Partly-printed DS as president, one page, 23 x 19, March 7, 1961. President Kennedy appoints George W. Ball as “United States Alternate Governor of the International Monetary Fund for a term of five years, and United States Alternate Governor of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development for a term of five years.” Boldly signed at the conclusion by President Kennedy and countersigned by Secretary of State Dean Rusk. The crisply embossed white paper seal affixed to the lower left remains fully intact and in excellent condition. In fine condition. Ball’s experience in international economics began in World War II, during which he served as an official of the Lend Lease program. After the war he assisted the French government with its economic recovery and negotiations regarding the Marshall Plan. A key figure in Democratic circles, he played an integral role in Adlai Stevenson’s campaigns of the 1950s and went on to serve in several different capacities in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, culminating in a stint as US ambassador to the United Nations. Exceptionally clean and crisp, this is a superior example of an appointment from early in the Kennedy administration. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DN
Category Archives: John F. Kennedy
Iconic original matte-finish 12 x 18 photograph of John and Robert Kennedy entitled ‘Brothers,’ taken by Jacques Lowe at the Biltmore Hotel, Los Angeles, on July 14, 1960—the day after JFK received the Democratic presidential nomination. The reverse bears Lowe’s photographer’s stamp, reading: “Studio One / #345 / Photographer / Jacques Lowe.” Attractively double-matted and framed to an overall size of 22 x 28. In fine condition, with trivial edge chips and dings seen only when removed from the frame. Lowe began working as John F. Kennedy’s campaign photographer in 1958, and documented his presidential administration until 1962. Taken on the day that Lyndon B. Johnson accepted Kennedy’s offer of the vice presidential nomination, the image is said to depict them discussing the choice of LBJ, which Robert F. Kennedy was adamantly against. Lowe passed away in early 2001, and his archive of negatives was destroyed with the World Trade Center, making this an especially scarce and desirable image.
Supremely rare glossy 7.5 x 9.5 photo of John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert in the Oval Office, both men relaxed and smiling, signed and inscribed in fountain pen, “To Terence McCarten, with every good wish, John F. Kennedy” and “To Terence, with thanks, Robert F. Kennedy.” Affixed to a slightly larger piece of mat board, with photo edges slightly trimmed, and a bit of irregular ink adhesion to RFK’s last name, otherwise fine condition. Almost all of the writing is contained in light portions of the photo away from the Kennedys’ dark suits, resulting in remarkable clarity; JFK’s signature is exceptionally bold. Additionally included is an original contact sheet picturing eleven images of JFK and RFK from McCarten’s session (including the dual-signed image being offered here, located at the top right). Accompanied by full letters of authenticity from PSA/DNA and JSA. Terence McCarten was an award-winning news photographer who worked at the New York Herald Tribune and New York Post during his career, and became friendly with the Kennedy brothers while covering the 1960 presidential campaign. Showing both leaders at the height of their political clout, with JFK as president and RFK as attorney general, this image captures a remarkable candid moment between brothers. Photographs signed by both Jack and Bobby Kennedy are virtually nonexistent; this is the sole example we’ve encountered in 35 years. An extraordinary image of these American icons and an absolute rarity of great historical significance.
Absentee Bidding Starts Thursday February 12, 2015
Personal check, 8 x 3, filled out in another hand and signed by Kennedy, “John Kennedy,” payable to World Affairs Bookshop for $10, January 11, 1960. Beautifully double-matted and framed with the original invoice and a portrait of Kennedy to an overall size of 23 x 16. In fine condition. The invoice from Washington’s World Affairs Bookshop is unsigned and addressed to Kennedy’s Senate office, 8 x 5, December 28, 1959, headed: “Replacement copies supplied to Loan Division, Library of Congress.” It lists two books, “Major Campaign Speeches of Adlai Stevenson” and “Morison: The American Style,” at five dollars apiece
Rare official White House Hallmark Christmas card from 1963, featuring an image of a nativity scene on the front, measuring 4.5 x 6.5 closed, signed inside in bold ink as president, “John Kennedy,” and as first lady, “Jacqueline Kennedy.” The image on the front is identified as “Creche in East Room, The White House,” and a gilt-embossed presidential seal and engraved holiday greeting appear above the signatures, reading: “With our wishes for a Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year.” In fine condition. Accompanied by a full letter of authenticity from JSA. The Kennedys ordered a few different variations of these cards from Hallmark, some with “Blessed Christmas” omitted, and most with facsimile signatures; in late November, 500 blank versions arrived at the White House while the Kennedys were on a trip to Florida. After returning on the evening of the 18th, both the president and first lady began to sign the cards at their leisure before leaving for their ill-fated trip to Texas on the 20th. Given the tragic events, none of the 1963 Kennedy Christmas cards were ever sent and these dual-signed cards were relatively unknown, even to the Kennedy Library, until the mid-1980s. According to Mary Evans Seeley’s book Season’s Greetings from the White House, fewer than 30 of the dual-signed cards are known to exist, making them the rarest Christmas format ever signed by a president and first lady. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.
Exceedingly rare official Hallmark card issued during the 1963 holiday season, featuring an image of a nativity scene on the front, measuring 4.5 x 6.5 closed, signed inside in bold ink as president, “John Kennedy,” and as first lady, “Jacqueline Kennedy.” The image on the front is identified as “Creche in East Room, The White House,” and a gilt-embossed presidential seal and engraved holiday greeting appear above the signatures, reading: “With best wishes for a Happy New Year.” In fine condition. Two variations of this holiday card were ordered, the other additionally wishing a ‘Blessed Christmas’ in the printed sentiment. Kennedy returned to Washington on the evening of November 18, 1963, from a trip to Florida. Sometime between his return and the evening of the 20th, both the president and first lady began to sign the cards at their leisure, but none were ever sent. These dual-signed cards were relatively unknown, even to the Kennedy Library, until the mid-1980s. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.
President Kennedy’s personally-owned and -worn navy blue silk neck tie with small embroidered gray design accents, made by A. Sulka & Company, measuring 54″ long. Manufacturer’s and material tags are sewn to the underside of the narrow end. In fine condition. Accompanied by a letter of provenance signed by David J. Powers, son of David F. Powers, who was JFK’s close friend and assistant. In part: “Many consider my father to have been President Kennedy’s best friend. They campaigned together from 1946 to 1963, and traveled the world together on presidential visits from 1960 to 1963. During their travels, they frequently needed to switch from casual attire to something more formal. My father and JFK were not the same size, but that mattered little when it came to neckties. This A. Sulka & Company navy silk tie with a gray graphic design was worn by JFK and subsequently ended up with my father, who may have worn it as well, as they did share on occasion. My father carefully separated this tie from others that were his alone and preserved it among his valuable memorabilia and archives.” While any items worn by presidents are incredibly desirable, the status of John and Jacqueline Kennedy as American fashion icons make pieces worn by them even more appealing. Highly sought-after, and with its excellent provenance from the Powers family, this is an extraordinary presidential piece. RR Auction COA.
A pair of original and deeply revealing medical illustrations, each 10 x 12.5, done in ink, gray wash, and tape, for the 1978 hearings on the murder of John F. Kennedy by the House Select Committee on Assassinations. Illustrating the trajectory of the first bullet against profiles of the President’s head and shoulders, both drawings were rendered by medical illustrator Ida G. Dox of Bethesda Maryland, who has signed one of the drawings, “Dox.” Drawings are housed in a 25 x 15.5 mat bearing her credit on the reverse, and both are covered by a sheet of heavy art paper bearing a stamped note: “DO NOT TOUCH SURFACE OF DRAWING.”
The first sketch shows Kennedy in profile with the structure of his spinal column, lungs and trachea filled in over which Dox has sketched the trajectory of the famous ‘single bullet’ that struck the President in his upper back. (The bullet exited Kennedy’s throat and continued onward to strike Governor Connally in the back). The drawing clearly shows the hole in Kennedy’s neck where doctors at Parkland Hospital performed a tracheotomy that obscured the exit wound. Dox also took care to illustrate the outline of Kennedy’s suit and tie.
The second drawing, simpler in style, shows only Kennedy’s basic profile and depicts three possible angles for the bullet’s trajectory as it entered Kennedy’s back and exited from his neck—necessary alternatives, as there was some question as to Kennedy’s exact position when the bullet struck. Because this bullet then struck Governor Connally after exiting the President’s neck, the trajectory was critical to proving the ‘single bullet theory’ that was derided by critics.
In fine condition. Accompanied by a color glossy 10 x 8 photo of Washington, DC, police test firing Lee Harvey Oswald’s rifle on a shooting range.
The drawings come from the estate of Cecil W. Kirk, a police officer, investigator and photography expert who served with the DC Metropolitan Police from 1960 to 1980. In the 1978 investigation, as head of Mobile Crime Laboratory and Photographic Services, Kirk testified before the House, using these drawings to discount what many called an impossible ‘zig-zag’ trajectory of a single bullet; illustrating how the slightly different positions of Kennedy and John Connally could account for the bullet’s trail, these drawings were one of the strongest pieces of evidence supporting the single-bullet theory. These illustrations were published in the official 1979 report as Figure 12 on page 100 of Volume 7 of the Appendix to Hearings Before the Select Committee on Assassinations of the US House of Representatives. A captivating and immensely important pair of original illustrations whose historic implications are still hotly debated today. RR Auction COA.
Still-sealed bottle of Haig & Haig Pinch blended scotch whiskey, given to Mr. and Mrs. John F. Kennedy as an inaugural gift after he won the 1960 Presidential election. Unopened bottle has its intact foil seal as well as a paper seal over that which reads “Renfield Imports Ltd, Newark, NJ.” Front of the bottle has an affixed District of Columbia beverage tax stamp. The scotch is still housed in its original Christmas box. This gift was stored in the home of Capitol police officer and Kennedy chauffeur/handyman James H. Boyer, Sr. after the Kennedys moved from their home in Georgetown to the White House in the Fall and Winter of 1960-1961. Pinch is distinguished even further by its famous triangular, dimpled bottle wrapped in wire net. The blend is known as The Dimple in markets outside the United States. The whisky has been bottled in this container since its creation, with the hand-applied wire mesh originally designed to prevent the cork from coming out during export shipments through rough seas.
Also included are two receipts for alcohol purchased by Mrs. Kennedy (with neither listing the bottle offered here), one while her husband was campaigning for the presidency, dated June 17, 1960; and a later one while president, delivered to “The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,” dated May 1, 1961.
This bottle comes from the heirs of Officer James H. Boyer, Sr., who became a US Capitol policeman in 1949, and is accompanied by a letter of provenance from one of his direct descendants. Officer Boyer developed friendships with many congressmen and senators, including Kennedy, for whom he became a personal driver, as well as a handyman for Jackie at the Kennedy Georgetown home. Boyer and friend John J. ‘Muggsy’ O’Leary, who met while serving together on the Capitol force, helped the Kennedys move from Georgetown to the White House. At that time, Boyer was asked to store some of the many inaugural gifts sent to the Kennedys; this bottle of scotch was among those gifts. After President Kennedy’s assassination, Officer Boyer was one of the main Capitol police on guard at the Rotunda, as a grieving nation filed passed the coffin.
The receipts were originally part of an important archive of Kennedy expenditures, and together with the Scotch provide a unique artifact of the lighter side of Camelot. Important: You must be 21 years of age or older to bid on this lot. RR Auction COA.
Exquisite, crystal-clear vintage glossy 8.5 x 11 portrait of Kennedy as a Massachusetts senator, signed and inscribed in fountain pen, “To Rod and Diana MacLeish, with the very warmest regards of their friend, John Kennedy.” Originally taken by renowned photographer Philippe Halsman in 1952. Affixed to a same-size mount. Paper loss to lower right which could mostly be matted out, otherwise fine condition. Rod MacLeish was an accomplished journalist who was news director for WBZ radio in Boston in the early 1950s, going on to be a commentator for CBS News, National Public Radio, and the Christian Science Monitor. Halsman’s photographs are highly collectible even unsigned, and the association with an important political commentator makes this example a unique and exceptionally desirable portrait. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.