Col. H. Sanders Suit with Signed Photo

Value (2012) | $30,300 Auction$50,500 Auction
Watch  

GUEST:
In 1975, Colonel Sanders bought my parents' home, and we actually built a house right next to him. And for the last five years of his life, we lived right next to Colonel Sanders. When he sold his house in Louisville before he moved to my parents' home, he sold his house ahead of time, and someone actually moved in. He didn't have a place to stay. So he came to my father, and he asked him. He said, "Is it okay if my wife and I stay in your basement while you're building your house next to mine?" So for six months, he and Claudia Sanders lived in our basement of the home.

APPRAISER:
Oh, my gosh.

GUEST:
It was a full furnished basement. So they had their own kitchen and everything downstairs. And he would come in the front door, and sit down with us and have dinner or watch TV with us. And then they would go downstairs to the basement and sleep. And then when we built our house, he moved upstairs.

APPRAISER:
So how did you get his white suit?

GUEST:
Well, when I was a senior in high school, we had a Halloween costume party at our school. And I wanted to dress up like Colonel Sanders. So I went over and asked the Colonel if I could borrow one of this suits. He said, "Absolutely, I'll be glad to loan you one." So I dressed up like him, I went over, and he was just thrilled to death at how I looked. And then he said, "Well, here's what I'm going to do, Mike. I'm going to have the chauffeur drive you up in my limousine to the high school, and I'm going to have him escort you into the school. And he'll be your escort the whole night." And then after the contest was over with, the Colonel said, "Because you look so fantastic, you can have the suit as a memento."

APPRAISER:
Unbelievable. Well, Colonel Sanders started his chicken making in 1930, only three hours away from here in Corbin, Kentucky. And it was such a hit that he franchised it in 1952. And after that, he was pretty much a goodwill ambassador for the company and lived until the ripe old age of 90. You told me a funny story. That wasn't his favorite food. What was?

GUEST:
His favorite food was actually White Castle's. He had... would have to go around to different Kentucky Fried Chicken stores to taste the chicken to make sure that they were producing the chicken properly. That he got tired of really eating the chicken.

APPRAISER:
You said he visited some of the stores, and he wasn't that nice.

GUEST:
He had a reputation of being very strong-willed. The recipe had to be a certain way, his stores had to look a certain way. And I mean, when he went in, everybody feared Colonel Sanders because they knew that he was going to be hard on their particular store.

APPRAISER:
Well, besides having this wonderful story about the white suit, we can also see on the inside of the suit that it does have the label, which reads, "Warren Klook Tailored especially for Colonel H. Sanders." And not only do we have the iconic white suit, but we also have the quintessential black string tie.

GUEST:
We do, yes.

APPRAISER:
And then we have this reprint of a canvas that he signed to you and dated. And as an autograph, it would be valued at about $300 to $500.

GUEST:
Great.

APPRAISER:
So you have something that is really very special. If this was to come up on the secondary market at auction, it would bring between $30,000 and $50,000.

GUEST:
My gosh, you're kidding me.

APPRAISER:
There was in 2002 a charity auction where one of his white suits came up with the shirt, and it sold for charity for $80,000.

GUEST:
Oh, my gosh. Colonel actually came over one Christmas and read Twas the Night Before Christmas to my sister and I.

APPRAISER:
Oh, my gosh.

GUEST:
And we have that as a home movie.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Heritage Auctions
New York, NY
Appraised value (2012)
$30,300 Auction$50,500 Auction
Event
Cincinnati, OH (July 21, 2012)
Period
20th Century
Material
Canvas

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