Teddy Roosevelt hunting knife valued at $300,000

A hunting knife belonging to Teddy Roosevelt is selling at Rock Island Auctions on September 9-11.

The extraordinary lot was presented to the president by his friend the New York Supreme Court Justice James W Gerard in 1909, shortly before Roosevelt left office.  

Roosevelt knife
The extraordinary knife was made by J Russell & Co of Massachussets

It cost Gerard around $1,250 - that's $33,000 today.

It's now valued at around $150,000-300,000.

Gerard instructed him "to carry [it] with him on his African hunting trip"

The "safari" was undertaken to outfit the Smithsonian's natural history museum with specimens. Roosevelt and friends managed to kill over 11,000 animals of varying size and species.

No doubt the knife proved useful.

The consignor explains how the knife came into his possession: "In August, 1976 Mrs. Derby [Roosevelt's daughter] brought it from Oyster Bay to Seattle as a gift to me as I was about to marry her granddaughter.

"Mrs. Derby, who was 85 at the time, told us of carrying the knife in her purse as she attempted to board the plane at Kennedy Airport, thereupon setting off the alarms and bringing guards running.

"They apparently were amazed when they examined the knife and learned its story. In the end, the knife was handed to the pilot, who kept it in the cockpit and returned it to Mrs. Derby after they landed in Seattle."

In 2010 Roosevelt's Fox 12-guage shotgun sold for $862,500, making it one of the most valuable guns ever sold.

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