The White House is up for auction—or at least an old piece of it

East, Preservation
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Where the plinth was used. (Courtesy RRAuction)

Room where the plinth was used. (Courtesy RRAuction)

Here’s your chance to own a piece—a very small piece—of the actual White House. No large lobbyist pockets required. A relic from the presidential mansion will go up for auction at a live event later this month. The piece is an architectural ornament from the main hall of 1817 that President Madison rebuild after an 1814 fire.

The Plinth (Courtesy RRAuction)

The Plinth (Courtesy RRAuction)

The wooden ornamental plinth was actually removed from the White House in 1902 during Theodore Roosevelt’s renovation. It’s part of an architectural ensemble forming the trim around a doorway and was used as a base, sitting at the bottom of the frame.

Measuring approximately 14 x 30 x 4 inches, it was constructed using a pine base with pine moldings, cast composition ornaments, and hand-forged nails. In addition, it has 17 layers of paint of which three are gold leaf. From this evidence one can assume the that White House was repainted for each president, thus allowing the plinth to be representative of 17 terms of U.S. presidency.

The auction will be hosted by RR in Boston later this month on Monday, September 28 at 1:00 PM EST.

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