Monday, November 30, 2015

Own a piece of history: Lee Harvey Oswald’s wedding ring up for auction


The day of President John F. Kennedy‘s assassination, Lee Harvey Oswald left something at home: his gold wedding band. Now, almost 50 years later, this piece of jewelry is up for auction.

Lee Harvey’s wedding ring was purchased in Minsk before his April 30, 1961 marriage to Marina Oswald. On that fateful November morning in 1963, Lee Harvey left the ring in a cup on the dresser, along with $170 in one of the drawers, at Ruth Paine’s house in Irving, Texas. After he was arrested, the ring exchanged hands to the United States Secret Service on Dec. 2, 1963 and then to Ft. Worth lawyer Forrest Markward.

The ring was finally returned to Marina in 2012 when members of Markward’s firm found it in his files after he passed away. Bobby Livingston, an executive vice president with the New Hampshire-based auction house, RR Auction describes it to the Associated Press as “a very powerful, significant piece of evidence” and estimates that it could see bids upwards of $100,000.

Accompanying the ring is a 5-page, handwritten note that Marina penned on May 5, 2013, which states: ”At this time of my life I don’t wish to have Lee’s ring in my possession because symbolically I want to let go of my past that is connecting with Nov. 22, 1963.”

The auction house is not releasing the full text of her letter, which includes a detailed history of the ring from its purchase and their marriage to the day he left it behind.

According to RR Auction’s description of the ring, it is interpreted as Lee Harvey’s final farewell to his wife.

In addition to Lee Harvey’s ring, the auction, which commemorates the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination, rounded up hundreds of historical pieces. Other notable items include photographs from the JFK’s life, a personal rosary, trinkets from the oval office and articles of clothing.

Ashleigh Schmitz
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