Auctions | February 9, 2018

Hindenburg Scrap and Lincoln Land Grant Sold at RR Auction

Boston, MA — A flown swatch of fabric recovered from the wreckage of the Hindenburg sold for $36,282 according to Boston-based RR Auction. 

The piece of red cotton canvas was found among the wreckage of the Hindenburg following its disastrous explosion at Naval Air Station Lakehurst in New Jersey on May 6, 1937.

It was picked up by the Rosemary Dowling, a teenager at the time, who was on the ground with her sisters; her father Patrick was among the naval crew working to dock the airship when it exploded.

The museum quality piece is unique in that it is not silver gray, but red and was from the giant Nazi flags that were emblazoned on the tail of the airship.

“For many, this represents much more than the Hindenburg — but an end to the powerful propaganda tool used by the Nazi regime,” said Bobby Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction. “We are thrilled with the price achieved that is well above our initial pre-auction estimate of $4,000 - $5,000.” 

Additional highlights from the sale include, but are not limited by:

Lyndon B. Johnson letter on White House letterhead sold for $27,455.

White House Flag hand-embroidered and used during four administrations sold $22,689.

George W. Bush letter on White House letterhead stating "The Oval Office is a shrine to Democracy," sold for $22,689.

Richard Nixon letter on White House letterhead from December 14, 1971, sold $20,626.

Abraham Lincoln land grant, signed the day after he issued the Emancipation Proclamation sold $15,496.

John F. Kennedy’s cream-colored silk scarf sold $7,950. 

The Fine Autographs and Artifacts from RR Auction began on January 19 and concluded on February 7.  More details can be found online at