Fine Art & Antiques by Dr. Lori
High Prices for Presidential Collectibles
Posted March 2011
Year after year if you watched the State of the Union address, you may have noticed that the President, as he exits the House of Representatives chamber, signs programs of the printed speech provided to members of Congress. These and other Presidential collectibles can have strong interest in the market.
I know from my appraisal events that many of you have other presidential collectibles, from George Washington’s administration to the present. I always advise people to collect objects that chronicle a historic event as those objects will hold their value. So, what’s more historic than the story of our nation’s presidents?
Some of the most common collectibles relating to the presidential history relate to George and Martha Washington. For example, I have appraised Washington portraits, Mount Vernon plates and other collectibles. From historic documents with Washington’s authenticated autograph to plastic mugs featuring his likeness, Washington objects are of interest and most relate to the President’s courage in battle and vision for our young country.
Recently, I appraised a rare pair of dolls made by the Effanbee Company featuring George and Martha Washington in period costumes. The George doll was dressed in a tricorn hat and military garb typical of the 18th Century, and the Martha doll wore a lace-trimmed dress and pink overcoat. These collectible Washington dolls by Effanbee are worth $1,500.
Don’t just throw out those old dolls, particularly presidential or other celebrity-style dolls, from the attic. You could be trashing some real cash.
Presidents Jefferson, Lincoln and Jackson are arguably the most popular Presidents when it comes to the 19th Century antiques and collectibles market. For instance, Lincoln and Johnson campaign buttons have sold for upwards of $5,000.
Since the 1900s, President Theodore Roosevelt’s interesting personality and love of hunting was highlighted by some of the world’s toy companies during his administration. In 1909, the Schoenhut Toy Company manufactured the Teddy Roosevelt African safari set featuring a group of moveable action figures. The set came with a printed landscape scene and action figures of President Teddy and wild animals, from lions and tigers to giraffes and gorillas. Recently, this antique toy set sold for $44,000.
Typically, presidential collectibles are a good investment as long as your piece is authentic and of historical value. That means those “collectible” Obama action figure dolls will probably not command big bucks. Yet, those State of the Union programs that President Obama signed in the House Chamber on January 25, 2011, they’ll be worth about $25 by the time we go back to the polls in November of 2012.
Celebrity Ph.D. antiques appraiser, author, and award-winning TV personality, Dr. Lori presents antique appraisal events nationwide. As seen on NBC’s The Tonight Show and Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, Dr. Lori can be seen on the national TV morning show, Daytime. Visit www.DrLoriV.com, www.Facebook.com/DoctorLori, or call 888 431-1010.