John F. Kennedy Honey Fitz Chairs and Lamp

29 Oct

Two chairs and a table lamp from the presidential yacht Honey Fitz, gifted to former Petty Officer Hollis Beaty for years of faithful service to the Kennedys. The table lamp measures 31.5″ high from the square base to top of the shade, with a wooden faux thatch design and a braided pull tassle. The matching pair of wooden chairs measure approximately 30″ high and 28″ wide. The rataan-style chairs feature high arm rests and semi-circular backs with no manufacturer’s marks or stamps visible. Both come with matching green plaid cushions. In fine condition, with a couple trivial surface chips to lamps as well as a few scattered small separations to wood on chairs. Items come with an extensive folder of provenance, including service records from Beaty’s time on board the Honey Fitz and varied accounts from his wife, Judy Beaty, to whom the chairs passed upon his death.

Built by the Defoe Boat Works in Bay City, Michigan, and christened Lenore II in 1931, the Presidential Yacht took on a new life when sea-loving Kennedy took office. Renamed the Honey Fitz in honor of his maternal grandfather and personally redecorated by Jackie, the ship held some of the Kennedys’ happiest moments—weekends on the Cape, Christmas and Easter holidays at Palm Beach, autumn getaways to Hammersmith Farm, and John’s final surprise birthday party in 1963. Some of the most iconic photos of the windswept first family were taken on Honey Fitz’s decks, including one of the president’s favorite photos of himself, shown on the cover of Dave Powers’s ‘Johnny, We Hardly Knew Ye.’ Inseparable from our thoughts of JFK, the yacht is a national treasure, and these pieces—taken straight from the ship and given to Petty Officer in Charge of Honey Fitz, Hollis Beaty, “required to meet and perform duties in the presence of VIP, including the President of the US”—are one-of-a-kind personal effects, capturing the president’s two deepest loves: his family and the sea. Never before seen on the market, these are items of the utmost rarity and desirability. RR Auction COA.

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Posted by on October 29, 2013 in John F. Kennedy


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