A vial that reportedly contains blood drawn from President Reagan on the day he was shot in 1981 will not be auctioned off to the highest bidder after all.
The online bidding, which as we reported Tuesday had drawn sharp condemnation from officials at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, has been halted. According to PFC Auctions, the British firm that was handling the sale, the person who put the vial on consignment is instead donating it to the Reagan foundation.
The auction house also says — and this had not been previously reported — that the "consignor purchased the item at a public auction in the USA in February 2012 for $3,550."
By the time this week's auction was halted, bidding had reached $30,086, according to PFC. But in a statement attributed to that consignor, he says "the publicity generated by PFC Auctions for their current Auction has clearly highlighted the importance of this historical artefact [British spelling] and I would personally be delighted to see this important artefact put on public display by the Foundation."
John Heubusch, the Reagan foundation's executive director, is quoted by PFC as saying "we are very pleased with this outcome." He does not mention whether the vial will be displayed. Heubusch had previously said the auction was "a craven act."