Description

    John F. Kennedy: White House Rocking Chair Used in the Oval Office, with Photograph of JFK Sitting in the Chair beside Astronaut John Glenn. The stained wood rocking chair is upholstered in the original salmon-colored nubby fabric and measures 44" x 33" x 30". President John F. Kennedy suffered from chronic back pain throughout most of his life, and despite having very dangerous back surgery as a young man, the pain was never fully relieved. Rocking chairs proved to be the most comfortable seating for him. This "North Carolina" rocker was designed for JFK by his personal physician, Dr. Janet Travell. The distinctive upholstery was designed and created by the official White House upholsterer Larry Arata, who had joined the staff in 1961 to assist Mrs. Kennedy in the restoration and redecoration of the White House. Several chairs were commissioned and divided amongst his various residences, including the White House. This one was placed in his personal secretary Evelyn Lincoln's office, where the president, as well as many dignitaries that visited, used the chair. As evidenced by an accompanying original photograph of the president sitting in this chair with Astronaut John Glenn opposite, it was often relocated to the Oval Office of the White House for the president's use (photograph by White House photographer Robert Knudsen and marked with his stamp and dated February 5, 1962). Another photograph (included) shows the president and his son, John F. Kennedy, Jr., with the chair nearby (marked with Knudsen's stamp and dated May 31, 1963). A third copy of a photograph shows John Kennedy, Jr. sitting in the chair. Branded underneath the left arm rest is the following text: "Manufacturer of the Original Carolina Rocker P & P Chair Company Asheboro, North Carolina." This company made all of Kennedy's rocking chairs to his same precise specifications. The cushions which pad the arm rests, seat, and backrest are somewhat faded. The seat and backrest cushions contain slight indentations. The indentation on the backrest cushion is believed to have resulted from the pressure of the president's back brace. Otherwise, fine condition. The other rocking chair which saw use in the Oval Office, distinguishable by its beige upholstery, resides at the Kennedy Library, and is unavailable for private ownership. Letter of authenticity from Evelyn Lincoln, Personal Secretary to the President. From the Robert L. White Collection. A copy of the 2005 Robert L. White Collection catalog is included.

    From the collection of Dr. Dean Rudoy. For more information, please click here.




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    Auction Dates
    November, 2013
    23rd-24th Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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