Reagan signed Berlin wall fragment makes $277,500

A signed piece of the Berlin wall was among the highlights of the wildly successful Ronald and Nancy Reagan auction at Christie's on September 22.

The former president has signed the fragment in black felt tip.

Reagan Berlin wall
Reagan gave a famously rousing speech in front of the Berlin wall in 1987

It made $277,500, achieving a staggering increase of 1,287% on a $20,000 estimate.

In a speech in West Berlin in 1987, Reagan exhorted Russian premiere Mikhail Gorbachev to "tear down this wall" to the cheers of the assembled crowd.

While the Soviet Union was already crumbling, Reagan's words acted as a clarion call. The US and the USSR began slowly to mend years of distrust.

Two years later the wall came down and the Cold War was effectively over.

This wasn't the only item in the auction to dramatically exceed its estimate - in fact the majority of the pieces on offer sold for around 10 times their valuation.

A pair of cowboy boots given to Reagan as a gift by "the Arizona Cowboy" Rex Allen made $199,500, despite an estimate of $20,000.

Allen had appeared at a drive for Reagan's presidential campaign in 1980.

Reagan complimented Allen on his boots and was told he'd get his own pair (complete with presidential seal) if he won office.

The following year Allen was as good as his word.

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