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Auction Date: December 8, 2013

Lot 1202: Official Portrait Book of American Presidents

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Official Portrait Book of American Presidents and a Newspaper Printing Plate from the Nixon Resignation
Estimated Price: $1,000 - $1,500
Item Views 378 Bid Activity Average
Serial #Official Portrait Book of American Presidents ManufacturerNone ModelNone
TypeOther Gauge Catalog Page
Barrel Finish Grip
Stock ClassOther RatingSee Condition
Description1) Printing plate for the front page of the August 9, 1974 Final Home Edition of the San Antonio Light, bearing the headline "Nixon Bids Farewell to U.S."13 1/2 inches wide and 21 1/2 inches long. 2) Leather bound book, "The Presidents", bearing a seal, dated 1907, from the Official Portrait Gallery, containing images and short biographies on the Presidents of the United States, from George Washington to Theodore Roosevelt.

Condition1) Very good, showing a few small chips and dings at the corners. 2) Fine, with some repairs of the cover edges and wear on the leather. The contents show minor age staining around the edges.
Grouping of Political Artifacts, Including Items Related to The Kennedy Assassinations and a Nearly Life Sized Carved Bust of President John F. Kennedy
Serial #Grouping of Political Artifacts, Including It ManufacturerNone ModelNone
TypeOther Gauge Catalog Page
Barrel Finish Grip
Stock ClassOther RatingSee Condition
Description1) Wood carving, 51 1/2 inches tall, 9 1/2 inches wide and 11 1/4 inches deep, with a 16 1/2 inch tall bust of President John F. Kennedy and a rectangular plinth carved from a single piece of wood. The front of the plinth is carved and gold filled "P.S. SALDIBAR/Sc. 1972". P.S. Saldibar has not yet been identified. 2) Copy of the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner for June 6, 1968. The death of Robert Kennedy from gunshot wounds inflicted by Sirhan Sirhan is the front page story, with Kennedy's victory in the California Democratic Primary below the fold. A Kennedy Campaign button is also included. 3) Marble topped end table, attributed to the United States Senate, 20 1/2 inches tall with a floral decorated brass frame and a 3/4 inch thick, 15 5/8 inch wide and 21 1/2 inch long rectangular red marble top with the Seal of the United States carved and gold paint filled on the surface. 4) Ashtray, 8 3/8 inches wide, black glass construction with a golden reproduction of the Seal of the United States Senate on the center. 5) Book "Best Evidence" by David S. Lifton, printed in 1990, on the subject of the John Kennedy Assassination. Includes multiple picture inserts, including graphic images from the autopsy of President Kennedy.

Condition1) Very good, with a few mild chips and age cracks, concentrated around the bottom of the plinth. 2) Fine, with yellowing and fraying of the edges appropriate to age. 3) Very good, with some minor wear overall. 4) Very good, with some light wear on the seal. 5) Fair, with some folds and tearing of the covers.
Documented President John F. Kennedy's Rocking Chair as Authenticated by the Kennedy Family
Serial #Documented President John F. Kennedy's Rockin ManufacturerNone ModelNone
TypeOther Gauge Catalog Page102
Barrel Finish Grip
Stock ClassOther RatingSee Condition
DescriptionPresented here is a remarkable piece of U.S. presidential history: John F. Kennedy's rocking chair. President Kennedy suffered chronic back problems and used this rocking chair to relieve the pain. In the 1950s JFK consulted New York Doctor Janet Trevell about his lower back pain. She, too, suffered from back pain and introduced the future president to a style of rocking chair that had a tall stiff back. Dr. Trevell called the rocker the Carolina Rocker, and JFK found that the rocker relieved his pain. It has been estimated that JFK owned fourteen such rockers that were available to him at different locations where he spent a considerable amount of time. Also known as the Kennedy Rocker, these chairs have become an enduring image of his presidency and personality. The rocker presented here is the same style of chair JFK used in the Oval Office that is now on display at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston, Massachusetts. This rocker is likely from the Kennedy Palm Beach estate which was the family winter home. The chair was a retirement gift presented to longtime family cook Nellie McGrail (1911-1995) in appreciation for her service in 1994. For some 20 years McGrail was the family cook at the Palm Beach home and was Rose Kennedy's personal cook until 1984 when JFK's mother suffered a stroke. She was an important member of the Kennedy staff as she was flown to Hyannis Port every year to celebrate Rose's birthday as well as on other occasions when her culinary skills were needed. She was a talented baker and had close ties to the Senator Edward Kennedy family. A brass presentation plaque affixed to the left arm of the chair declares that the rocker was owned by JFK and was given to McGrail upon her retirement by the Kennedy family (see image). The chair is also accompanied by a letter from Senator Edward Kennedy confirming that the rocker was owned by his late brother JFK and was presented to Nellie McGrail in 1994 as a retirement gift. The letter is dated March 21, 2000 and is on Edward Kennedy's U.S. Senate stationery. The rocker has a wicker back and seat and measures 33 1/4" x 43 1/2" x 28". Also included are various supporting material: 1) McGrail's invitation to Caroline Kennedy's wedding to Edwin Schlossberg. 2) A personal 1983 dated letter from Sargent Shriver to McGrail thanking McGrail for taking care of Rose Kennedy, Sargent's mother-in-law. 3) A 1973 dated letter to McGrail from Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis expressing her regret that she would be unable to enjoy McGrail's cooking since she was traveling throughout Europe with Mr. Onassis for the year. 4) A handwritten thank you note to McGrail from Ethel Kennedy. 5) A 1974 handwritten letter from Joan Kennedy hoping that McGrail has "an enjoyable day and evening at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts" and inviting McGrail to join her and the Senator for dinner after the performance. 6) A 1974 thank you note from Eunice Kennedy Shriver praising McGrail's cooking. 7) A 1960s era color photograph of McGrail with Rose Kennedy's birthday cake, likely one of many McGrail baked for Rose over the years. 8) A 1970s era color photograph of McGrail with Edward and Rose Kennedy. 9) A 1987 handwritten thank you note from Senator John Kerry praising McGrail's cooking while he visited the Kennedy home in Palm Beach. 10) The Palm Beach Post obituary of Nellie McGrail which details her relationship to the Kennedy family. 11) An 11" x 14" black and white photograph of Joan Kennedy, Nellie McGrail and Edward Kennedy, Jr. with his birthday cake and signed by Edward, Jr., "To Nellie, Thanks a lot! Teddy K."

ConditionVery fine as having a subsequent coat of varnish. A remarkable, well documented and iconic presidential artifact for the very advanced John F. Kennedy collector. Over the years these rocking chairs have proved to be a highly desirable and highly valued relic of the Kennedy presidency. Do not let this fully documented example slip away!
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