President Ronald Reagan’s Hollywood past and his love of horses and the traditions of the Wild West is highlighted in an auction of his private collection at Christies in New York later this month.
Highlights from the auction include one of four pairs of cowboy boots presented to Reagan. The black ostrich vamp, cowhide and frog skin Tony Lama Boots, from about 1980 are hand-tooled in 14k gold and silver with the Seal of the President of the United States, the eagle’s wings and body detailed in American bullfrog skin (Lithobates catesbeianus), each with a fabric printed label for Tony Lama and numbered 17967, 2105 and R-4.
The boots were a gift from Rex Allen, a movie actor who made his name as a singing cowboy, and Tony Lama, the Texas bootmaker. The story goes that the President admired Mr. Allen’s boots when they made a campaign appearance together in 1980, and Mr. Allen promised a pair with the Presidential Seal when Ronald Reagan made it to the White House.
The boots are estimated to fetch between $10,000 and $20,000.
Also at auction is an American silver and turquoise-mounted leather gun belt and holster, by Galco International, Phoenix, Arizona, from the last quarter of the 20th century. Each is inset with a silver Seal of The President of the United States, within a lucite frame. The items were formerly in Regan’s study in the White House, and are estimated to fetch between $10,000 and $15,000.
Peter Schifando, the interior designer and protégé of Ted Graber, who had designed the White House family quarters for the Reagans, said: “The study was designed using the same red upholstery fabric as used in the White House, and the walls hung with American Western art and saddle work, his favourite Western bronzes and photographs of world dignitaries.”
The lots will be offered in The Private Collection of President and Mrs. Ronald Reagan, on September 21 and 22.