The Collection of the late General Colin L. Powell will be auctioned on Wednesday, November 16 at 10 a.m. The Potomac Company The Alexandria Auction House will host an in-person and online preview beginning Thursday, November 3.
The family donates 100% of the profits to American Promise Allianceformerly chaired by General Powell and later by his wife, Alma Powell, and at Colin Powell School of the City College of New Yorkfounded in honor of General Powell, who attended CCNY.
Powell personified “America’s promise because he lived it,” President Biden said after Powell’s death last year. The son of Jamaican immigrants, Powell grew up in the South Bronx as “a black child without early promise,” as he describes himself in his autobiography. It wasn’t until he joined ROTC while attending City College of New York that he discovered his love for the military. Upon graduation, he joined the U.S. Army in 1958, beginning more than three decades of military and government service during which he rose to four-star general, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and secretary. of state under President George W. Bush. .
This history and the relationships he developed are reflected in the objects that surrounded him. As President Reagan’s national security adviser, General Powell was instrumental in arranging five summits between Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, including the Moscow summit in 1988, when Powell was given a Baikal shotgun of the leader of the Soviet Union. Gorbachev’s gift to Powell is auctioned.
Also among the prizes is Powell’s Spingarn Medal, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s highest honor for outstanding achievement by an African American. In his autobiography, General Powell said the military had played “a leading role in defending freedom and promoting racial justice”. He said that to remind him of that — and anyone who walked into his office when he was Commander-in-Chief at Fort McPherson, Ga. — Powell hung a poster of Martin Luther King Jr. inscribed and signed by Coretta Scott King: “To General Powell – Accept this likeness of Dr. King as a token of my respect, esteem and appreciation for your support. warmest personal greetings.
Potomack also offers a color photo signed and dated by Annie Leibovitz of General Powell. The portrait was featured in the Vanity Fair Hall of Fame in 1991. A similar Leibovitz portrait of Powell was included in the National Portrait Gallery’s 2008 exhibition of Leibovitz’s work. When Powell was named Secretary of State in 2001, Paul McCartney and his then-girlfriend Heather Mills met with him to discuss a global ban on landmines, when Powell likely acquired a copy of ” The Beatles: An Anthology” signed by McCartney: “To Colin, great to meet you/Thank you for your support. Let’s take a sad song and make it better!/Paul (McCartney)/April 2001.”
In 1993, Powell’s final year as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he was given a standing desk with a plaque that read: “Presented to General Powell by the General and Flag Officers of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, September 8”. 1993.” The desk is inlaid with four medallions depicting the Navy, Army, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Corps, and Air Force.
Earlier in his military career, Powell was stationed at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas and felt that not enough attention was paid to the Buffalo Soldiers, an African-American Civil War cavalry formed in 1866 at Fort Leavenworth. He helped build a large monument there in 1967-68. Last year he chaired the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in 1993 the Joint Chiefs presented Powell with a bronze model of the large Buffalo Soldier sculpture, and the model is up for auction.
Among those whose paths he crossed and whom he counted among his friends was Princess Diana. The two were honored at the United Cerebral Palsy Humanitarian Awards gala in 1995, and proof of their friendship includes a signed Christmas card to the Powells with a picture of Diana with Princes William and Harry.
Powell’s lighter side can be seen in several lots, including a Star Wars “Reveal” lightsaber inscribed “To General Powell from General Skywalker” and signed by George Lucas, and a racing helmet signed by the pilots at the first 2011 Baltimore Grand Prix, for which he served as Honorary Grand Marshal. Signings include race winner Will Power as well as Dario Franchitti and Danica Patrick. The general was widely known for his love of cars, and when he died last fall, President Biden told former CNBC chairman and chairman Mark Hoffman that his friend “could drive his Corvette Stingray like business. belongs to nobody”.
America’s Promise Alliance, founded in 1997 by Presidents Clinton, Bush, Carter, Ford and Reagan and chaired by General Powell and later by Alma Powell, was close to the hearts of General Powell and his wife, to make investments among young people an absolute priority. Featured in the auction is a red wagon lapel pin by jewelry designer Ann Hand, symbolizing the America’s Promise logo, and a framed and signed watercolor on paper by Marsha Winborn, who illustrated the jacket for the 2003 children’s book , “America’s Promise”, written by Alma Powell.
The Powell estate includes a tuxedo made for Powell by master tailor Martin Greenfield, a Holocaust survivor who was freed by Eisenhower. Greenfield went on to make suits and tuxedos for six presidents, starting with Eisenhower when he was a general. As a young tailor, Greenfield sewed foreign policy advice into the pockets of Eisenhower’s jackets.
Alongside Powell’s bespoke tuxedo in the auction are gala dresses worn by Alma Powell at high profile events in Washington such as Obama’s inauguration, the State Dinner for the Indian Prime Minister and others. Potomack’s Colin Powell auction includes nearly 400 lots.