A treasure house of memorabilia, gifts and personal items that belonged to Lyndon Baines and Lady Bird Johnson are now for sale at public auction with proceeds to benefit the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Online or telephone bidding is underway now and the actual auction will occur on Saturday, May 12, at Heritage Auctions in Dallas.
The 123 items were selected from those left to the family after Lady Bird Johnson's death in 2007. Each will come with a certificate of authenticity from Lynda Johnson Robb, The Johnsons' elder daughter.
Heritage Auctions will host the charitable auction in honor of the centennial of Lady Bird Johnson's birth. The Johnson memorabilia will be sold starting at 1 p.m. that Saturday as part of an Americana collection in Heritage's 1st Floor Auction Room at their 3500 Maple Ave. location.
"We are incredibly grateful for this auction of historical items on behalf of the Wildflower Center," said Susan Rieff, the center's executive director. "The center is a self-sustaining unit of the university, and the auction will help us in fulfilling our mission of increasing the sustainable use and conservation of wildflowers and other native plants."
The memorabilia includes a Tiffany world desk clock given to LBJ, a gold Cartier "Woman of the Year" pin given to Lady Bird by Ladies Home Journal, medallions such as an 1850s Indian Peace Medal, paintings, figurines, charm bracelets, cufflinks and more.
Among the treasures are a Steuben crystal eagle LBJ kept in the Johnsons' bedroom at the LBJ Ranch (estimated value—$300 to $500), a Staffordshire figurine of Mother Hubbard from Lady Bird's bedroom in Austin (estimated value—$600 to $900), a cherished copy of Percy Bysshe Shelley's poems about plants, "The Sensitive Plant," which bears Mrs. Johnson's signature (value estimated at $300 to $400) and Mrs. Johnson's personal Zeica binoculars on which she scratched her name and a date (estimated value—$400 to $600.)
Artifacts range from a San Ildefonso black on black pot by a noted Native American potter, Blue Corn, valued at $800 to $1,000; to Mrs. Johnson's 18K gold bracelet with a Mexican gold piece valued at $3,500 to $4,500, to President Johnson's 14K gold monogrammed cigarette case (valued at up to $4,500).
The Johnson memorabilia has been appraised by Attal Appraisal Service in Austin, Texas. They can be viewed online at the URL HA.com/6086 (scroll down and click on the image of Lady Bird Johnson) for pre-bidding and live auction bid approaches described below.
The bidding options besides in-person are: bidding by phone during the live auction, arranged in advance up to noon CT, Friday, May 11, at the Heritage Client Service Line 866.835.3243; bidding live on a computer or smart phone during the auction at HA.com/Live; bidding over the internet at the HA.com/6086 URL until 10 p.m. CT, Friday, May 11; submitting fax bids by noon CT, Friday, May 11, to 214.409.1425; and mailing bids in to arrive by Friday, May 11.
Each lot's sales price is finalized as it is auctioned, taking into consideration all bids. All auction proceeds will benefit the Wildflower Center in Austin that Mrs. Johnson co-founded in 1982. For more information about Lady Bird Johnson and the centennial, visit: http://www.ladybirdjohnson.org.