A Los Angeles auction house said on Tuesday it would sell the simple pine coffin in which the suspected assassin of President John F. Kennedy was buried for almost 20 years.
Bidding will start at $1,000, but the item is expected to fetch strong interest from museums and collectors of presidential memorabilia when it goes on the block on December 16.
“There’s just a lot of interest in Kennedy and anything to do with his assassination,” said Laura Yntema, auction manager at Santa Monica, California-based Nate D. Sanders.
The coffin was unearthed in October 1981 after a legal dispute between Oswald’s widow, Marina, and his brother, Robert. Marina successfully sought an exhumation to test a conspiracy theory that a lookalike Russian agent had been buried in her husband’s place, according to the auction house.
A medical exam showed the badly decomposed body was indeed Oswald’s, and he was returned to Shannon Rose Hill Memorial Park in Fort Worth, Texas, in a new casket.
The original coffin, which had suffered extensive water damage, is being sold by Baumgardner Funeral Home, the local undertaker which handled the re-internment.