Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    John F. Kennedy: An Important Artifact from His Oval Office Desk. Massive glass ash tray, diameter 4.75", etched in block letters on one side, "J.F.K. 1.20.61." Along with the lot comes two different photos of the top of Kennedy's desk, and this ashtray can be clearly seen directly behind his blotter. A bronze JFK inaugural medal is part of the lot, added to the ashtray by President Kennedy himself.

    The provenance is excellent: a personal letter from former Nevada Senator Alan Bible explains that he presented JFK with this and another ashtray as inauguration gifts, and that the President kept them proudly on his desk. Nevada was an important state in Kennedy's political ascension, and Bible a valued Senate ally. He further attests that following Kennedy's death President Johnson, knowing that they had been gifts from the Senator, presented them to him as mementos. According to Bible's letter he subsequently presented just this one ashtray to the nephew of an aide from his Senate years, Nick Bosta, after his friend's death. Bible told the consignor that the inaugural medal was sitting in the ashtray when he, Nevada Congressman Howard Cannon and Nevada Senator Grant Sawyer visited JFK in the Oval Office. Each ashtray retained identical bronze medals when the trays were presented by LBJ to Bible.

    While all JFK-owned items hold great interest for collectors, few rank higher in the hierarchy than objects which were on his Oval Office desk. With its great provenance, this ashtray surely ranks as one of the most significant JFK items we have been privileged to offer. In 2013 Heritage sold the desk pen set from the President's desk for $43,750.

    Auction Info

    Proxy Bidding Ends
    22nd Saturday 10:50 am CT
    Auction Dates
    22nd-23rd Saturday-Sunday
    Proxy Bidding Time Remaining
    3 Days 11h 47s
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: 37
    Page Views: 1,002

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $300,000 (minimum $49), plus 20% of any amount between $300,000 and $3,000,000, plus 12.5% of any amount over $3,000,000 per lot.

    This lot is in: 1 - Signature® Floor Session (Live Floor, Live Phone, Mail, Fax, Internet, and Heritage Live):
    (Lots 43001-43484) - 11:00 AM Central Time, Saturday, February 22, 2020.
    (Proxy bidding ends ten minutes prior to the session start time. Live Proxy bidding on Heritage Live starts 24 hours before the live session begins and continues through the session.)

    Show All Session Information

    Show Auction Type Info

    Exhibition Viewing Times, Title Page, Floor Session and License Information

    Additional Location Info:
    Heritage Auctions - Dallas
    3500 Maple Ave
    17th Floor
    Dallas, TX 75219

    Current Bid:
    Bid Protection
    w/ Buyer's Premium (BP) : $6,250.00 Minimum Next Bid: $5,250 ($6,562.50 w/ BP)
    Track Item