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Auctioned antique autograph book fetches signature price in Vancouver

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VANCOUVER - A 19th century autograph book containing the signatures of 300 famous and powerful visitors to the White House has sold at auction for nearly double its asking price.

The book, compiled over 40 years by White House doorman Maj. Charles D.A. Loeffler, was snapped up Wednesday night by a Canadian phone bidder during Maynards' Antiques, International and Asian Art Auction, in Vancouver.

Signatures spanned eight White House administrations from 1869 to 1909 and included scrawls from Ulysses S. Grant, Winston Churchill, Theodore Roosevelt, The Queen of Hawaii, Buffalo Bill Cody, P.T. Barnum, and many others.

Maynards valued the book at between $10,000 and $15,000, but when the final gavel dropped, the unidentified bidder had paid $25,300.

Several other items at the same auction fetched well above their asking price, including Red Plum Tree, a traditional Chinese ink scroll painting by artist Guan Shanyue which sold for $241,500, more than double its expected value of $120,000, while a 70-million-year-old triceratops dinosaur skull changed hands for $63,250.

Bidders at the auction hailed from more than 52 countries, including the United States, China, Japan, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Britain and France.

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