Recently found upon the purchase of the complete contents of an estate. Original KKK white robe with hood and snap-on removeable eye mask. The patch on the robe appears to be newer, however the robe belonged to the former estate owners father, as they both were members of the organization in the state of Tennessee. Very unique in that there are several small "burn" holes all along the shoulder area and down the back of the robe, this would have been from the carrying of a burning cross. There is also some staining, but on one of the arms, there is actually what appears to be former blood stains. I do not support or believe in this type of lifestyle. However I know this item has value to some collectors, as I have already had people trying to purchase it. I was just wanting to see what an appraisal of the item might conclude. One other note, the owner was a former prison guard in Tennessee, and also a military guard at the Guatanonimo Bay Cuba prison complex as I have his military records and Identification as well. If the piece did belong to his father, it would date this robe to around the 1920's- 1930's.
purchased entire contents of a home in the state of Tennessee. This belonged to the owners father.
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I've search recent auction archives for sales of KKK robes and unsurprisingly, there have been a few; what was surprising to me was that the prices realized for KKK robes has been on the rise somewhat recently and I wonder if this is due to more visibility of KKK and other white supremacist groups during President Trump's tenure. I don't know what the market for these kinds of things will do now that he has left office - will people be more hesitant to collect because of a perceived stigma regarding the artifacts, or emboldened to continue to aggressively pursue them. The following are recent sales with prices; it's worth noting that in a majority of instances, the pre-sale estimates are lower than the actual final price, which I've included in parentheses in case you don't have access to the Invaluable prices database:
($1,600 final price, estimate $400-600, Oct 2020) https://www.invaluable.com/auction-lot/ku-klux-klan-robe-hood-and-belt-1092-c-6bc4b9f9d1
($500 final price, estimate $500-800, Nov 2019) https://www.invaluable.com/auction-lot/ku-klux-klan-robe-hood-and-sash-1307-c-1524488b7d
($850 final price, estimate $200-300), Aug 2018) https://www.invaluable.com/auction-lot/ku-klux-klan-hood-and-robe-1095-c-f1f4c0b905
($180 final price, estimate $250-350, Apr 2018) https://www.invaluable.com/auction-lot/ku-klux-klan-hood-and-robe-1352-c-4e84112b8e
($475 final price, no estimate given, Jan 2018) https://www.invaluable.com/auction-lot/vintage-kkk-glory-suit-robe-5546-c-5744eb0a10
Based on the photos and information provided, and subject to examination, this is:
A KKK robe, hood and mask
Tennessee, probably circa 1920s-1930s
with more modern patch
CONDITION: with some staining throughout.
PROVENANCE: descended in the family of known KKK members in Tennessee
$800-1,200 for the grouping*
*represents a fair-market value for auction purposes; retail or asking price may vary.
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