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Auction results: 2017 top sales at RR Auction

15 min read
John F. Kennedy at a typewriter with his book "Why England Slept," circa 1940. Photo credit John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.

(Photo credit, above: John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston)

2017 top sales at RR Auction

RR Auction had a terrific 2017! With more than 10,000 items sold, we grew our popular categories, like Space and JFK memorabilia, with record-breaking results. Let’s look at the 2017 top sales in review.

If we look at the Top 20 highest-grossing item sales for RR last year, we see the hot trends at auction. The categories of Space, JFK and Prince were huge winners. A few singled-out items relating to the infamous (Al Capone and Lee Harvey Oswald) garnered big consignor payoffs, as did a unique lot of Revolutionary War amputation kits. Several sales marked the highest price achieved for that individual at one of our auctions.

Buzz Aldrin's Apollo 11 Cartier solid gold Lunar Module replica, sold by RR Auction
Buzz Aldrin’s Apollo 11 Cartier solid gold Lunar Module replica, sold by RR Auction for $149,862.

Space takes off

RR has become the leader in curating artifacts relating to space exploration. Space sales snagged the most spots in our Top 20, with 8 items totalling $772,005. With our next Space auction on the horizon April 19, we’re expecting more records to be made this year.

Read more about our 2017 success in Space here.

World records set in Space category

More Space auction results

Prince yellow boots RR Auction
Prince stage-worn yellow boots, sold by RR Auction for $75,147.

Purple Rain reigns

Iconic music superstar Prince proved his passionate following continues. RR’s multiple themed auctions devoted to memorabilia from his incredible career proved to be some of the most exciting auction nights all year, with vigorous bidding interest. Of our Top 20, 4 Prince-ly items comprised a total in sales of $245,625. Our next Prince auction will be held Feb. 15.

More Prince auction results here.


Hail to the Chief

We were privileged to curate a special live auction for a sole item: The diary that a young John F. Kennedy kept over the summer of 1945, which went for $718,750. It was RR’s top seller of the year.

See photos and read about this incredible historic item.

Also, handwritten letters by US presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson both attained the second-highest sales with RR for each of those men.

Al Capone's platinum and diamond watch RR Auction
Al Capone’s platinum and diamond watch, sold by RR Auction for $84,375.

Watch the watches

We’re noticing that watches are really becoming a hot trend at auction. RR has had much success with them – Moonwalker Dave Scott’s Apollo 15 Lunar Surface Chronograph achieved $1.625 million at our auction in 2015, a world record at the time. This year proved to be just as noteworthy, with two watches making it into our Top 10 of our 2017 top sales.

Mobster Al Capone’s glitzy diamond watch fetched $84,375, supporting his reputation as a sharp dresser – and obtaining the highest price to date we’ve had for a Capone artifact. And astronaut Alan Shepard’s flown watch from the Apollo 14 mission earned $81,312 at auction this year.

Read about this Hot Trend

Dr. John Warren's Revolutionary War Amputation Kits RR Auction
Dr. John Warren’s Revolutionary War Amputation Kits, sold by RR Auction for $104,147.

Rare and Remarkable

We also had some rather unique items this year! Our fifth best seller, at $104,147, was a set of amputation kits used during the US Revolutionary War by Continental Army surgeon Dr. John Warren, a founder of Harvard Medical School; one kit given to him by his famous brother, the patriot Dr. General Joseph Warren, who was killed at the Battle of Bunker Hill.

RR also offered the toe tag of Lee Harvey Oswald; that item garnered $56,301 at auction.

2017 top sales overall at RR Auction

  1. John F. Kennedy diary from the summer of 1945: $718,750
  2. Buzz Aldrin’s Apollo 11 Cartier solid gold Lunar Module replica: $149,862
  3. Apollo 11 flown Command Module Columbia rescue arrow: $147,572
  4. Apollo 11 crew-signed flown flag presentation: $120,693
  5. Dr. John Warren’s Revolutionary War amputation kits: $104,147
  6. Al Capone’s diamond watch: $84,375 **
  7. Alan Shepard’s Apollo 14 Vacheron Constantin watch: $81,312
  8. RL-10 rocket engine: $78,346
  9. Apollo 11 LM flown page with Neil Armstrong notations: $78,346
  10. Prince’s personally owned and stage-worn yellow boots: $75,148
  11. George Washington ALS: $61,931 **
  12. Dave Scott’s Apollo 15 lunar orbit-flown CSM Systems Data Book: $60,995
  13. Prince’s own 1980 Rick James Tour All Access Pass: $60,367
  14. Prince 1986 ‘Camille’ advance pressing: $58,787
  15. Lee Harvey Oswald toe tag: $56,301
  16. Thomas Jefferson ALS: $54,908 **
  17. Dave Scott’s Apollo 15 lunar surface-used Contour Map: $54,879
  18. Isaac Newton DS: $53,806 **
  19. Prince’s Purple Rain 9-pg handwritten musical enhancement notes: $51,323
  20. Steve Jobs signed Newsweek magazine: $50,588 **

** best price achieved so far with RR Auction for this individual

Steve Jobs Apple autograph signed Newsweek cover RR Auction
Signed Newsweek cover of Steve Jobs, sold by RR Auction for $50,588.

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