Sale 21BP03 | Lot 29

[KENNEDY, JOHN F.] John F. Kennedy's signed copy of The Complete Poems of Robert Service.

Catalogue: Rare Books, Autographs & Maps
[KENNEDY, JOHN F.]  John F. Kennedy's signed copy of The Complete Poems of Robert Service.

Lot Details

Lot 29
[KENNEDY, JOHN F.] John F. Kennedy's signed copy of The Complete Poems of Robert Service.
New York: Dodd, Mead, 1941. Signed on the front blank "John F. Kennedy" and with two of his ownership stamps. Original cloth. 8 x 5 1/4 inches (20 x 13 cm); variously paginated. Hinge split after half-title, a few spots to cloth, the mylar protector taped to pastedown, well preserved overall.

Provenance: Guernsey's, Documents and Artifacts Relating to the Life and Career of John F. Kennedy, 18 & 19 March, 1998, lot 328 (a copy of the catalogue included).

An important volume from the library of a young John F. Kennedy, likely signed about the time the volume was published in 1941, preceding his heroic service in World War II. Three poems are dog-eared or pencil checked within the volume including Grin, p. 53; The Woman and the Angel, p. 104-106; and The Ballad of the Brand, p. 56. The heroic and romantic symbolism of Service's poetry with its recurring themes of bravery in the face of hardships would surely have resonated with Kennedy ("If you're up against a bruiser and you're getting knocked about - Grin"). Items from Kennedy's formative years are scarce.

Following its purchase in the 1998 auction, further provenance information was sought and reportedly the original seller, Caryl Traten Fisher, daughter of Jacob Traten, owner of an antiques and collectibles shop in Washington, recounted that when John Kennedy was a Senator in Washington Jackie Kennedy enjoyed visiting her father's shop and when it was time for the Kennedy's to leave Georgetown for the White House, Jackie brought a number of personal belongings to the shop including this book. The book was sold in the landmark auction of Kennedy memorabilia held by Guernsey's in 1998 and a copy of the original auction catalogue, a valuable resource in its own right, is offered in the lot.

Estimate: $2,000 - $3,000
Sold for $4,410 (includes buyer's premium)

Additional Notes & Condition Report

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Estimate: $2,000 - $3,000
Sold for $4,410 (includes buyer's premium)

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Catalogue Info

Rare Books, Autographs & Maps

Thu, Dec 09, 2021 at 10am EST