Live Bidding Is Now Closed
Our Next Auction Opens Monday Sep 23rd  
Home |Sitemap|Contact Us| Past Auctions  
 How to Bid   Register to Bid   Auctions   Consign   About US 
Bidder Login

New Bidder Registration
Forgot your password?

The Current Auction
Bidding is Closed
Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction Preview
Begins Sep 23
Search
Advanced Search
By Item Number
Gallery Search
Past Auction Search
Bidding
How Do I Bid?
What is BidTracker™?
New Bidder Registration
The 30-Minute Rule
Terms and Conditions
New to RR Auction?
About Us
Testimonials
Register to Bid
Jobs at RR Auction
Press Releases
Consign to RR Auction
How to Consign
2019 Auction Calendar
Jan 9
Jan 17
Feb 6
Feb 21
Mar 6
Mar 14
Apr 10
Apr 18
May 8
May 16
May 23
Jun 12
Jun 20
Jul 10
Jul 18
Aug 7
Aug 15
Sep 12
Sep 20
Oct 10
Oct 17
Nov 6
Nov 21
Dec 4
Dec 12
  View All Dates & Deadlines

Item 77 - Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1933 Inaugural Top Hat Catalog 437 (Sep 2014)

Back To Previous Page
(we are no longer accepting bids on this item)
Minimum Bid: $2,500.00
Sold Price: $46,875.00 (includes buyer's premium)

Description


President Roosevelt’s personally-owned and -worn top hat, size 7 3/8, worn for his first presidential inauguration on March 4, 1933. The impressive format top hat is made of high quality beaver fur with a white silk lining and leather inner band, with the president’s full name, “Franklin Delano Roosevelt,” embossed in gold lettering on the left side of the leather band and on the inner crown. Includes the original storage box, constructed of leather-wrapped wood with a dark green smooth satin lining, embossed on the front in gold lettering, “F. D. R.,” and stamped by the maker, “Cross.” Includes a detailed full-page letter of provenance on White House letterhead from Mildred Prettyman, a White House worker and the widow of Arthur S. Prettyman. Her husband had served as Franklin D. Roosevelt’s valet from 1939 until the president's death in 1945, and continued working for Harry S. Truman until he left office in 1953. Mrs. Prettyman describes the close relationship between her husband and FDR, in part: "President Roosevelt said of his Valets, 'You are my lifeline, the keeper of my keys.' The President did not mean real keys, but the keys to FDR's secrets." Discussing this specific piece, she writes: “It gives me pleasure to present to you a beautiful black Inaugural top hat, owned and used by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The Inaugural top hat with the original box came to my husband, Arthur S. Prettyman, along with other important F. D. R. personal items…In addition to the President’s Inauguration, he would wear his top hat to various occasions, such as formal dinners and receptions.”

Roosevelt wore top hats to his 1933, 1937, and 1941 inauguration ceremonies; the latter two hats are accounted for in institutional collections. This 1933 Inauguration top hat is in absolutely splendid condition. Franklin Pierce began the tradition by wearing a top hat for his presidential inauguration in 1853, with nearly every president thereafter following suit through Nixon, with Eisenhower and Johnson being notable exceptions. This FDR 1933 formal hat topped off the stylish ensemble worn by Roosevelt for his 1933 inauguration, which included striped trousers, fur-trimmed morning coat, cane, and pince-nez spectacles. FDR rode to the ceremony in an open-topped car alongside President Hoover, and is seen in numerous pictures with the hat—wearing it and animatedly waving it to the crowd gathered along the street—as they made their way to the East Portico of the Capitol, where he would receive the oath of office from Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes. Once sworn in, President Roosevelt delivered a speech that remains one of the most well-known in American political history, opening with the strong and oft-quoted assertion 'that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.' With the nation embroiled in economic depression and the world facing the specter of fascism's rise, Roosevelt's inauguration marked a crucial turning point around the globe—and this iconic hat, FDR's most prominent article of clothing on that day, is a monumental relic of this critical moment in history.

Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.


You must be a registered user and logged in to view Past Auction Item Images

If you do not currently have an account, click here to go to our secure registration page.

Important Information


Tips For Consignors

Auctions

For a complete list of auction beginning and ending dates, check our dates and deadlines page.