♪ ♪ CORAL PEÑA: "Antiques Roadshow Recut" wants to know which of these treasures gets your vote for best political souvenir?
MAN: I was the White House photographer for John Kennedy.
PEÑA: Stay tuned for these moments and more.
It's the first part of "Antiques Roadshow Recut: Politically Collect."
♪ ♪ PEÑA: "Antiques Roadshow Recut" is highlighting objects connected to Americans who reached the highest office in the land, starting off with a piece of history tied to founding father President George Washington.
I've got a Revolutionary War discharge signed by George Washington for a man named James Columbus.
You certainly have.
This is a genuine... Washington discharge papers with all the old tape work on the back and tears, just as a veteran would have carried it around in his pocket.
Washington's signature, we see.
And we've got "1777 through June 1783."
My mom, she found it in a black tin box after her aunt died, and she thinks it's been in her family for a long time.
These things do appear at sale.
This is a beautiful example.
I see you've kept it in a Mylar folder.
I guess you've prepared this catalogue entry at the back, which is great.
But have you shown it to any friends or to...?
Well, yeah, actually, one day about two years ago, we took it in for show-and-tell and my mom-- she really didn't know what it was worth back then-- so she took it around and she passed it to all the kids and said, "You're touching something George Washington touched," and here's my mom and the teacher in a big argument of how it's real or not.
This was at your school?
Yeah, the teacher didn't think it was real.
Your teacher didn't believe this was real?
No, she didn't believe it.
Oh, I'm amazed.
She thought it was a fake.
No, it's as genuine as can be.
Do you have any idea what it's worth?
Well, someone told my mom that it could be worth thousands of dollars, but I'm really not sure.
Well, it is worth some thousands of dollars, yes, and they routinely go for between $6,000 and $10,000.
And I'm giving you an auction price now.
We're looking at a, sort of a rare model of a circa 1888 or 1890 rocker, which is a spring-seat rocker with a rare patent cast-iron mechanism underneath.
It's probably made by the Hunzinger Company in New York.
Of course, the great thing about your chair, which all the other chairs don't have, is a little brass plaque which is right at the back of the seat here, and it's inscribed: "Chair used by Benjamin Harrison "when president of the United States, and presented by him to Colonel William Crook, March 1893."
So this was actually used, of course, by President Harrison and given to his friend with the unfortunate last name of Mr. Crook.
And so tell me how you actually acquired this chair.
Well, it was in the family.
I don't know exactly how it got in the family.
I noticed it as a young boy, and I asked my parents if I could go ahead and be the keeper of the chair, and they said, "Fine, it's yours," so... That's great, so, have you been using this ever since, or do...
I noticed you replaced the seat.
Yes, I have it at a nice desk in the house.
I don't use it that much.
This chair has a great provenance with this 19th-century plaque, and it has a good history with it.
And it's probably worth, if it came up in public auction, probably in the area of about $5,000.
Yes, yeah, absolutely.
Well, that is very interesting.
So I'm glad you've taken such good care of it.
WOMAN: We inherited them from my husband's great-aunt, who passed away when she was 99 years old.
These were found in a trunk that she had left for us.
These are soup bowls from a service of china that was made for the White House under the administration of Rutherford B. Hayes.
Mrs. Hayes was going to order some dessert plates for the White House.
And she met an artist and reporter for "Harpers Weekly" named Theodore R. Davis, and she ended up commissioning him to design a whole service of china for the White House in collaboration with Haviland and Company in Limoges, France.
There's a green mark that says "H & Co.," which is Haviland and Company, and then there's a red mark that also says "Haviland" along with some French words, which indicates it was decorated by the Haviland Company.
We've got the signature of Theodore R. Davis, who was the designer, along with a patent date for 1880.
Also on it is the American eagle shield.
All the designs on each piece in the service were some type of American scene.
Now, these pieces here were not actually in the White House.
When the service was ordered, and it was ordered through a jewelry store in Washington, DC, which was the representative for Haviland.
So it went through that jewelry store.
And they ordered a bunch of extra pieces in addition to the ones that were ordered for the White House, which they then sold in their store.
The pieces like this were very expensive when they were new.
The most common pieces from this service are oyster plates, believe it or not, and also dinner plates.
But there are other pieces that do turn up.
There are people who specialize in collecting White House-related china, and this is one of the most celebrated services.
Some of these soup bowls recently sold for $4,800 each.
Now, this one has a chip on it.
And a rather crude repair.
It does affect the value.
So my estimate for this piece would be less.
The good one would bring between $4,000 and $5,000 and the other one between $3,000 and $4,000.
Oh, my goodness.
So you reached into that trunk and you pulled out some major money, and you didn't even know it.
No, not at all, no-- wow.
My great-great-uncle received this from the White House somehow.
We don't know how he received it.
Which president's administration was this in?
We were told President Coolidge.
Well, he was in the White House from 1923 to 1929, which was the Art Deco period in art history, and this is a great example of American-made Art Deco glass, of which there really isn't very much.
At that point, most of the art glass makers were still working in the Art Nouveau style.
The Europeans were working in Art Deco, but not the Americans.
But it's good quality, and I wanted to show how you open one of the points here so that you can change the light bulb.
What happens with administrations is, the next president comes in, he doesn't like the way the decoration looks, and he brings in a new decorator, and I'm sure that's what happened with this.
Because of its historical significance and because it is an unusual form, I would put $2,500 to $3,500 on this piece.
Okay, well, thank you very much.
Thank you for bringing it.
WOMAN: My great-grandfather started this button collection.
They had an antique shop about 50 years ago, and he was really into politics, and then after he died, my grandfather added to it and had it.
APPRAISER: Is that your grandfather there?
Yeah, this is my grandfather with Dan Quayle.
We've had it in our family forever, and it's been through a fire and a tornado also, so... And survived all of that.
Doesn't seem to have done much damage to the buttons.
I love political buttons.
I think that they're a microcosm of political history for the 20th century.
This collection is almost like a textbook of political button history, because it goes right back to the start, the first time they were available.
It was in the McKinley campaign in the 1890s.
Unfortunately, those are among the most common of political buttons, of the older ones, because such a tremendous volume of them were made.
It was a novelty.
Before pin-back buttons, people used to wear either daguerreotypes, or they would even have clothing buttons that would have their candidate's name on it.
But since the turn of the century, the political button has just dominated the political advertising, until television came in.
These are called jugates, which means that there's two candidates on it, the running mate and the presidential candidate.
You're looking in the range of anywhere from $75 to $100 for buttons like this.
This is a famous series of buttons called "flashers."
They were made by a company called Variview in White Plains, New York.
This particular button is for Grover Cleveland.
We get buttons for Grover Cleveland, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, because whole series of them were produced.
There's a famous series that was done by Kleenex; there was another one that was done by one of the gas companies.
Every time you pulled in for gas back in the '50s, you got a political button.
We usually get full sets of these coming in.
And people, you know, going all the way back to George Washington.
Um, the 20th-century ones are interesting because they've taken real buttons and actually reproduced some very valuable buttons.
But it's obvious, because it says on the curl either the name of the oil company or it says "Kleenex" on the curl.
All of these are... they're not even reproductions, because there was nothing there to reproduce.
We call these more like fantasy pieces.
So all of these have just minimal value-- a few dollars each as a curiosity.
But some of these that you have through here, as I said, are in the hundreds.
On the whole, you have about $2,000 to $3,000 worth of real political buttons here.
Yeah, there are some very nice ones... Wow.
...in with the reproductions.
WOMAN: These were given to me by a friend, and my friend's grandmother sent these binoculars to the United States government just at the start of the First World War, when they asked for binoculars, telescopes, whatever would "be the eyes of the Navy" during that war.
And they sent her documentation with a check for one dollar as a rental fee.
And if they were able to return it at the end of the war, then the rental fee became a purchase fee, or, rather, vice versa.
APPRAISER: And this letter here actually mentions "the enclosed check, payable to your order."
You're right, there was this program called "Eyes for the Navy."
It wasn't at the beginning of the war.
It was actually shortly after the U.S. entered the war, but it wasn't until 1918.
And a lot of citizens responded.
Your friend's grandmother here has noted that she loaned her binoculars to the Navy.
And they actually got used.
They were sent to France.
We have the tag that got attached to them.
She got a thank-you note from the assistant secretary of the Navy.
No big deal except that...
The assistant secretary of the Navy at the time was Franklin Roosevelt.
He did climb the political ladder before he became president.
(laughs) At the end of the war, what happened to the binoculars?
They sent them back to her, which is amazing.
(laughing) So, at one time, at least, the government was efficient.
We've seen letters like this with some frequency.
Obviously, a lot of patriotic citizens responded to this call and did send eyeglasses, spectacles, binoculars, spyglasses.
And over the last ten or 15 years...
I looked in the auction records, and about a dozen of these have been sold, none for more than $500.
But what I think is interesting is the evidence that the binoculars were used by the Navy during the war, and the binoculars themselves.
I think that enhances the value significantly.
I'd say it brings it up to something in the range of $2,000 to $3,000.
Because it's so unusual-- a lot of people would keep the letter because it had Roosevelt's signature, but most people wouldn't keep the envelopes, the other documents, the tag, and probably not many of them could have gotten the binoculars back.
(laughs) I didn't realize before there was this dollar fee, so not only do the people who come to the Roadshow learn things, the appraisers do, also.
So I appreciate it.
WOMAN: My Aunt Roxanna's family came from Croton Falls, New York, and was, I think, a neighbor of the Bagioli family.
And the Bagioli family had a daughter that married a General Sickles, who was in the Civil War.
And they were friends of the Abraham Lincolns.
And when General Sickles and his wife, Theresa, had a child, Mrs. Lincoln gave them a gift and it was this necklace.
This necklace came to be given by Mrs. Bagioli to my great-grandmother, and it came down the family.
The back of the locket, there's engraving.
to..." Laura Bagioli Sickles.
Which would be "L.B.S."
S. That's the important part.
This, as a necklace, is only worth about $800.
But this necklace is more significant than that.
APPRAISER 2: General Daniel Sickles was one the great generals of the Union during the Civil War.
He lost a leg at Gettysburg.
But the fact that he was one-legged didn't hamper his love life, apparently, because he was quite famous as a lady-killer.
He was the lover of Queen Isabella II of Spain.
There are so many Lincoln relics where the history is rather vague, and the pieces don't quite fit together.
These pieces absolutely fit together.
I know the story of General Sickles very well, because he's a great favorite with all of us, because he was a rogue, as well as being a great military man.
I found it very interesting that Mrs. Lincoln obviously liked him, also.
And so, when he had a daughter, she presented them with this necklace.
I would like to know a little bit more about this daughter who received the necklace.
She had a sad life because her mother had an affair with the son of Francis Scott Key.
APPRAISER 2: Yes, right.
And that was not acceptable.
And the mother then was ostracized from society, but yet the father, General Sickles, had tons of affairs and that was okay, which really is irritating.
And he got away with shooting Francis Scott Key's son.
Berj Zavian has given you an auction estimate on the necklace as a piece of jewelry, of about $800.
Now, we have to take into account, on this piece, the historical significance, as well.
And I would say that the historical significance more than doubles the value of that.
I think this is a piece worth $2,500 to $3,500, because of this very fine Lincoln provenance.
MAN: I was the White House photographer for John Kennedy.
Started the job in inaugural day of 1961.
Stayed with him until Dallas.
I was in Dallas during the horrible assassination.
I was in one of the cars in the motorcade, five cars back.
Heard three very distinct reports, sounded like rifle shots.
A few minutes later, I was on my way to the Air Force One.
I had seen Vice President Johnson leaving the hospital, and I asked where he was going, and someone said, "The president's going to Washington."
So that meant that Kennedy had expired in the hospital, where I was standing outside the operating room door there.
And I said, "So am I."
And I picked up my camera and went out to the plane.
And when I got there, the press secretary, acting press secretary, Malcolm Kilduff, said, "Thank God you're here, Cecil."
He said, "The president's going to take his oath on the plane "and you're going to have to service the wires with the photograph."
So I took the only photograph of the swearing-in that you see.
This is what was happening here, the swearing-in, an image that we all know so well.
It's an icon of the 20th-century imagery.
You were with the military.
Yes, I was a captain in the Army at the time.
I was acting as a government employee.
Okay, now, have you ever been acknowledged for taking such a famous image?
Well, once in a while, they've used my name, but for the most part, after the initial caption that I wrote myself in Dallas, I included my name as the photographer.
Good for you.
To make sure that... and the "New York Times," when they ran it the next day, used my name, so I was established legacy-wise at that point.
But from then on, it became an A.P.
Or a U.P.I.
And it annoyed my family considerably that I wasn't being given credit.
So you're acknowledging me now.
Well, we're very happy to.
This is an earlier photograph, and this photo's inscribed to you on Christmas Day 1962.
The routine during Christmas was to spend the week or ten days in Palm Beach.
The president had a home down there, or his father did.
And the press would go, and it would be the winter White House in Palm Beach.
And so when I came back to my desk in the White House after having been down there for a week, I found a Christmas-wrapped package, and Mrs. Kennedy had given me this photograph as a Christmas present.
And the president and she both signed it.
It's incredible, it's incredible.
You can read the inscription.
Yeah, it says, "For Cecil Stoughton-- "who took this photograph-- "with appreciation and best wishes always, Jacqueline Kennedy."
And then it's signed "John Kennedy" below.
You know, with Kennedy signatures, the thing that we're always concerned about is whether he signed it or not.
And in this case, there's no question.
You've had a strong relationship with them in the years you worked there.
And here, we should add also, of real significance is the fact that you are acknowledged by Lyndon B. Johnson with his inscription to you.
It says, "To Cecil Stoughton, with high regards and appreciation, Lyndon B.
I must tell you, on the 25th of November was the funeral for the president.
And three days after that was Thanksgiving.
Our family, we were all gathered together around the table getting ready to eat, and a waiter came up to me and said, "You've got a phone call from the White House."
And I went to the phone, and it was Jack Valenti saying, "He wants you in the office right now.
He wants to take his picture."
So I gave up my Thanksgiving dinner and drove madly back to the White House and made this photograph of Johnson sitting at his desk.
In order to have some kind of activity, I asked him if he would sign the pictures.
So he's signing this picture, and that's the picture that he's signing.
So this picture is lying right there.
It's difficult when we talk about value with such iconic images.
And also, these are unique.
They're inscribed to you by the president, or president and first lady, so they are unique, and obviously irreplaceable.
Bearing that in mind, and your association as having been the photographer, I would value, for insurance value, the photograph of LBJ taking the oath at $50,000.
That sounds great.
The Kennedy image, which also is iconic, although less historically important-- obviously, what was happening with LBJ was a historic moment-- this is a much more relaxed moment of Kennedy and his family.
We would insure this one at $25,000.
The photo of LBJ is really more supporting of this image.
So I wouldn't really assign that any significant value.
So together, I would put the value at-- for insurance-- at $75,000.
And it's an honor to meet you.
And these images I knew of my entire life, and I appreciate your work and I'm glad you finally have some recognition.
Well, thank you very much.
PEÑA: This is "Antiques Roadshow Recut: WOMAN: It was given to me by a friend, and it was given to him by an uncle around 1950.
APPRAISER: It was a presidential campaign drum.
It's from the campaign of Zachary Taylor and Lewis Cass.
It's really rare.
It's 155 years old, and it's survived beautifully.
You can see the stars, 13 stars, and an American eagle.
And Zachary Taylor was an officer, a hero, during the Mexican War.
"Rough and Ready" was his slogan.
Later drums had little iron attachments for the ropes.
And a drum of this period has holes, and the ropes went through the holes, and these tightened the drum.
These are leather tighteners.
And these are the original hand-carved wooden drumsticks.
We actually have used those to stir paint with.
And then kind of thought about it, and then cleaned them off.
Don't stir paint with them anymore, no.
Don't stir paint with them anymore.
If I had this drum, I think I'd want between $10,000 and $15,000 for it.
Well, it's a wonderful thing, 155... Well, you know, it's very historically important.
Would these be original ropes on here?
They could have been replaced.
Could have been replaced, okay.
I saw you looking in this hole.
That's a percussion hole.
When they beat the drum...
The air came out that hole.
But opposite that hole would have been the maker's label, and you can see where it was, but it's long gone.
So even looking like this, this is great condition.
Oh, it's wonderful...
I wouldn't touch it.
♪ ♪ PEÑA: Thanks for watching.
We hope you've enjoyed this episode of "Antiques Roadshow Recut."