MASSIVE KENNEDY MEMORABILIA AUCTION STARTS TODAYPlus: Padron 40th Anniversary cigars prove popular at auction

Los Angeles, December 15 – One of the largest collections of John F. Kennedy memorabilia – including some cigar items – will go on auction today beginning at 11 a.m. Eastern time in New York City. In addition to the live sale, interested buyers can participate through the “live auctions” section of eBay, although pre-registration is required.

The massive Robert White Collection will be sold, piece by piece, by Guernsey’s of New York, which has a considerable reputation in the sports memorabilia field. There are 1,771 lots in the three-day program, which will include seven high-profile, cigar-related items:

• On Thursday, Lot 382 is a non-Robert White item, but is a 7-inch by 12-inch green cigar box known to be one of six commissioned by President Kennedy.

Three of the boxes were green in color and three were brown; this is a green box with a leatherette covering and the Presidential seal. According to the description, it was given to a reporter by then-Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy in the early 1960s. President Kennedy apparently used the boxes to hand out cigars to dignitaries and friends aboard Air Force One.

The opening bid is set at $7,000 and the item is expected to bring $20-30,000.

• The other Thursday item is Lot 393, a La Azora cigar in a glass tube and a note sent by Sheldon Tanner from the “21 Club” in New York. The opening bid is $100 and the item is projected to sell for $500-600.

The other cigar-related lots are scheduled for Friday:

• Lot 511 is an elegant, leather-wrapped brass V-cutter, apparently used by Kennedy in the Oval Office. Made by Solingen of Germany, it appears to be in good condition and has a modest opening bid of $200. It’s authenticated by a letter from Presidential secretary Evelyn Lincoln.

Two matchbooks are also included in the lot. The three-item group is projected to go for between $1,200-2,300.

• Lot 513 is the most spectacular cigar-related item. The description says:

“A brown wooden cigar box that was given to President John F. Kennedy on his 45th birthday, May 29, 1962. It contained Manila cigars, not a brand he smoked, so he brought it to the Oval Office and kept it stocked with gift cigars for staff celebrations.

“The iron-hinged box is made of lacquered mahogany and bears a silver nameplate reading, ‘John F. Kennedy,’ on the lid's top left corner. The inside lid of the box is engraved with the logo of "Manila Cigars, A Product of Tabacalera," which is a four part coat-of-arms topped with a crown. Four removable cedar panels line the interior sides of the base. The bottom of the box contains a black inspection stamp from the ‘Republic of the Philippines Bureau of Internal Revenue Passed Upon By The Tobacco Inspection Service As Hand Made Long-Filler Cigars From Tobacco Grown in the Cagayan Valley.’ Good condition, nameplate shows slight tarnish. Box 9 x 8 x 3 (inches).

“The box contains 11 hand-rolled cigars wrapped in clear plastic, which is stamped with ‘Perfecto Garcia Ensigns’ in white lettering. An amber-colored plastic cigar holder and an unused white matchbook with ‘The President's House’ in gold-colored lettering are also in the box. The matches were ‘Union Made A.F.L. Local No. 18734,’ which is stamped in gold lettering on the bottom fold. The inside flap reads ‘Diamond Match Division, Diamond National Corporation, New York, N.Y.’ in black lettering. Good condition, cigar holder slightly smudged and matchbook slightly stained on cover. Match heads cut off for safety reasons. Cigars 6 3/4 long, Holder 1 3/4 long, Matchbook 2 x 2 (inches).”
%%pagebreak%% The authentication for this item is from Mrs. Lincoln. For the cigar enthusiast, this is about as close to the President as you can get. Note that the Perfecto Garcia cigars were Clear Havanas at the time and have candela wrappers. The item’s opening price is $25,000 and it’s expected to bring $100-200,000 (plus the 20% buyer’s premium).

• Lot 528 is one of the more interesting cigar items, a brown leather, four-finger case used by Kennedy to carry his cigars.

Made in Spain, the case includes two unsmoked cigars, in poor condition. The case is authenticated with a letter from Mrs. Lincoln. The opening bid is also $200 and is also expected to draw from $1,200 to $2,300.

• Lot 557 is a gold-filled (10 karat) Zippo lighter with the Presidential seal in red. These lighters were used by Kennedy for gifts and sometimes for himself, but there is no indication that Kennedy actually used this particular lighter. The original case and instructions are included and the minimum bid is $200 with the expected sale price from $1,200 to $2,300.

• Lot 641 is a dried-out Philippine cigar and a matchbook. The cigar has a dried-out candela wrapper that’s unraveling, but the matchbook looks good. The starting bid is $100 and is expected to go for $400-600. Really?

There are also four ashtrays in the collection, one of which was used by Kennedy, all of which are scheduled to be auctioned on Friday. If you’re interested, you have to register for the auction on eBay prior to making any bids.

Hammer time:
While the Kennedy auction is getting set to start, site was selling 30 individual Padron 1926 Serie 40th Anniversary cigars in an auction that ended Monday evening.

The 30 cigars brought 37 bids, many for multiple purchases. The highest bid was at $34.01 each for five cigars and the lowest winning bid was $32.00 (for two). The big spender was a bidder who offered – and won – 10 cigars at $32.03 each ($320.30 total).

That’s a good price, but not as overheated as earlier in the year when per-stick auction prices for this shape averaged more than $40 each.

CigarAuctioneer has another hot sale this week, offering another hard-to-find cigar, this time from the Tabacalera A. Fuente. You can bid on 12 lots of two Arturo Fuente Añejo No. 48 cigars (7-inch by 48-ring Churchills) and a classy Csonka Pocket Humidor. The bidding starts at $1 and will close next Monday, December 19, at 9:59 p.m. Eastern time. The Añejo line uses the Fuente Fuente Opus X binder and filler blend, but has a Connecticut Broadleaf maduro wrapper; it’s often harder to find than the Opus X line itself!

So, if you can’t buy what you want at the Kennedy auction, Arthur Zaretzky can still help you. What a guy!
~ Rich Perelman

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