Gillette ‘Traveler’ shaving kit in a leather case, consisting of four “J. F. K.” monogrammed brass implements: a double-edge razor, two identical size round containers, one for powder and one to house a small brush (brush is present), and a small rectangular container for replacement blades. All the items are housed in their original form-fitting leather case lined in plush purple, measuring 3.75 x 5 x 1.75, embossed on the worn outer covering, “John F. Ke[nnedy]” Much of the gilt on the exterior letters has been worn away, and an area of surface loss has affected the rest of the surname, as well as a portion of JFK’s military rank.
Accompanied by a very detailed, three-page letter of provenance to Raleigh DeGeer Amyx from a former US Air Force officer, stating that he was stationed in Europe from 1960–1964 and purchased the shaving kit in 1963 (prior to the assassination) from the estate of a man who was employed by the American embassy for many years on its maintenance staff, whose daughter recalled that he obtained the case from the disposable properties office at the embassy and used it as his own for a number of years. Once JFK was elected president, "her father had told her the case once or was believed to have been owned by the 'new President' of the United States, John F. Kennedy." In examining the actual case and implements it is clear that statement is accurate. Joseph P. Kennedy, JFK's father, had been the American ambassador to the UK from 1938–1940, and the future president visited frequently during those years; at some point, he must have left his shaving kit behind, allowing the embassy maintenance worker to acquire it. An exemplary, very personal JFK artifact, uncommonly and desirably tied to his early military career as Lieutenant John F. Kennedy.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.