Macabre assortment of JFK assassination artifacts that includes blood-covered leather from limo sells for tens of thousands at auction

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The 60th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy has reinvigorated interest in the event, with some of it veering into the obsessive.

A recently concluded auction of artifacts from the Kennedy assassination (and presidency) resulted in one buyer paying $46,865 for two pieces of dried-blood-covered leather from the limousine Kennedy was riding in when he was killed in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963.

RR Auction, based in Boston, held the auction, describing those pieces as “a poignant, historic reminder of that fateful November day.”

Among the other items fetching high dollars were a section of picket fence from the “grassy knoll” in Dealy Plaza, which sold for $13,740, and Lee Harvey Oswald’s first handgun, a .38 revolver, which went for $31,625. (That’s a fair bit more than the $10 Oswald charged his brother for the gun when he sold it in 1956.)

And one collector paid $18,568 for a bullet shot from the same gun Jack Ruby used to kill Oswald.

The blood-stained leather was certainly the most unusual (and grotesque) item in the collection, however. The swatches came with a letter of authenticity from F. Vaughn Ferguson, who RR Auctions said was a technical service representative at the White House whose primary responsibility was the care of the presidential limousine.

Ferguson, the auction house continued, was the only person with hands-on contact with the limousine following the shooting.

"Four days after the Assassination the White House upholsterer and I removed this leather at the White House,” the letter from Ferguson reads. “The light blue leather is from the center of the rear seat. The dark blue leather is from the border of the rear seat. The spots on the leather are the dried blood of our beloved President, John F. Kennedy."

Ferguson kept the removed leather sections. The limo, a 1961 Lincoln Continental X-100, was then sent to a firm in Cincinnati for refitting and a security upgrade.

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