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    John F. Kennedy: The Large Presidential Seal Plaque Displayed at His Official 1961 Inaugural Ball at The Mayflower Hotel. Measuring 29" in diameter, it is probably a one-of-a-kind display piece commissioned especially for the event. It appears to have been stenciled onto a composition board which is nearly ½" thick. Interestingly, it contains a misspelling: "e plurus unum". It is accompanied by a notarized letter from the consignor, a delightful tale of how he came to possess it the night of the Ball.

    His father served as vice-chairman of the board of the D.C. Transit System, and accordingly the family was invited to the inaugural balls of Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson. He recalls the scene the night of the Kennedy affair, when the President and Mrs. Kennedy took their seats on the dais with this very seal in front of them. The writer and his young brother decided that the seal would make a fine souvenir of the event, and with a little discreet tinkering discovered that they could remove it from its mounting. Security officers not surprisingly declined to allow the boys to make off with their prize; however, a friend of their father's, obviously one with a little pull, witnessed their disappointment, and two days later the seal was delivered to them, mounted and framed as it is today with a brass plate below reading "Official Presidential Seal / Inaugural Ball / Jan. 20, 1961 / Mayflower Hotel, Washington, D.C. / John F. Kennedy."

    Other than a little minor surface soiling and edge wear, the plaque is in excellent condition. There are four small holes at 12, 3, 6, and 9:00 where it was attached to the dais.

    With its outstanding and amusing provenance, this is a very fine artifact from the early euphoric days of the Kennedy presidency.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2011
    21st Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,628

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