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Party On with Inaugural Collectibles

by Tom Carrier (01/20/09).

In the mood to party, but it’s too late for New Year’s Eve? Too early for the Super Bowl? How about an inauguration shindig complete with Obama collectibles destined to become family heirlooms? (Remember, there is nothing in the Constitution that says you have to party on Jan. 20. That’s only the swearing-in.)

To set the tone, get dressed for the part. What would be more appropriate than a suit made specifically for Barack Obama during the campaign? To show that you never know where you’ll come across a significant collectible, this great find was discovered by a shopper at a bargain store in New York. A tag bearing Obama’s name was stitched in the inside coat pocket attesting to its authenticity. Its value has not been determined because no similar suit has been auctioned to date. However, it is estimated to be worth from $5,000 to the low five figures.

Naturally, you will want to complement your new suit with a set of cobalt-blue-and-gold presidential-style cuff links in its own leather presentation box. On the reverse is a bas-relief signature of Barack Obama, just perfect for your inaugural party at $250 a set or a lapel pin for $150.

Obama cuff links

Obama cuff links

Plates with a smiling Santa Claus obviously won’t fit your theme. Instead, consider setting your table with official inaugural plates. They cost $82 each and have a startling navy-blue-and-gold pattern with the official inaugural seal in gold.

2009 inaugural plate

2009 inaugural plate

When it’s time, bring out a wonderfully colorful, etched bottle of Mumm Champagne. Limited to only 200 individually numbered bottles, bearing the red-white-and-blue campaign logo with the inauguration date of Jan. 20, 2009, is an unusual collectible starting at $300. Add the gold-etched set of four Champagne flutes for $60 or a set of etched rocks glasses, too, featuring the presidential seal and the etched signature of the 44th president of the United States. A matched decanter with the gold-embossed presidential seal rounds out a perfect set for $75.

Obama Champagne

Obama Champagne

Decanter and flute

Decanter and flute

Caution alert: Lest you get carried away in the headiness of the festivities, be sure to buy a back-up bottle or two of bubbly for toasting purposes, otherwise you’ll drink your collectible’s value.

Decorate your inaugural table with the cross-cut crystal vase adorned with the presidential seal and signature of Barack Obama in gold for $75. I don’t know if President Obama has a favorite flower is, but it will look just as presidential filled with your favorite. Or you might go with some patriotic red, white and blue carnations.

Obama vase

Obama vase

Once the party’s over, store your cuff links and lapel pin in a hardwood replica of the Oval Office desk, similar in design to the original given to President Rutherford B. Hayes by Queen Victoria of England and used by most presidents ever since. The original desk, the one that John-John Kennedy famously played under, is priceless, but your wooden replica box is much more affordable at $125.

Oval Office desk replica

Oval Office desk replica

Of course, there are other collectibles to be had. Every inauguration brings out the best in artists and artisans. Issuing an official inaugural medal has been tradition since 1901 when William McKinley took office. This year, Mark Mellon, a Connecticut artist, was asked to create the bas-relief image of Barack Obama for the 2009 official inaugural medal.

“There were times when I was sculpting when I literally had tears in my eyes,” Mellon said, “just knowing the magnitude of the moment. As an artist, to have just a little bit of input in how we celebrate this president is a huge honor—a huge honor and a big responsibility.”

To truly commemorate the occasion, purchase the complete set of gold, silver and bronze medals in its own presentation box for $3,000. Or you can purchase an individual bronze for $70 and a sterling silver version for $400.

Inaugural medals

Inaugural medals

To see other great and wonderful gifts (and future heirlooms) that honor our 44th president on the day of his inauguration, visit Worthologist Jim Warlick’s Official Souvenirs site.

P.S. And don’t forget to buy food and beverages for the party.

WorthPoint—Get the Most from Your Antiques & Collectibles

2 Responses to “Party On with Inaugural Collectibles”

  1. Shirley A. Atkinson says:

    I admired the Lincoln Bible that President Obama use to at his swearing in. Would you be getting a replica of that bible and perhaps having it in a wooden box with President Obama’s name on it and the date of the ceremony? I believe many people would be interested in purchasing one of these as I was at the ceremony and many commented about the Bible and how they would love to purchase a replica of it………it would be a cherished gift of the Inauguration.

  2. Tom Carrier tom carrier says:

    Actually, that is an interesting suggestion. I’m not really sure what kind of Bible was used, but it was apparently used for Abraham Lincoln’s inaugural and belonged to the family, I believe.

    An interesting fact is that the Bible has been the most published book and so a copy of an early 19th century family Bible are still widely available for about $100 to $200 or so.

    Tom Carrier
    Worthologist

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