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    Description

    Franklin Roosevelt, The President's Personal Gray Felt Fedora. With the exception of his cigarette holder and glasses there are few personal items more closely associated with Franklin D. Roosevelt than his fedora. This is an exceptional hat that belonged to FDR. Made by Dunlap Hats of New York City, the hat's leather interior sweatband is stamped "FDR" in gold lettering. It is also stamped with the hat style, "Kings Ransom", and the retailer, "Littler" of Seattle. FDR's only daughter, Anna, was married to John Boettinger, a reporter for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt often visited their daughter and son-in-law in Seattle. One of their longest trips was in the fall of 1937. Littler (1931-1996) was a Seattle department store that catered to the carriage trade.

    The hat, size 7¼, is in near pristine condition. This hat, was given to the President's valet, Irineo Esperancilla, by Eleanor Roosevelt. According to Mr. Esperancilla's widow, the First Lady did not like this particular hat, so to keep FDR from wearing it, she gave it to Esperancilla in the early 1940s.

    This lot is accompanied by a handwritten Letter of Provenance from Mrs. Esperancilla on White House letterhead.


    More Information:

    The extended description below was supplied by the consignor. We are making it available to our web bidders who are interested in more in-depth research and broader historical perspective. Please note that presentation (i.e. framing), lot divisions, and interpretations of condition and content may occasionally differ from our descriptions. Assertions of fact and subjective observations contained in this description represent the opinion of the consignor. These remarks have not been checked for accuracy by Heritage Auctions, and we assume no responsibility for their accuracy; they are offered purely to allow the bidder insight into the way the consignor has viewed the item(s) in question. No right of return or claim of lack of authenticity or provenance based upon this extended description will be granted.

     

    A rare, terrific, and historic personal item belonging to FDR, his personal trade-mark gray fedora hat! With the possible exception of his cigarette holder, no personal accessory could be more closely identified with this beloved man, as so many of the photographs of FDR show him wearing this style of hat.  Accompanying FDR's fedora hat is an original 1940 wire photograph of the President wearing this trade-mark gray fedora hat. FDR's gray fedora was personally crafted for FDR by Dunlap of New York City, and the leather interior sweat band is stamped "FDR" and "Kings Ransom" in gold lettering. FDR's fedora hat is in gorgeous, pristine condition. This hat was given by FDR to Mr. Irineo Esperancilla, the President's valet, in the early 1940s. According to a handwritten 1984 letter from his widow, the gray fedora hat was worn on FDR's campaign trip for President. But, she writes, "The First Lady did not like this particular hat, so to keep FDR from wearing it again she gave it to my husband." Also included with FDR's gray fedora hat is a copy of a 1955 letter to Esperancilla from the President's Chief Naval Aide, written on the occasion of his retirement. The letter commends Esperancilla for outstanding service to four Presidents and notes that his "service record...does not fully give full justice for the many unwritten talents contributed" by Esperancilla in his services to Presidents Hoover, FDR, Truman, and Eisenhower. The lot also includes a photograph of Mrs. Esperancilla with the hat, as she was writing her letter of provenance. A wonderful and beautifully documented FDR artifact.





    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2008
    7th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 8,710

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