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Item 146 - Harry S. Truman’s Presidential Seal Catalog 437 (Sep 2014)

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(we are no longer accepting bids on this item)
Minimum Bid: $400.00
Sold Price: $12,500.00 (includes buyer's premium)


President Truman’s personally-owned magnificent hand-painted heavy plaster presidential seal kept on his bedside table at the White House, measuring 15.5″ in diameter and just over 1″ thick, featuring the bald eagle raised in high relief with a patriotic shield on its chest, clutching an olive branch and bundle of arrows in its talons, with the motto “E Pluribus Unum” inset in black lettering on a banner clenched in its beak. A ring of 48 white stars encircles the eagle, and the rim is painted in two-tone gold with raised navy blue lettering, “Seal of the President of the United States.” The seal is set into a presidential blue suede mat and framed with a nameplate to an overall size of 21.5 x 23.5.

Includes a letter of provenance on White House letterhead from best selling author Lillian Rogers Parks, who was a housekeeper and seamstress at the White House for over 30 years, from Presidents Hoover through Eisenhower. In part: "This Presidential Seal was kept on the corner by President Truman's bed. It was sitting on a stand on top of his radio. He took great pride in the Presidential Seal. Perhaps, in part, because he standardized the design. The President did this by Executive Order on October 25, 1945. The Eagle previously faced the Arrows. President Truman reversed this so that it faced the Olive Branch. He also had the banner with the motto, 'E Pluribus Unum' changed so that the motto was grasped in the Eagles beak. And, he added the 48 stars representing each State at that time so that they would circle the Seal…President Truman's bedroom was painted pastel green and blue. He slept in an antique four-poster bed which he had taken to replace the modified hospital bed of President Franklin D. Roosevelt…At 5:30 am President Truman would awake. He was off on one of his famous morning walks within the hour. At 2:00 pm, after lunch, the President went upstairs for a nap. He could go to sleep at the drop of a hat. This Presidential Seal was nearby. I do not know for certain if he used this Seal on his speaking lecturn or during the 1948 'Whistlestop Campaign'…The President gave me this Presidential Seal which sat beside his bed shortly before leaving the Presidency. He said, 'I know your Mother served our Presidents and First Ladies before you. And I know you have been working here for a long time too. I thought you might like to have this.' I was quite surprised. It was an honor to accept such a personal gift." Also accompanied by a photocopied image of Truman’s bedroom, in which the seal can be seen next to his bed. A monumental presidential seal offering of the most elite order, deserving of a place in an accomplished collection.

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