If you’re a history buff who has a hankering for a piece of the past, you can choose from a wide selection at Gary Zimet’s Moments in Time store. He has autographed photos of Louis Armstrong and Igor Stravinsky. He’s even got one jointly signed by Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler. The authenticity of all pieces “is guaranteed without time limitations, for full refund of purchase price.”
That’s good, because Zimet’s offering up a signed copy of the Holy Bible that President Trump infamously used as a prop at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Lafayette Square. His asking price is $37,500. Contacted by Talking Points Memo, Zimet repeatedly referred to Trump as a “psychotic insect,” but insisted that he has the genuine article:
In a phone call with TPM, Gary Zimet, an autograph curator at “Moments In Time” in Los Angeles, confirmed his remarks to Page Six in which he claimed that he had asked a “contact” at the White House to get Trump to sign the Bible shortly after the scandal erupted in early June.
Zimet said he successfully received the exact Bible that Trump waved in front of the church after he got law enforcement to teargas nearby peaceful protesters to clear his path for the photo-op. The curator put up the Bible for auction on Tuesday with a starting bid of $37,500.
However, Zimet would not disclose who his White House contact was, telling TPM that the information was “confidential.”
“I’ve been in business for 40 years, my dear, and I know autographs,” the auctioneer said when asked how he could prove to customers that the item was legitimate.
Mr. Zimet is putting his reputation and livelihood on the line by offering this item as the precise bible used by Trump during the clearing of Lafayette Square, but the White House denies that it’s legitimate:
“It’s not true,” White House spokesperson Judd Deere told TPM via email, later clarifying that he meant the auctioneer does not possess the Bible and that the tome is not up for auction. Deere did not address TPM’s query on whether Trump had indeed signed the Bible.
Perhaps if I offer to buy the bible from Zimet, he will give me the backstory on his “confidential” source. If he can’t do this for his customers, he won’t likely be making a sale. Many people purchase memorabilia like this as an investment, and they need to prove the provenance and authenticity of their items in order to preserve their resale value. That means the “St. Marks” bible will come with supporting documentation, and probably some kind of conditional non-disclosure agreement.
Trump recently visited Louisiana to witness the emergency response to Hurricane Laura. While there, he signed autographs and handed them out FEMA officials, advising them to put them up for bid on eBay where they could easily make $10,000.
So, it’s not far-fetched to believe that Mr. Zimet is telling the truth. Either way, at some point, he signed a King James bible. You can have it for $37,500.