Lot 2: John F. Kennedy's Harvard Spee Club Medallion
8th November 2017
John F. Kennedy's personally-owned Harvard Spee Club pewter medallion, measuring 37 mm in diameter, featuring a crest on the front with raised text, "The Spee Club, Harvard," and engraved at the bottom, "J. F. Kennedy, '40." The reverse depicts a raised silver bear with Greek lettering above. In fine condition, with general expected wear. Provenance: "The Contents from John F. Kennedy's College Era Jewelry Box," Guernsey's, March 1998. Harvard's Spee Club, whose mascot is a bear, counts both John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy among its notable alumni. The Spee Club was, in Kennedy's time, one of Harvard's all-male 'final clubs'—essentially a stand-in for a fraternity. Like others in the club, Kennedy used the beautiful brick Spee Club building to have meals, relax, socialize, and study. In 1962, the Spee Club commissioned one of its members, William F. Draper, to paint what is one of only three Kennedy portraits painted from life. In it, the president is seen wearing his Spee Club tie. The painting now hangs in the JFK Presidential Library. A remarkable piece of history from Kennedy's formative college years.
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