A month ago, I noticed an eBay auction selling, “John Wilkes Booth’s Diary National Treasure 2 Prop Replica“. I decided to contact the seller to ask about it. I learned that the piece was a handmade creation by an Italian replica prop maker. The creator’s name is Pasquale Marsella and he has an entire website showing his self-created prop replicas for his favorite move series, Indiana Jones. His cinematic interests are multifaceted and he also very much enjoys the National Treasure movies. Due to this he meticulously replicated items from that movie series such as the President’s Book of Secrets and Booth’s diary. After e-mailing for a bit, I inquired with him how many diaries he had for sale. Mr. Marsella told me he still had about 10 -15 completed leather covers in his possession, the interiors of which still needed to be completed. Up until now he was just selling them to other prop collectors for their National Treasure collections. However, the detail is so fine and the craftsmanship is so good, I told him he was missing out on a whole other market: Lincoln assassination researchers and collectors.
Over the past month, Mr. Marsella and I have been working together to tweak and adjust his original design. As stated, his original product was a replica of a replica. It was very good at a glance, but details like the interior pages themselves were not the same as the original Booth diary. Using John Wilkes Booth’s FBI file and images of the diary the Secret Service took of it in the 1970’s, Mr. Marsella and I have been able to duplicate the interior of the diary exactly. The written pages are now in Booth’s handwriting, and the diary has the exact number of present and missing pages as the original. I know that Mr. Marsella is very proud of his new design and is happy to offer his hand-made diaries to readers of this blog at a generously discounted rate.
Remember, these diaries are all hand-made by Mr. Marsella, with hand tooled leather and printed pages to match the interior of Booth’s diary exactly. The diaries will be aged to replicate the original diary housed at Ford’s Theatre.
In addition to a remarkable replica of Booth’s diary, Mr. Marsella is also throwing in copies of the CDVs of Booth’s ladies found inside the diary and a replica map that was used at the trial of the conspirators.
Mr. Marsella is offering all of these replicas; the diary, CDVs, and map, for the cost of $400 plus $25 shipping. I truly believe the workmanship is worth every penny and the rarity of a good replica makes it a great deal. For comparison, it would cost you $2,500 to purchase a replica diary from the original propmaster on National Treasure 2 and this pricey version would not be as exact as the one Mr. Marsella has created.
For those of you out there who are interested in buying your own replica John Wilkes Booth diary please email me at: boothiebarn (at) gmail (dot) com. Update: Pasquale has no more John Wilkes Booth diaries for sale and will not be making any more. Thank you all for supporting his wonderful creations. From there I’ll send you instructions on how to send Mr. Marsella payment. Please note that Mr. Marsella needs 25 days after payment is received to age and assemble the diary properly.
If it helps convince you, I have an order in for a diary as does the Surratt House Museum which will be putting the replica on display.
If you have any questions for me, or questions I can pass along to Mr. Marsella, please feel free to ask them in the comments below.