Sunday, May 22, 2011

George Washington items bring more than $206k

MALAYSIAN BLOGGERS :DALLAS - GEORGE Washington's compass and an assortment of other personal items, including pieces of his coffin, sold at auction on Saturday for more than US$167,000 (S$206,800).

The items passed down through generations of Washington's family were among hundreds related to the first US president offered for sale by Heritage Auctions in Dallas. They were put up for auction by descendants of Washington's brother Bushrod. The first president had no direct descendants.

Nat Washington, a longtime state senator in Washington who died in 2007, had said in his will that he wanted the items sold.

The top lot was George Washington's compass, which fetched US$59,750, and a Gunter's Scale, a 60cm wooden ruler that was a precursor to the slide rule, that brought nearly US$42,000. Both items sold for more than expected.

'The marvelous provenance of these pieces, having come straight from the descendants of Bushrod Washington himself, who became the custodian of Mount Vernon after Washington's death in 1799, certainly lent itself to these pieces having realised such significant prices,' said Tom Slater, Heritage's director of Americana Auctions.

'These are singular pieces of the sort that are not likely to show up again on the open market for a very long time. Collectors realised this and adjusted their bids accordingly.' The auction company said the buyers asked to remain anonymous. -- AP

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