Robert McNamara's White House collection valued at $800,000

The extraordinary White House collection of former US secretary of defence Robert McNamara is to be sold through Sotheby's on October 23.

McNamara was the secretary of defence throughout the John F Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson administrations and, as Sotheby's states, was "one of the most significant cabinet members in American history". The collection contains numerous items collected over McNamara's career, including his appointment document from President Kennedy ($10,000-15,000).

JFK White House chairs Robert McNamara Sotheby's
It is not yet clear which of the two chairs belonged to President Kennedy

Leading the collection will be two Chippendale-style black leather mahogany armchairs, which were presented to McNamara by Jackie Kennedy following the president's assassination.

One of the chairs was sat on by the president during his administration, although it has not been ascertained which of the two almost identical chairs it is. The lot will include the accompanying letter that the first lady sent to Robert McNamara, and is expected to bring $150,000-25,000.

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

Also featuring is a paperweight that President Kennedy presented to McNamara to commemorate the Cuban Missile Crisis. Featuring a calendar for October 1962, with the 13 days of the crisis boldy engraved, the piece was manufactured by Tiffany & Co. Accompanied by a first edition copy of Kennedy's Thirteen Days and a print of an image of McNamara receiving a briefing during the crisis, it will sell for $15,000-25,000.

Paul Fraser Collectibles is currently offering the original press release issued by the White House at the beginning of the Cuban Missile Crisis. See the full range of fascinating Kennedy items available in our online store.


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