A trademark white suit once owned by KFC founder Colonel Sanders sold for $21,510 at a Dallas auction on Saturday, topping its conservative pre-auction estimate of $10,000-15,000. According to the Associated Press, the winning bid was placed by the president of Kentucky Fried Chicken Japan, Masao "Charlie" Watanabe, who happened to be in town for a company marketing meeting. Also included in the auction lot, run by Dallas-based Heritage Auctions: a signed "canvas" of Colonel Harland Sanders, a collection of 16 black-and-white promotional photos, "a booklet issued in conjunction with Sanders' 80th birthday," and a written narrative explaining the suit's provenance. (Sanders — not a real Colonel — gave it to a friend in the late '70s to wear as a Halloween costume.)[Photos: Heritage Auctions]
After trying on the suit himself, Watanabe told reporters he plans to display the suit at a KFC restaurant in Tokyo. And he may have gotten a steal: In 2002, a similar white suit and tie sold for $80,000 at an annual Association of KFC Franchisees Convention.
· President of KFC Japan Buys Colonel Sanders' Trademark White Suit [AP via WaPo]
· Heritage Auctions: Colonel Harland Sanders Archive [Official site]
· All KFC Coverage on Eater [-E-]