Lot 8004: John F. Kennedy’s Groomsman Wedding Gift Umbrella

RR Auction

2015-08-21 10:57:15

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Lot 8004: Monogrammed Brooks Brothers 'Doorman' umbrella presented by then–Senator John F. Kennedy to Torbert Macdonald, a groomsman at his wedding to Jacqueline Lee Bouvier at St. Mary's Church in Newport, Rhode Island. The umbrella measures 36.25? long, features a natural wood hook handle, a black polyester canopy, and a gold-toned tip cup engraved on opposing sides with the initials of the usher, "T. H. C.," and those of the groom, "J. F. K., 9-12-53," with the wedding date below. In very good condition, with scattered wear and discoloration to handle, end, and ferrule, numerous clean separations to ribbing in canopy, the tip cup loose, and some tearing and fraying to canopy near end tips and upper hub. Oversized.Kennedy's fondness for slim 'Number Two' two-button suits, made him an unofficial Brooks Brothers model during his presidency, but his earliest public association with the brand began several years prior. At his rehearsal dinner, Senator Kennedy gifted personally monogrammed Brooks Brothers umbrellas to each of his nine groomsmen, a prominent lot that included his brother Edward, cousin Joe Gargan, brother-in-laws Sargent Shriver and Michael Canfield, and friends Lem Billings, Charles Bartlett, and Macdonald. A Massachusetts congressman from 1963 to 1976, Macdonald roomed with Kennedy at Harvard and forged a friendship with the future president that would conclude with Macdonald serving as one of Kennedy's honorary pallbearers. A similar umbrella is pictured on page 45 of Jay Mulvaney's book Kennedy Weddings: A Family Album. Widely documented and observed by presidential and fashion enthusiasts alike, this rare umbrella is a fetching piece of Kennedy history, intimately tied to John and Jackie's iconic Newport wedding. RR Auction's Remarkable Rarities Auction 461 Monday, 28th September 2015 Estimate: $12000-14000
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