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    Description

    John F. Kennedy: His Well-Used Leather Wallet and 1959-61 Massachusetts Driver's License. This is the license Kennedy would have carried during the first months of his presidency. "J.F.K." embossed in gold on the inside opposite the license. A worn round half dollar-sized indentation above and to the right of the initials was made by the St. Christopher's medal which the Catholic president always carried with him. The wallet measures 8.25" x 3.25" when displayed open, as shown. It was purchased by the consignor in the Guernsey's auction of the Robert White Collection, where it hammered for $48,000. It is a most evocative item, carried by JFK for years and something he touched every day, and because it includes his driver's license used as President. It may well have been JFK's last driver's license, as it seems unlikely that the serving president would have had the need or occasion to renew it. The lot includes an accompanying letter of provenance from Evelyn Lincoln.

    This wonderful additional information and correction of one detail in our lot description was kindly provided by Audrey Burtrum-Stanley, a respected Kennedy collector and scholar:

    I was inspecting the listing of a wallet formerly owned by JFK. I have held this wallet in my hands, sniffed the leather and own a couple of membership cards JFK carried within this billfold.

    The wallet was acquired by JFK's long-serving sect., the late-Mrs. Evelyn Lincoln(May 1995). It eventually 'went' (gifted / sold / inherited) to my collector pal, the late-Robert White. However, he died from a sudden heart attack Oct 11th-2003. His family sold his multiple collections and so, this billfold went out into the world...

    The heavy, gold Coin...(which I have held and closely inspected) is large in size with a relief carving of St. Christopher on the front and a burnished (Florentine-like) -finish to the reverse side, bearing an exact copy of Jackie Kennedy's own handwriting - explaining she was gifting JFK the item as an anniversary gift to 'Jack' (her husband). When the Aug 1963 newborn Kennedy son, Patrick Bouvier Kennedy died, Jackie--still recovering from an 'emergency C-section'--could not attend the infant's funeral nor burial. JFK greatly mourned the baby's death. He recalled Jackie having placed a special gold bracelet--a prized gift from her Father when she was a girl--inside her late-Father's coffin prior to it being sealed back in 1957...

    President Kennedy -- at the last moment -- decided to do a similar tribute.
    He opened the billfold (shown above) and removed the treasured gold coin. He carefully placed it in his baby Son's coffin...burying it with the child.

    It was intended as 'a final token of affection'...

    Upon regaining her health and learning of this heartwarming act, Jackie had the Anniversary gift / St. Christopher coin re-made for her husband, JFK.(This would have happened between August and November 1963.)

    After Robert White suddenly died, the Kennedy family made a list of several items they wanted 'returned.' The re-made coin was on the list. Caroline has it today.

    Kennedy's widow had their children, Caroline and John write letters to their Father (scribbles and a few words or pictures). She added a few other personal items inside his casket. JFK's brother Robert was beside her when these mementoes were tucked into Kennedy's coffin (in the East Room / White House).

    RFK was so moved by his Sister-in-law's thoughtfulness, he immediately reached inside his shirt and removed his silver St. Christopher on a chain. He had been gifted the piece by Ethel, his wife. It was placed with JFK's remains as well.




    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2015
    7th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 4,099

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