Being the Mayor of New York City has been described as the “second toughest job in America,” second only to the President. But it does have its perks. New York mayors get to serve as ex officio board members to some of the city’s most famous cultural centers, to live in the tony Gracie Manson—and they also get a lot of cool stuff.
A new series of online auctions called “Gifts to the City” features a potpourri of items gifted to past mayors Ed Koch, David Dinkins, Rudy Giuliani, and Michael Bloomberg. The proceeds of the sales will benefit the Municipal Archives Reference and Research Fund, which preserves and makes accessible the contents of the Municipal Archives and Library.
The first batch of auctions launched earlier this month and are up through early December. We’ve combed the offerings to highlight some standout lots.
Peter Max Painting Depicting the Face of the Statue of Liberty
What it is: This psychedelic-painted image of Lady Liberty features a hand-signed note to “the honorable” mayor Ed Koch, signed “with love” from Peter Max in 1986.
Current bid: $18,100
Framed Copy of with Mayor Koch on Cover
What it is: A true snapshot of January 1984, when a weekly newspaper cost 90¢, artists were rallying against U.S. intervention in Central America, and the biggest news was Koch’s forthcoming memoir, titled simply,
Current bid: $70
Glass Paperweight Gifted by Diana Ross
What it is: This apple-shaped paperweight, made of blue glass and stamped with the Friar’s Club logo was a gift to mayor Dinkins from the former singer Diana Ross.
Current bid: $305
Louis Vuitton Soccer Ball to Commemorate 1998 World Cup
What it is: This LV-covered leather soccer ball and strap was a gift to mayor Guiliani to commemorate the 1998 World Cup, which was hosted in France, who also won that year. The lot is hitting the block perfectly timed to coincide with this year’s main sporting event, hosted in Qatar.
Current bid: $1,875
Spalding Basketball Autographed by Knicks Players
What it is: Another sports-related gift to Giuliani was this basketball, signed by the members of the 1999 New York Knicks team, which included Patrick Ewing, Latrell Sprewell, and Allan Houston.
Current bid: $521
Sterling Silver Tiffany Cake Slicer with Inscription
What it is: This sterling silver and stainless steel cake slicer was a gift to mayor Bloomberg in 2006, presented to him for the groundbreaking of the Museum of the City of New York.
Current bid: $167.50
Nike Air Force 1 Sneakers Autographed by Ice-T & Fab 5 Freddy
What it is: A fresh and clean pair of Nike Air Force 1 sneakers signed by two original New York icons: graffiti artist Fab 5 Freddy and rapper-turned-Law & Order SVU star Ice-T. The kicks were given to mayor Bloomberg in 2008 at a City Hall press conference.
Current bid: $510
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