Collection of White House Memorabilia & Modern First Editions Lead Waverly Rare Books’ June 9 Auction

Nineteen Eighty-Four in Red Dust Jacket.jpgFALLS CHURCH, Va. - The Rex Wayne Scouten collection of White House memorabilia, eight contemporary photographs by William Christenberry, and rare first-edition copies of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Nineteen Eighty-Four and Florence Nightingale’s Notes on Nursing will come up for bid at Waverly Rare Books’ Catalog Auction #269, slated for Thursday, June 9.

The auction will be held at the firm’s Falls Church gallery in northern Virginia, with absentee and online bidding available through and Around 400 lots of rare books, fine bindings, first editions, art and illustrations, historic and contemporary photographs and other ephemera will be offered. Start time is 6 p.m. ET.

Rex Wayne Scouten (1924-2013) served 10 US presidents, as White House chief usher from 1969-1986 and White House curator from 1986-1997. His collection includes signed gifts and material from Presidents Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan George H.W. Bush and Clinton. Items include signed photographs and documents from presidents and first ladies; original artwork, architectural fragments from White House renovations, and more.

A star lot from the collection is a 1963 White House Christmas card, signed by President John F. Kennedy shortly before his assassination and inscribed by Mrs. Kennedy, who wrote: “Christmas 1963, With our deepest appreciation, Jacqueline Kennedy.” The card features a reproduction of an engraving, “The President’s House, From Washington.” It is expected to bring $3,000-$5,000.

Scouten’s retirement poster - signed by five consecutive presidents, from Ford to Clinton, plus six first ladies - carries a pre-sale estimate of $2,400-$4,000. Most of the signers wrote heartfelt and, in some cases, lengthy notes of tribute and thanks. As an accompanying letter attests, it took more than five months for the 19¾-inch by 23¾-inch poster to circulate and return with all of the presidents’ signatures.

A color photo signed by five presidents and six first ladies, taken at the opening of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in 1991, measures 11¼ inches by 10¼ inches, matted. It should make $2,400-$4,500.

An archive of more than 50 items pertaining to President and Mrs. Dwight D. Eisenhower - 13 of which were signed by President Eisenhower and eight by Mamie Eisenhower - will be offered as one lot with an estimate of $2,000-$3,000. The grouping, which comes from the collection of Mary and George Allen, features letters, Christmas cards, a birthday card, photo albums, a Tiffany bowl, a signed poster and more.

A program signed by over 10 US governors, including then-Gov. Ronald Reagan, at the 1971 Republican Governors Association State Dinner in Williamsburg, Va., is expected to sell for $1,000-$1,500. Nancy Reagan also signed the program, above her husband’s signature. 

Eight contemporary photographs taken by William Christenberry (American, b. 1936-) showcase his iconic images of change and decay to the buildings and landscapes of his native Hale County, Alabama. A fine example is the photo titled Corn Sign with Storm Cloud, near Greensboro, Alabama, 1977. The paper-stamped Fujicolor image, signed on verso and matted, should reach $3,000-$5,000 at auction.

The first-edition, second-state copy (not enclosed in a box) of Frank L. Baum’s classic book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was published in 1900 by George M. Hill Co. (NY), with pictures by W. W. Denslow. It is entered in the sale with a $1,200-$1,800 estimate. Despite some normal wear, the book is in good condition, and it includes 24 color plates (including the title plate).

The first-US-edition copy of Florence Nightingale’s Notes on Nursing: What It Is, and What It Is Not, was published in 1860 by D. Appleton (N.Y.), and displays the original cloth and gilt lettering on its front cover. The first-US-edition copy of George Orwell’s book Nineteen Eighty-Four was published in 1949 by Harcourt Brace & Co. (N.Y.). Each of the books should hammer $300-$500.

A collection of murder mysteries presented in a Universal Photoplay book and titled The Murders in the Rue Morgue and Other Tales of Mystery could fetch $300-$500. The title story, a classic tale by Edgar Allan Poe, is retold as a loose adaptation of the 1932 movie starring Bela Lugosi. The book was published in 1932 by Grosset & Dunlap (NY) and is in very good condition.

An 1844 Grand National Democratic banner by Nathaniel Currier, showing two oral-wreathed, oval portraits of Democratic presidential and vice-presidential candidates James Knox Polk and George M. Dallas, has an estimate of $300-$400. The phrases “Polk, the Young Hickory” and “Dallas and Victory” are inscribed over the heads of the candidates.

Another featured section of the June 9 sale is the Donald Boggs collection of space books and flown objects. In all, there are nearly 80 lots of books, pamphlets, press kits and objects relating to space flight and rocketry.

Previews will be held at Waverly Rare Books’ gallery, located at 360 S. Washington Street, Falls Church, Va., on Saturday, June 4 from 10-2; Monday, June 6 from 10-5; Tuesday, June 7 from 10-7; Wednesday, June 8 from 10-6; and on Thursday, June 9 from 10 am until the auction begins at 6 pm.

Waverly Rare Books is a division of Quinn’s Auction Galleries. The firm is always accepting quality consignments for future auctions. To consign a single item, an estate or a collection, call 703-532-5632 or email View the online catalog and bid absentee or live via the Internet at or Visit Quinn’s online at

Image: Nineteen Eighty-Four. First-US-edition copy of George Orwell’s book Nineteen Eighty-Four, published in 1949 by Harcourt Brace & Co., NY, est. $300-$500. Courtesy of Waverly Rare Books

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