.”

But he wanted to sell it, and after finding that the “National Archives was not interested in what I had, nor was the Secret Service, the FBI and other agencies,” he decided to put it on the block.

The auction opened on Wednesday, May 9, with a bid of 1,500 British pounds sterling ($2,370.90). By late Monday, “Lot 160 -- Ronald Reagan Blood Vial” had a new top offer of $9,910.36.

For all our interested readers: Bidding expires this Thursday, May 24, at 2 p.m. EDT. All submissions are considered official and cannot be altered.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Apr112012

Titanic Treasures: Rare Memorabilia Set to Hit the Auction Block

Universal History Archive/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- An original Titanic launch ticket, currently valued at between $50,000 and $70,000, is among a series of Titanic-related items set to be auctioned off on April 15 by Bonhams auction house in New York. Also included in the lots are letters from survivors and memorabilia from the 1953 and 1997 films. The auction will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the ship’s sinking after it hit an iceberg only four days into its maiden voyage.

According to the Bonhams website, the ticket, which has the perforated admission stub still attached, is the only known one of its kind. Had it been used, it would have granted the bearer admission to the ship’s May 11, 1911, launch. Launched before it was fully equipped as a luxury liner, the Titanic was never christened, as per the policy of its operator, the White Star Line, a fact some attribute to the ship’s ill fate.

Another star lot is an account of the R.M.S. Carpathia’s rescue account of Titanic survivors, written by that ship’s captain, Arthur Henry Rostron. The account is projected to sell for anywhere between $90,000 and $120,000.

The supposedly unsinkable ship hit an iceberg on the night of April 14, sinking to the bottom of the ocean by the next morning. More than 2,000 people were aboard the luxury liner; 1,503 died in the incident, mostly from hypothermia. The wreckage of the ship, images of which can be seen here, wasn’t found until 1985.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan262012

President Obama’s Sedan Available for Auction on eBay

Courtesy Lisa Czibor(CHICAGO) -- Before he traveled in limousines and motorcades, President Obama shuttled himself to and from work at the Springfield, Ill., state house in a 2005 grey Chrysler sedan.

The owner of the car is now offering the ultimate piece of Obama memorabilia on eBay. The starting bid? A cool $1 million.

“How do you put a price on something like that?” Lisa Czibor, who is running the auction for a “friend of a friend,” told ABC News.

Obama leased the Chrysler 300C from 2004 until 2007, then traded it in for a hybrid vehicle.

After sitting on a Ford lot for a while, the car was sent to a Chrysler lot where its current owner purchased it.

“The guy who bought it found out it was Obama’s car,” Czibor said. “He put 1,600 miles on it and once Barack was elected president, he stopped driving it.”

The listing has received a lot of clicks, but no interested buyers have emerged.

“There are other cars that have sold for large amounts of money,” Czibor said.

She pointed to Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s 1977 white Peugeot, which sold for approximately $2.4 million at auction, Adolf Hitler’s convertible blue Mercedes, which sold for $8 million, and Pope John Paul II’s 1975 Ford, which sold for $690,000.

The auction ends on Feb. 1.

The car’s Kelly Blue Book value is $14,446 -- not including the presidential prestige.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec292011

Titanic Artifacts Set for Auction in 2012, 100 Years After Shipwreck

Oli Scarff/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The largest collection of artifacts from the Titanic -- the famous “unsinkable” ship that did just that in 1912 and went on to inspire the movie that was, until recently, the number one grossing movie of all time -- will be up for auction in 2012, the 100th anniversary of the original shipwreck.

The collection includes fine china, ship fittings, and portions of its hull -- with an estimated value of $189 million.

The auction will be held on April 1 at Guernsey’s, a New York City auction house. But the results won’t be announced until April 15 -- exactly 100 years to the day after the Titanic sank on its maiden voyage from England to New York City.

More than 1,500 of the 2,228 people on board died when the Titanic struck an iceberg, causing the ship’s descent to the bottom of the ocean.

The location of the Titanic was unknown until 1985, when it was discovered by Dr. Robert Ballard and his team of marine explorers roughly 400 miles off the shore of Newfoundland, Canada.

According to a 2010 ruling, RMS is required to make the artifacts available “to present and future generations for public display and exhibition, historical review, scientific and scholarly research, and educational purposes.”

The future owner of the collection must also abide by these conditions. In addition, the artifacts are to be sold as a complete collection.

There are many events commemorating the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the ill-fated ship. Titanic Memorial Cruises, a British company, is recreating the original shipwreck. The Titanic Anniversary Cruise will depart from Southampton, England, on April 10, just as the original did 100 years earlier. It will reach New York on April 18, a destination that so many passengers who died on the sunken ship never reached.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Nov172011

John F. Kennedy’s Last Rocking Chair Up for Auction

Heritage Auction House(DALLAS) -- A true piece of American memorabilia, reputedly the last chair John F. Kennedy ever sat in, is currently up for auction at Heritage Auction House.

At first glance it is just a simple wooden rocking chair, but a closer look reveals a small plaque on the back that attaches it to one of the most important moments in American history. The plaque reads “John F. Kennedy, Rice Hotel, November 21st, 1963,” the day before his assassination.

The chair, which the Heritage Auction House expects will sell for anywhere between $20,000 and $30,000, is from Kennedy’s personal suite at the Rice Hotel, which was refurbished just for him prior to his Nov. 21, 1963 visit.

The former president is officially documented as having sat in the chair in William Manchester’s book, Death of a President. According to the book, upon entering the room, “The president removed his coat and soggy shirt and sat in the rocker, leafing through a pile of newspapers.”

The Heritage Auction House website attests to its value, saying, “Given Kennedy’s itinerary for the remainder of the trip, which would last less than 24 hours, it seems certain that the Rice Hotel chair was the last rocking chair in which the president would ever sit.”

The chair will be up for live auction in Dallas on Nov. 30, 2011.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May122011

US Marshals to Auction Personal Items of 'Unabomber' Ted Kaczynski

U.S. Marshals(WASHINGTON) -- On May 18, the U.S. Marshals will begin auctioning the personal effects of Ted Kaczynski, also known as the Unabomber.

The auction, which will take place online at gsaauctions.gov will offer a catalogue consisting of approximately 60 lots of property, officials say.  Items such as Kaczynski's driver's licenses, photos, clothing and personal documents will be available for auction on the Web site.  Original handwritten and typewritten versions of the "Unibomber Manifesto" will also be sold.

Proceeds from the sale, which will run through June 2, will be used to compensate Kaczynski's victims by order of U.S. District Court Judge Garland Burrell.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 







ABC News Radio