Collectors love scandal... And can't get enough of Richard M Nixon
Four decades since his resignation over Watergate, ex-President Nixon is still loved by collectors
If it's scandal you want, look no further than Tricky Dicky...
It is now 37 years since President Richard M. Nixon was forced to resign following damaging revelations in the Watergate scandal.
Amid allegations of covert bugging and election sabotage, Nixon's fate as a scourge of American pride was sealed. Today, he remains the only US President to have ever resigned.
And so to was his considerable legacy on the collectible markets, for no reason more complex than that people love a villain.
Take Nixon's most recent appearance on the collectors' markets: a 1967 critique of future president Richard Nixon by media consultant Jack Bynam.
The report mentions Nixon's "loose fingers, hanging downward from bent wrists moving toward the camera in a swimming motion are confusing, and have grotesque connotations."
Bynam's criticisms were harsh but constructive, and presumably worked considering that Nixon won the US Presidency the following year.
The document is clearly of great historical interest, and is set to auction with a $4,000 estimate.
Given Nixon's notoriety, there will surely be great interest in the piece. But you could buy a document related to Nixon's actual resignation for even less.
Currently on the markets is an 8" x 5" souvenir page printed with a mock Whitehouse letterhead, dated August 9, 1974, the day Nixon resigned.
It features the famous communication to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger: "Dear Mr. Secretary: I hereby resign the Office of President of the United States."
It seems bizarre that Nixon would sign a mocked-up version of the letter that destroyed his political career - nevertheless the signature is definitely his. Perhaps he had more of a sense of humour than people gave him credit for.
Nixon has signed at the conclusion in black ink, and it is for sale on the markets priced at £1,200.
As rare pieces like this show, Richard M Nixon might be a villain of political history, but he remains an icon for collectors.
Watch this space for upcoming news on RR Auction's sale of Jack Bynam's Nixon letter, which ends on August 10.
- Click here to view our books and manuscripts for sale
- Learn how you can get pleasure and profit by investing in political documents
- Read all the latest Autographs and Manuscripts news
Recent and related articles...
Led by a $40,000 set of Ted Kaczynski's journals, the proceeds will benefit his victims
Born today in 1838, the Confederate sympathiser shot his victim in a Washington DC theatre
· Reggie's conversion and Ronnie's canvas: Kray collectibles coming soon | 5 February 2011
The Gorringes sale could reward collectors with an interest in the gangland and guns
· Say hello to his $25,000 'little friend' - Scarface's gun stars at auction | 11 September 2010
The machine gun wielded by Al Pacino's iconic gangster Tony Montana has been sold by RM Auctions
· A life spent in death sentences - the Albert Pierrepoint collection | 10 September 2010
A look at the books and memorabilia of Britain's longest-serving executioner
Image: RR Auction