Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    John F. Kennedy: The Pen He Used to Sign the 1963 Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Arguably the most important document signed by Kennedy as president, the treaty among the United States, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union agreed to end atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons. Eventually over one hundred other countries would sign the treaty, China and France being notable exceptions.

    This pen was presented by Kennedy confidante Kenneth O'Donnell to Martin E. Underwood, who had served Kennedy as an advance man during the 1960 election and later as both a publicist and trade Representative. Clearly Underwood had a special affinity for these historic pens, as he also possessed a complete set of bill signing pens from Lyndon Johnson's presidency (Underwood also served Johnson). It comes from the collection of the late Dr. John Lattimer, who apparently purchased it at auction. A photocopy of the auction catalog page is included, picturing the pen itself, as well as a letter of authentication from Underwood on White House stationery. The catalog description offers additional details about the pen, and describes it as having been part of a framed display which included the original copy of the letter. Obviously Dr. Lattimer chose to dismantle the display. While the original letter may well still exist among the thousands of items in Lattimer's files, it has not yet come to light, and only the photocopy was found with the pen. However, the pen is clearly a match to the one pictured in the auction catalog.

    Is it a unique type, a 6¼" steel-nibbed fountain pen, with a black lower barrel and a transparent upper portion reading in white embossed letters: "THE PRESIDENT - THE WHITE HOUSE". Excellent condition.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2009
    13th-14th Wednesday-Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,208

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    VIEW BENEFITS
    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
      winnings 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 39 days left to consign to the 2020 March 4 Rare Books Signature Auction Books Signature Auction - New York !

    Learn about consigning with us

    Heritage has gone above and beyond my expectations in handling all of my transactions in a thoroughly professional manner. I would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone worldwide for the exemplary auction and valuation services they provide.
    Richard H.,
    Corsicana, TX
    View More Testimonials

    HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2019 November 14-16 Space Exploration Auction Featuring The Armstrong Family Collection Part IV - Dallas
    2019 November 14-16 Space Exploration Auction Featuring The Armstrong Family Collection Part IV - Dallas
    REALIZED $2,583,038