Watergate lock sells for $62,500 at auction

The four-pound brass lock burglars picked to break into the Democratic National Committee’s headquarters at the Watergate Complex in 1972 sold at auction Thursday night for $62,500.

The bidding on the piece of history that ultimately led to the cover-up and resignation of President Richard Nixon in 1974 began at $50,000.

The identity of the winning bidder was not immediately known.

The infamous jmmied stairwell lock leading to the Watergate DNC Offices, at the center of a foiled burglary that
 led to the resignation of President Nixon.   Courtesty of Nate D. Sanders Auctions

The infamous jimmied stairwell lock leading to the Watergate DNC Offices, at the center of a foiled burglary that led to the resignation of President Nixon  (Courtesy of Nate D. Sanders Auctions)

The lock was installed on a door to a stairwell on July 17, 1972.

The Watergate burglary was bungled after security guard Frank Willis discovered a piece of duct tape covering the latch of a stairwell door. Willis removed the tape but saw it had been re-taped within minutes. He called the cops to investigate a possible break-in which led to a two-year investigation.

“Americans’ fascination with Watergate has continued for nearly five decades,” auction house owner Nate D. Sanders said in a statement. “Historians and collectors will be intrigued by this lock, which symbolizes the downfall of the Nixon administration.”

The lock comes with a notarized letter from locksmith James Rednowers, who later gave the pricy piece of history to Watergate superintendent James Herrald.

A notarized letter signed by Herrald, as well as his business card, were also included with the lock, the auction house said.