Red Cross Auctions Off History to Cut Deficit

Red Cross getting rid of historical items for cash

By Jim Iovino and Brett Zongker
|  Tuesday, Nov 17, 2009  |  Updated 7:15 AM EDT
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Red Cross Auctions Off History to Cut Deficit

American Red Cross

This poster is one of the items up for auction by the American Red Cross.

Rose Percy has a long history with the American Red Cross.

With an extensive wardrobe and her own Tiffany jewelry, this 23-inch wax doll first sold for $1,200 back in 1864 to benefit the U.S. Sanitary Commission. That Civil War-era organization was the precursor for one of the best-known U.S. charities.

Now, Rose Percy is on the auction block again.

On Tuesday, Percy will be sold in one of the first rounds of an extensive sale of treasures the Red Cross has amassed over the decades as the charity works to erase a $33 million budget deficit.

It's also selling nurse uniforms from World War I and what could be the last Civil War-era flag of the U.S. Sanitary Commission.

Red Cross spokesman Roger Lowe said it's a chance to buy a piece of history.

The Red Cross said the auction is a result of cost-cutting measures over the past two years. Specifically, the Red Cross said it closed the warehouse facility that housed the many gifts, books, posters, art and other objects it had accumulated over the years.

Before closing the facility, the Red Cross said it evaluated each item in order to determine which items should be retained, sent to the National Archives as part of its regular archiving process or offered for auction.

All auction proceeds will go into the Red Cross general fund, which helps the organization carry out its humanitarian mission.

To view the auction items, click here.

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