DALLAS – Lee Harvey Oswald’s gold wedding band, which he left in a cup on the dresser as he headed to work at the Texas School Book Depository the morning of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, sold at auction on Thursday for $108,000.
The ring that belonged to the man who killed Kennedy in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963, was among nearly 300 items linked to the president auctioned by RR Auction in Boston.
The New Hampshire-based auction house said that Oswald’s ring, which has a tiny hammer and sickle engraved on the inside of the band, was sold to a buyer from Texas who wished to remain anonymous.
Relatively recently, Oswald’s widow, Marina Oswald Porter, recovered the ring, which apparently sat forgotten for decades in the files of a Fort Worth lawyer who once did work for her. Accompanying the ring is a five-page handwritten letter dated May 5, 2013, in which Porter writes: “At this time of my life I don’t wish to have Lee’s ring in my possession because symbolically I want to let go of my past that is connecting with Nov. 22, 1963.”
At her request, the auction house did not release the full contents of the letter, in which Porter documents the history of the ring – from its purchase in the Soviet city of Minsk, Belarus, before their April, 30, 1961, wedding, to being left on the dresser at her friend Ruth Paine’s home, where she and their children were living when Kennedy was killed.
With the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s assassination coming up in November, the auction house gathered items ranging from Kennedy’s personal belongings to Oswald’s Marine Corps rifle score book, which sold for $54,000.
Another auction item, the sixth-floor window from the school book depository believed to have served as Oswald’s sniper perch, did not sell. The window was removed weeks after the assassination.