For Sale: Lee Harvey Oswald's Coffin

Now's your chance to own some American history: An auction house in California is selling the casket that held the body of John F. Kennedy's alleged assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, from 1963 until 1981. Bidding starts at $1,000.

Oswald was buried on November 25, 1963 in Fort Worth, Texas. Oswald's widow, Marina, and brother, Robert, in 1981 had the body exhumed over a legal dispute to see if the body was actually that of a Russian intelligence agent who looked like Oswald. It wasn't, and Oswald was reburied in a new coffin. The Baumgardner Funeral Home, which handled Oswald's reinterment is selling the casket through Nate D. Sanders Auctions. The story, from the auction house:

As Lee Harvey Oswald's coffin was lifted, evidence of extensive water damage to the casket was apparent — the cover was weak in many areas and in one place had caved in partially exposing the remains. The coffin's wood exterior was very soft from moisture damage, and had dark areas of discoloration. Visible along the sides were the tarnished original metallic ornamentation. The interior of the casket also showed splotchy dark discoloration and moisture-softening of the wood. A portion of the original fabric that lined the top of the casket had fallen upon the decomposed remains. After a thorough medical examination, the pathologists assigned to the case officially identified the body as Oswald's as dental records positively matched. At a press conference later that day the following famous statement was made, "The remains in the grave marked as Lee Harvey Oswald are indeed Lee Harvey Oswald." After the news conference, Oswald's remains were transported back to Rose Hill Cemetery for re-interment in a new casket and vault. The original deteriorated coffin offered here, measures 80" long x 24" deep, with the thickness of the sides of the casket approximately one inch. Sitting on wood crate which measures 84" x 24"

The casket goes on the auction block on December 16. Get in there!

[Images via Nate D. Sanders Auctions]