Oswald’s coffin goes for $87,468

The bidding for Lee Harvey Oswald’s original coffin was quite brisk at the end. Thirty-six people were in the bidding, and the price leapt from $23,000 this morning to $37,000 two hours before closing to the final hammer price of $73,000.

The deadline for bidding was originally set to be 7:00 PM, but the auction house extended the sale until 10:00 to allow the last three competitors to duke it out. The rest of the $87,000 is the 20% buyer’s premium that goes to the auction house.

The buyer has chosen to remain anonymous thus far, although there were rumblings that he might make a statement today.

Laura Yntema, Nate D. Sanders Auctions, with Oswald's original coffinAuction house officials declined Friday to release the name of the bidder who successfully purchased Lee Harvey Oswald’s wooden coffin, saying the purchaser would make an announcement in the coming weeks.

“It’s something he wants to do himself,” said Laura Yntema, manager of the Santa Monica, Calif.-based Nate D. Sanders Auctions.

Yntema declined to offer information about the winning bidder, other than it was an individual collector rather than a museum.

The other JFK assassination memorabilia at the auction also sold extremely well. The piece of blood-stained leather from JFK’s limo sold for $19,036. The first draft of Oswald’s death certificate with Jack Ruby’s name crossed out sold for $49,374.

On a more whimsical note, check out this both insane and awesome blog post from Booktryst’s Stephen J. Gertz who actually got to clamber inside and take a quick nap inside the coffin.

Reporters were enlisted to act as Oswald's pallbearers


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Comment by Hels
2010-12-18 11:11:23

I can absolutely understand why JFK assassination memorabilia would fascinate historians and museums, but I am not sure Lee Harvey Oswald’s original coffin fits in this category. I suppose anything even _connected_ with the JFK story will be snapped up by collectors.

Comment by livius drusus
2010-12-18 14:21:59

Indeed. It’s definitely not your usual memorabilia, even of a macabre event like the JFK assassination. I’m looking forward to the statement from the buyer.

Comment by edahstip
2010-12-18 14:30:51

Internet gnomes ate my earlier post. :angry:

Comment by livius drusus
2010-12-18 14:42:10

Damn their tiny black hearts.

Comment by Anonymous
2012-02-23 10:49:14

well the world nows he didnt do on his own, he took the wrapp.and they shot him mighty fast so he wouldnt tell ,why shouldnt their coffins be thought as the same ,there is a story and he knows judgement day is coming soon and maybe hell be able to really say what and who really wanted JFK assasinated

2016-06-06 22:21:51

To be frank, I’m quite shocked that such an item should come up for auction. Was he not given a Christian burial? Whatever he did or didn’t do, doesn’t he have the right to rest in peace?

I never thought about it before, but who does one’s coffin belong to after one is dead? Who, in this case, had the right to dig it up and sell it?

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