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The Return of Political Collecting’s ‘French’ Connection

Political collecting: Tom French and business partner Nathan Sims.

Tom French and business partner Nathan Sims.

There’s a new guy in town in the political collectibles world.

Actually, the new guy isn’t really new. Tom French has been around the hobby for decades, but when he closed down his auctions and political collectibles website in 2008 it came as quite a surprise to most. And a disappointment. But now, more than four years later, French is back, with business partner Nathan Sims. Sims had worked with French before in his previous political Americana business – Political Heritage.

French’s political collecting interests go back many years, as he says on his new website:

“My political awakening took place during the tumultuous years of the late 1960s, a time when young men and women became involved in politics as never before,” he said. “That moment also gave birth to my passion for collecting. It was a natural progression: from the love of history, to the realization that politics was history-in-the-making, to the discovery of a hobby devoted to the study and preservation of political memorabilia. As my political awareness grew, so too did my appreciation of the roots of our democratic traditions, and my fascination with the artifacts that have accumulated along the way.”

A few items from the USAmericana.com auction coming up in April.

A few items from the USAmericana auction coming up in April.

USAmericana.com went live online on Sunday, Jan. 20 – appropriately on the traditional Inauguration Day. The site has an online store area, and promises to have an auction section in the future. French’s auctions in the past were known for great items and very clear photography. The first auction will close April 24, and a preview of the items can be seen on the website.

While French has continued to go to political collectibles shows across the country the past four years, his auctions and websites were missed in the hobby. There are lots of collectors out there who are happy to see him return.


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