University Archives

Lot 223

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John F. Kennedy Rare Press Photos & Grave Site Relic?

A small lot of period black and white press photos of 35th U.S. President John F. Kennedy (1917-1963), ca. 1963, along with a relic presumably taken from his Arlington Cemetery grave site and preserved within a commemorative card. Provenance: From the collection of Ron Hoskins, assassinologist.

The lot is comprised of:

1. A United Press International glossy black and white press photograph showing President Kennedy receiving an antique firearm for his 46th birthday. The caption reads in part: "WAP-052910-5/29/63-WASHINGTON: President Kennedy receives a surprise gift on his 46th birthday 5/29--a 100-year-old .52 calibre carbine that was used in the Civil War and Indian fighting…" Stamped with press credentials and copyright information verso. Measures 9.125" x 7."

2. Two 8" x 10" glossy black and white photographs showing President Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy leaving St. Francis Xavier Church on South Street, Hyannis, Massachusetts. Undated, but ca. 1961-1963. Both photographs were taken by local freelance photographer Harold "Buzzy" Cobb (1943-2016); both prints are inscribed and stamped "Harold Cobb Photo" verso. Expected light surface wear including wrinkled corners, toning, and light stains verso, else near fine.

This appears to be a rare set of photographs showing the President and First Lady leaving St. Francis Xavier Church. The most commonly distributed photograph of this subject dates from 1961, showing President Kennedy wearing a light-colored tie and Jackie wearing a white dress and head scarf. St. Francis Xavier Church is called the "Kennedy Church" because of its historic connections to the Kennedy family, who summered in Cape Cod. During that era, the Kennedys occupied the front most pews in the east wing of the church.

4. A commemorative card showing the John F. Kennedy grave site festooned with flowers at Arlington National Cemetery in the days following his interment in late November 1963. In the interior of the card, light glue stains suggest this is where a 23" long piece of tri-colored crepe was once mounted. We are assuming that this crepe came from the grave site. The card measures 7.5" x 5.125."

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


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January 6, 2021, 10:30 AM EST

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