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RR Auction

RR Auction
Founded Amherst, New Hampshire, 1980
Headquarters Boston, Massachusetts
Services Auction House
Website www.rrauction.com

RR Auction is an auction house headquartered in Boston’s North End with a production office based in Amherst, New Hampshire. First established in 1976 and officially founded in 1980 by CEO Bob Eaton, the company is known for its monthly auctions of rare documents, manuscripts, autographs, and historic artifacts, often exceeding 1,000 lots per sale. The auction house has developed global recognition with a worldwide client base and publishes monthly catalogs in print and online via issuu.

In 1976, RR Auction CEO and founder Bob Eaton, then 19 years old and recently graduated from Newton North High School, purchased $1800 worth of sports memorabilia. The memorabilia included a Babe Ruth baseball and Red Sox World Series programs, and he proceeded to sell them for ten times his original purchase price. After this, Eaton established RR Auction and began to sell sports cards and signed memorabilia out of his basement, until he decided in 1980 to send out a mailing list of the items he had available for sale --- thus founding the company in Newton Centre, Massachusetts.

In 1995, RR Auction switched from retail sales to auctioning and Eaton decided to bring the business to Amherst, New Hampshire, where the company has an office to this day. The first internet auction occurred the same year. At this time the company also began including items other than autographs.

RR Auction launched the option for online bidding in 2004. This has contributed to the growth of the company over the years. In 2009, RR Auction brought in $8 million in annual revenue. This increased by 2014, and this same year the company opened an auction gallery in a new 1,500 square-foot facility in Boston’s North End community after expanding considerably after the launch of their website.

Today

The auction house now focuses on artifacts from American history and pop culture, and these are often the themes of their online and live auctions, though autographs are still the most commonly featured item. Their auction website remains active while they still send out monthly catalogues.

RR Auction has over 20 staff members and 16 full time employees. The mid-sized auction house registers up to $10 million in sales every year and mails out over 1,000 monthly catalogues while their online auction system draws around 6,000 visitors per week.



  • Documents connected with the Alamo, including receipts signed by William Barret Travis and Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna’s map, were featured at auction in November 2011. Part of the proceeds were donated to the Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas.
  • A pair of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow’s guns sold for over $500,000 in September 2012. These guns were carried on the outlaws when they were killed by officers in 1934.
  • President John F. Kennedy’s 1963 convertible sold for $318,000 in October 2013. This convertible was an official vehicle used to transport the First Couple, designated “Limo One,” noteworthy as the last automobile to safely carry Kennedy before his assassination in Dallas.
  • Over 400 items from the collection of Raleigh DeGeer Amyx, including Abraham Lincoln's eyeglasses, Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Rolex watch, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s cane, were offered at auction in September 2014.
  • An original White House plinth sold at auction, salvaged by Joseph Williamson Jr. when Theodore Roosevelt remodeled the White House in 1902.
  • September 2011: Alan Shepard’s letter to his parents regarding him trying out for the “Man in Space” program, written in 1959, was sold at auction for $106,000.
  • November 2014: A 1962 Hasselblad camera body and Zeiss lens that saw use in orbital photo experiments on NASA missions sold at auction.
  • April 2015: The first Apollo mission’s flight software, a Block II Apollo Guidance computer display and keyboard built by MIT computer scientist Margaret Hamilton, sold at auction.
  • October 2015: The only privately-owned watch worn on the surface of the moon, owned and worn by astronaut David Scott on Apollo 15 in 1971, sold for $1.625 million. This was the highest bid RR Auction has ever received on an item to date.
  • January 2012: A final letter written by the Titanic’s bandleader, 33-year-old Wallace Hartley, sold at auction for $155,000.
  • January 2013: A 1970s photograph showing Princess Diana and an unknown man sold for $18,396.
  • April 2014: The first email ever sent by an American President, sent by Bill Clinton to astronaut John Glenn in 1998, sold at auction for more than $11,000.
  • November 2015: The white 2003 Cadillac Escalade used during the final three seasons of The Sopranos, the interior signed by the late actor James Gandolfini, sold for $119,780.
  • June 2009: An iconic photograph of Albert Einstein sticking out his tongue, signed by the theoretical physicist himself, sold at auction for $74,000.
  • 2010: A Charles Darwin signed portrait by Julia Margaret Cameron sold at auction for a record-setting $27,579.
  • 2012: An Edgar Allen Poe letter to Sarah Josepha Hale, editor of a literary publication and author of “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” sold at auction for $164,000.
  • August 2013: A letter written by German businessman Oskar Schindler, who saved nearly 1,200 Jews from Nazi death camps, dated August 22, 1944 and asking permission to move his factory from Krakow, Poland into Czechoslovakia, sold for over $21,000.
  • April 2013: Truman Capote’s 86 page typed hand-notated manuscript for the novella 1958 Breakfast at Tiffany’s sold for over $300,000.[31]
  • February 2016: A collection of author Mario Puzo's papers, including multiple drafts of The Godfather novel and movie screenplay, sold at auction for $625,000. The 45-box archive was put up for auction by Puzo’s children.
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