Going, Going, Gone: Anderson Political Auction 166 Closing Next Week

Political auction: William Jennings Bryan pinback

The pin says it’s ‘A Winner,’ and it surely is.

When an Anderson Americana auction goes online at our house, it’s like Christmas no matter what month it is.

It’s easily searchable online, but we still get the full-color mailed version at my house as well. It’s still great to me to be able to hold the auction in my hands.

When Anderson Americana Auction 166 went online a few weeks ago, as usual, it was not a disappointment. It’s a treat from start to finish – from Lot 1, a Bryan Hobby Horse pin, to Lot 2404, a Barack Obama cast pass to Disney World. That’s more than 2,400 pieces of American political history.

This auction is closing in two parts — Jan. 29 and 31. Let’s take a look at five of the best, featured items in the auction. What ties them all together is that they are all large pins – all bigger than 2 inches in diameter. All of these items will be closing on the first night.

Lot No. 1 is first in the auction numerically, but also is arguably the best item in the auction. It’s the William Jennings Bryan Hobby Horse pin. There is a mate to this pin for William McKinley if the buyer wants to match them up at some point. This pin has great color and great artwork. It has a minimum bid of $5,250. It will be a great addition to any general or Bryan collection.

This TR pin has some spots, but it's exceedingly rare.

This TR pin has some spots, but it’s exceedingly rare.

Lot No. 2 in the auction is a very scarce Theodore Roosevelt and Charles W. Fairbanks jugate (two-photo) pin from the 1904 campaign. This 2 ¼ inch pin has a wonderful patriotic design. Although it is noted in the auction that it has a few minor spots and at one time had a ribbon attached, it still didn’t take long until it had an opening bid of $1,800.

The Bryan Enemies of Special Privilege is a lot of pin for the money.

The Bryan Enemies of Special Privilege is a lot of pin for the money.

Lot No. 3 in this auction has us visiting William Jennings Bryan’s campaigns again. This 2 ¼ inch color pin shows Bryan along with portraits of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln. It’s one of those unusual pins that touts someone of the opposite party than the standard bearer (Lincoln was a Republican, Bryan a Democrat). Around the edges, it says “Enemies of Special Privilege, Upholders of Equality Before the Law.” Under Bryan’s portrait, it says “The People’s Choice.” The minimum bid is $1,000 on this one. That’s a lot of pin for the money.

This ribbon badge was created for Franklin Roosevelt's first Inauguration in 1933.

This ribbon badge was created for Franklin Roosevelt’s first Inauguration in 1933.

The next one we’ll look at is Lot 45, a large Franklin Roosevelt Inaugural pin from March 4, 1933 – the last presidential Inauguration held in March. FDR’s portrait is in the center. Around the top and bottom it says “Okay America, You Bet – I’m With You.” Just $300 starts the bidding on this one. Items from this Inauguration have special meaning to me because I recall my mother telling me when I was younger that her dad took her to this event as a child.

It's simple, but it's a great Willkie pin.

It’s simple, but it’s a great Willkie pin.

Finally, Lot 56 is a Wendell Willkie caricature pin from 1940. Willkie was the Republican sacrificial lamb to FDR that year. Despite a plethora of pins put out by the Willkie campaign that year, Willkie did not fare well in November. This pin is one I have admired for years. It’s plain, it’s very simple, yet it’s quite nice. The $270 minimum was reached long before closing night.

Before this auction closes on Tuesday night, check it out at Anderson-auction.com. It’s a great place to browse some history, even if you aren’t bidding.




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