A set of doodled pencil sketches by President Barack Obama has sold at action for more than $11,000 in the U.S.
The drawings on a sheet of White House stationary included three self-portraits, along with a random collection of swirls, shapes and patterns.
The doodles were originally owned by Samuel Sutton, a long-time White House employee who served as personal valet to President Obama and previously worked for George W. Bush.
They were sold at Boston-based RR Auction for $11,113, exceeding their pre-sale estimate of $8,000.
The sheet also included the underlined phrase ‘Making America Competitive Again’.
Although undated, the inclusion of the slogan suggests Obama could have drawn them in 2009, as he prepared to deliver a speech on May 4 about illegal offshore tax havens.
He stated, in part:
“I want to see our companies remain the most competitive in the world. But the way to make sure that happens is not to reward our companies for moving jobs off our shores or transferring profits to overseas tax havens… The way to make American businesses competitive is not to let some citizens and businesses dodge their responsibilities while ordinary Americans pick up the slack…
“We will stop letting American companies that create jobs overseas take deductions on their expenses when they do not pay any American taxes on their profits. And we will use the savings to give tax cuts to companies that are investing in research and development here at home so that we can jump start job creation, foster innovation, and enhance America’s competitiveness.”
It’s also been pointed out that the slogan bears a striking similarity to the one Donald Trump later used in his campaign, “Make America Great Again”.
It’s not the first time the scribblings of a Commander-in-Chief have fetched a high price at auction.
In 2013, a sketch of a sailboat drawn by John F. Kennedy sold at RR Auction for $32,270.
Kennedy’s lifelong love of sailing meant that he often drew boats, perhaps wishing he was out on the ocean instead of stuck in cabinet meetings or at formal functions.
However, this sketch had particular significance as it was the last he ever made – drawn the night before he was assassinated in Dallas on November 1963.
And more recently, a sketch by Donald Trump of New York’s Empire State Building sold at Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills for $16,000.