Monica Lewinsky auction: Would you buy her used clothes?

June 27, 2013

The auction of items once belonging to Monica Lewinsky prompts two questions:

Does it include the infamous blue dress? Nope.

Who’s gonna buy this stuff? Probably not a serious presidential memorabilia collector.

The lot of 32 items — shirts, a black lace nightie, some handwritten notes — was posted this week on the Nate D. Sanders online auction site with little fanfare. The items were given by Lewinsky to her former high school teacher/lover Andy Bleiler in the ’90s, examined as evidence in Bill Clinton’s impeachment, and then ended up with Bleiler’s ex-wife.

Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton at the White House in the mid-1990's (Getty Images)
Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton at the White House in the mid-1990′s (Getty Images)

“Monica Lewinsky items are very, very rare,” said auction manager Laura Yntema. “We were interested in this lot because they were all investigated by Kenneth Starr.”

Rare — but valuable? Not according to Victor Mongeau, owner of presidential auction site Legacy Americana. “I am not a Monica Lewinsky scholar,” he told us. “But I don’t think a single one of my clients would have any interest in this material. It’s so outrageous.”

In 15 years in the business, Mongeau has sold Clinton impeachment tickets for $100 to $200 but never drew inquiries for anything owned by the former White House intern. “What would you do with it?” he asked.

“In the hard-core, serious collectors’ market, there would only be limited interest because she’s only a footnote in history,” said Steve Ferber of Lori Ferber Presidential Memorabilia. He said most dealers were barely aware of the auction; their clients want something they can hang on a wall, not presidential “oddities.”

“Am I surprised her items came up for auction?” said Ferber. “No. Do I expect them to bring high value? No.”

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 19: Monica Lewinsky at the Downtown Mayfair restaurant for Heather Kerzner's birthday celebration on March 19, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Robert Milan/FilmMagic)
Lewinsky in London in March. (Mark Robert Milan/FilmMagic via Getty Images)

The bidding was up to $7,000 by press time Wednesday, although Yntema said she expects more action in the auction’s final hours Thursday night.

Lewinsky, reportedly living in New York, has kept an extremely low profile and is rarely spotted in public. Yntema said the company had not contacted Lewinsky and Bleiler and did not know if they were aware of the auction. Neither could be reached by us for comment.

Update, July 1: Buyer interest fell short for Monica Lewinsky auction

Browse items from the auction below.

A black jacket with beige embroidery by Opera brand in size L, once belonging to Monica Lewinsky. ( NATE D. SANDERS FINE AUTOGRAPHS/EPA)
A black jacket with beige embroidery by Opera brand in size L, once belonging to Monica Lewinsky. ( NATE D. SANDERS FINE AUTOGRAPHS/EPA)

A collage showing items once belonging to and/or sent to a former lover of Monica Lewinsky. (NATE D. SANDERS FINE AUTOGRAPHS/EPA)
A negligee once belonging to Monica Lewinsky (NATE D. SANDERS FINE AUTOGRAPHS/EPA)
A negligee once belonging to Monica Lewinsky (NATE D. SANDERS FINE AUTOGRAPHS/EPA)
A postcard once belonging to and/or sent to a friend of Monica Lewinsky. (NATE D. SANDERS FINE AUTOGRAPHS/EPA)
A postcard once belonging to and/or sent to a friend of Monica Lewinsky. (NATE D. SANDERS FINE AUTOGRAPHS/EPA)

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