Cuban missile crisis paperweight up 282% in Robert McNamara auction


The auction of Robert McNamara's personal collection of White House memorabilia saw a paperweight that commemorates the Cuban missile crisis sell with impressive results.

The sale, which was held by Sotheby's in New York yesterday (October 23), featured an array of documents and items from McNamara's remarkable career as secretary of defence during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations.

Cuban Missile Crisis paperweight JFK White House
The paperweight bears the initials of both JFK and McNamara

The paperweight, which brought a 282% increase on its $25,000 high estimate, saw the second highest bids in auction, selling for an impressive $95,500. It was given by President John F Kennedy to McNamara to commemorate the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. Made by Tiffany & Co, it features a calendar design with the 13 days of the confrontation highlighted in bold.

Accompanied by a first edition copy of Robert Kennedy's Thirteen Days, the item's superb results were likely boosted by October being the 50th anniversary of the missile crisis.

JFK White House chairs Robert McNamara Sotheby's
Whether one of the chairs was the president's has yet to be confirmed

Also featuring in the sale were two chairs from the Kennedy administration cabinet room, one of which was believed to be the chair that Kennedy himself sat on during his presidency.

While McNamara took his own chair at the end of his time in the White House, the other was gifted to him by Jackie Kennedy following JFK's assassination. The chairs were sold along with a letter of presentation from Jackie Kennedy to McNamara, in which she states that she is giving him the chair. However, on further research, the chair could not be identified specifically as the one the president sat in, causing the lot to fall short of its $150,000-250,000 estimate at $146,500.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has a brilliant selection of presidential memorabilia currently available for election season, including the rare Kennedy "posthumous" autograph - one of just 30 known.

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