Lot #8012
John F. Kennedy Oval Office Scrimshaw with Autograph Letter Signed by Jacqueline Kennedy


Incredible sperm whale tooth scrimshaw from the personal collection of President John F. Kennedy, which was presented to United States Army General Maxwell D. Taylor by former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy following the death of her husband. The tooth, which stands 6.5? in height, is mounted within a silver base that measures 4.25? in diameter and is engraved on the front and back rim: “For General Maxwell Taylor, who served his Country and President Kennedy with such devotion, With love from J.B.K.” and “Scrimshaw from the desk of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy.” The scrimshaw itself depicts a bark-rigged Yankee whaler with full set sails, a lookout atop the foremast scanning the horizon for spouting whales, and whaleboats hanging in their port side davits ready for lowering. Included with the scrimshaw is an ALS from Jacqueline Kennedy presenting the tooth to General Taylor, signed “Jackie,” one black-bordered page, 5.25 x 3.75, dated September 9, 1964, in full: “Please accept this piece of scrimshaw which used to be on Jack’s desk. It comes with my love and his.” In overall fine condition. Accompanied by a first edition of John F. Kennedy: Scrimshaw Collector by Clare Barnes, Jr., published by Little, Brown and Company in 1969, which pictures this exact scrimshaw on page 46, with lower caption mentioning its conveyance to General Taylor; the book's dust jacket bears some tears and paper loss.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Remarkable Rarities
  • Dates: #617 - Ended September 25, 2021

This item is Pre-Certified by PSA/DNA
Buy a third-party letter of authenticity for $75.00

*This item has been pre-certified by a trusted third-party authentication service, and by placing a bid on this item, you agree to accept the opinion of this authentication service. If you wish to have an opinion rendered by a different authenticator of your choosing, you must do so prior to your placing of any bid. RR Auction is not responsible for differing opinions submitted 30 days after the date of the sale.