LOS ANGELES -- The coffin that once held the body of presidential assasin Lee Harvey Oswald has been sold to an anonymous bidder, but Oswald's brother is disputing the sale.

Robert L. Oswald, 76, said he didn't know the coffin still existed until he read that it was up for sale in a Texas newspaper.

Oswald says he has attempted to contact the funeral home owner, Allen Baumgardner, but has not gotten a response. He also said he has contacted the Santa Monica auction house, Nate D. Sanders Auctions, that handled the sale, but has also been ignored.

The modest water-damaged coffin held the body of Lee Harvey Oswald -- the man who shot and killed President John F. Kennedy to death in 1963 -- until it was exhumed in 1981. It had been stashed in a storage room in Fort Worth, Texas ever since.

Few people had any idea that the rotting wooden box even existed.

An anonymous bidder agreed to pay $87,469 last week.

Robert Oswald says he bought the original coffin in 1963 and believes he is the rightful owner of the macabre piece of American history.

Oswald, however, says he has no plans to sell the coffin and doesn't have any immediate intentions to file a lawsuit. He says he never gave anyone the authority to see it or do anything with the coffin.

Baumgardner was 21 and working for the Miller Funeral Home when Oswald himself was killed just two days after he shot Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963.

By the time Oswald's coffin was dug up in 1981, as part of an effort to put to rest conspiracy theories that he wasn't buried in it, Baumgardner had bought the mortuary and changed its name.

He was surprised to learn Oswald's burial vault had cracked over the years and water had leaked in, damaging the coffin and the body.

Still, authorities identified Oswald through dental records and reburied him in Fort Worth's Rose Hill Memorial Burial Park.

Before the burial, Baumgardner traded the Oswald family a brand new coffin in exchange for the old one.

"We placed Lee in a new casket, and I just brought that one back to the funeral home," he said Wednesday. "I've had it all these years."

He also kept the original embalming equipment and paperwork.

"I just think it's time to do something with all that stuff," the soft-spoken funeral director said.

"I just felt like I'm 68 years old, I think this would be a good time to go ahead and see if anybody is interested in it."

An early version of Oswald's death certificate, in which the cause of death was listed as being shot by Jack Ruby (identified by his real name, Jack Rubenstein), was being auctioned separately.

The certificate had to be changed because Ruby hadn't yet been convicted of killing Oswald at a Dallas police station.

The Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas, which is dedicated to the Kennedy assassination, has no interest in bidding on the coffin, said curator Gary Mack, adding its exhibits lean heavily toward photographs and videos.

The museum is located on the sixth floor of Dallas's old Texas School Book Depository Building, from which Oswald is believed to have opened fire on Kennedy as the president passed by in a convertible.

The Sixth Floor Museum attracts more than 325,000 visitors a year.