Berlin Wall chunk, Ronald Reagan's cowboy boots to be auctioned
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - A chunk of the Berlin Wall and a pair of cowboy boots that belonged to late U.S. President Ronald Reagan will be auctioned in September as part of the private collection of Ronald and Nancy Reagan that is expected to fetch more than $2 million.
Christie's auction house in New York said Monday the auction will also include some of Nancy Reagan's jewelry and handbags, along with furniture, gifts and books, many of them used by the Reagans during their eight years in the White House.
Some of the 700 lots will be going on tour, starting on Thursday in Chicago, and then to Dallas, Atlanta, Los Angeles and New York, ahead of the Sept. 21-22 auction in New York.
Nancy Reagan died in March of congestive heart failure at the age of 94, 12 years after Ronald Reagan, one of the most popular U.S. presidents, succumbed to Alzheimer's disease.
Their personal items are being sold by the family trust to benefit the Ronald Reagan Presidential foundation and library in California.
The 25 inch (63 cm) long, graffiti-covered fragment of the Berlin Wall, signed by Reagan, is expected to fetch $10,000 - $20,000. It is seen as having particular significance because of Reagan's 1987 speech in West Berlin in which he famously urged then Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to "tear down this wall." Two years later, the wall that had divided East and West Germany since 1961 and had been a symbol of the Cold War was opened, paving the way for German reunification.
A full-sized panel from the wall stands at the Reagan library.
Reagan's cowboy boots, a gift from Western movie actor Rex Allen, are also expected to fetch up to $20,000, Christie's said.
The Nancy Reagan jewelry on offer includes a pair of diamond and gold ear clips made by jewelers Van Cleef & Arpels ($15,000 - $20,000), and a Bulgari diamond, sapphire and ruby ring inspired by the Stars and Stripes national flag that she wore on July 4, 1986 ($5,000 - $8,000).
Other items include a chronometer given to Reagan for his 1981 inauguration by singer Frank Sinatra ($5,000 - $10,000) and a series of signed doodles by Reagan on White House stationery ($2,500 - $3,500).
(Reporting by Jill Serjeant)
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