John Wayne 'Grit' eyepatch to appear at auction

The eyepatch worn by John Wayne in True Grit, his most iconic role, is to appear in an online auction which ends on May 29.

An oscar-winning collectible

The patch was worn by Wayne's character Rooster Cogburn in the 1969 western. It was this performance that won the actor the only Academy Award of his career, a success which Wayne himself attributed to the patch.

In his acceptance speech for the Oscar, Wayne exclaimed: "Wow! If I'd known… I'd have put that patch on 35 years earlier!"

The star would wear the eyepatch again in 1975 for True Grit's sequel, Rooster Cogburn. Shortly after filming, Wayne donated it to a charity auction for the Southern California Chamber Symphony Society. 

The fantastic item comes to auction complete with a letter of provenence from Wayne himself, which was written ahead of the original charity sale. Dated November 4, 1975 on Wayne's personal stationary, the letter reads:

"Dear Friend: Please let this certify that the enclosed 'eyepatch' is one which I wore during the filming of 'True Grit' and 'Rooster Cogburn'. Now that my eye is better I'm happy to donate it to such a worthy cause - the Southern California Chamber Symphony Society auction. Wear it in good health! Sincerely [signed] John Wayne".

The auction house can expect renewed interest in True Grit related items, following a successful 2010 re-make of the film. With less than 48 hours left to go in the sale, bids have already reached $11,000.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has a brilliant photograph of Rooster Cogburn signed by John Wayne. Like the eyepatch, we ensure that all our items have unrivalled provenance so you can feel confident in your purchase.

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