Question: While watching the Democratic convention on television, I suddenly remembered a box of campaign pins that I was given by my grandma several years ago. She was active in the party and was especially supportive of Franklin Roosevelt. My small collection includes campaign pins of FDR, Harry S Truman, Adlai Stevenson, John Kennedy and Jimmy Carter. Do you think they are worth keeping? – Stephanie, Tucson
Answer: Campaign pins have always been popular with collectors of political memorabilia. The values depend on design, rarity, condition and the candidate or issues involved. Political collectibles include much more than pins, however. Postcards, jewelry, photographs, textiles, toys, dolls and even clocks were often issued to promote a specific candidate. Examples of typical prices are: a stereo view card of President and Mrs. William McKinley, $30; a Teddy Roosevelt pin from 1904 campaign, $75; a “Votes for Women” pin from 1915, $35; an Alfred Smith cotton handkerchief with his image, $50; a ticket to the Democratic National Convention of 1948, $10; a Nixon charm bracelet, $25; a Jimmy Carter windup toy of a walking peanut, $35; and an Eisenhower bumper sticker from 1952, $10.
One of the better reference books is Warman’s Political Collectibles: Identification and Price Guide by Dr. Enoch L. Nappen (Krause, $24.99). Nappen, a member of the American Political Items Collectors, has one of the largest private collections of political items in the country. His guide features current prices of more than 1,100 items issued during the past 150 years.
I have an autograph of Dwight Eisenhower and would like to have it authenticated. – Steve, Tucson
Brett Sadovnick, owner of Tucson Coin & Autograph, can help you. His contact information is 6470 N. Oracle Road, Tucson 85704, and 219-4427.
Several weeks ago, I purchased a mint copy of the biography of George Washington by Woodrow Wilson at a garage sale. How much is it worth? – Connie, Green Valley
I found a so-so copy for $3 plus postage at www.abe.com. A first edition or signed copy could be worth much more.
In addition to his work for the Tucson Citizen, Larry Cox writes book reviews and a weekly collectibles column that are syndicated by King Features and distributed throughout the United States and Canada. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org