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Item 2012 - Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Presidential Limousine Lap Robe Catalog 447 (Feb 2015)

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Minimum Bid: $500.00
Sold Price: $7,500.00 (includes buyer's premium)


Rare fantastic quality light brown woolen limousine lap robe used by Herbert Hoover and Franklin D. Roosevelt together on the occasion of FDR’s inauguration in 1933. The presidential lap robe blanket measuring approximately 69 x 48, is crafted from an extremely high quality material and lined with a contrasting color brown fur-like fabric for warmth. An impressive and large 6.5″ diameter presidential seal adorns one corner, expertly embroidered using vibrantly colored threads and adding an attractive 3D effect to the blanket. In fine condition. Includes a detailed and historic letter of provenance on White House letterhead from F. Vaughn Ferguson, who was a technical service representative at the White House. Mr. Ferguson’s sole role at the White House was to oversee the care of the presidential limousine, where this lap robe was used. In part: “This tan wool Presidential Limousine Lap Robe dates back to at least President Hoover. It was used Inauguration Day 1933 by outgoing President Hoover and the newly elected President Franklin D. Roosevelt, as well as on many other historical occasions…The Lap Robe was used by Presidents Herbert Hoover, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and President Harry Truman used it for at least a year or so.” Accompanied by an image of Herbert Hoover and Franklin D. Roosevelt together under this lap robe on the day of the inauguration, March 4, 1933, and a photocopy of a newspaper article about Ferguson.

The inauguration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt marked an important transition of power at the height of the Great Depression, with FDR’s promise of a ‘New Deal’ for the American people soon to begin. FDR rode to the inauguration in an open-topped limousine alongside President Hoover—both kept warm by this inordinately rare presidential lap robe—as they made their way to the East Portico of the Capitol, where Roosevelt 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 well-documented lap robe is a fantastic relic from that historic 1933 inauguration day. Direct from the presidential limousine, and used over several administrations, research indicates this is the first lap robe of such historical consequence ever offered. The Raleigh DeGeer Amyx Collection.

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