Private collection of Ronald and Nancy Reagan up for sale in New York

Ronald and Nancy Reagan at a luncheon in New Orleans in 1988.
Ronald and Nancy Reagan at a luncheon in New Orleans in 1988.PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (AFP) - Art, books, jewellery and furniture owned by Ronald and Nancy Reagan are expected to fetch more than US$2 million (S$2.7 million) at auction in New York this September, Christie's said on Thursday.

Reagan, who died in 2004, was one of the most revered US presidents, and when his widow Nancy died last March, Hollywood stars and political powerbrokers turned out en masse to attend her funeral in California.

Lots in the sale include American, English and Chinese furnishings from the couple's Los Angeles home, as well as books, memorabilia, jewellery, paintings, sculpture, prints and drawings, Christie's said.

The auction house has valued individual items from US$1,000 to US$50,000 and expects the sale to fetch more than US$2 million across live and online auctions.

The collection "offers unprecedented insight" into the private lives of the couple, said Brook Hazelton, president of Christie's Americas.

"Each object offers a 'through the keyhole' experience revealing as-yet untold stories of two of the 20th century's most celebrated public figures," he said.

Christie's said the catalogue would be released this summer and that all proceeds would go to The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute.

Nancy Reagan was laid to rest beside her husband at the Reagan presidential library on March 11 after dying of heart failure aged 94 at her home in Los Angeles, 12 years after her husband.

Ronald Reagan served two terms in the White House in the 1980s and oversaw the end of the nuclear stand-off between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

The Berlin Wall came down in the final months of his presidency and Reagan presided over a period of economic growth in America that made him the darling, still today, of the Republican party establishment.