One of the four cigarette boxes given by President Ferdinand Marcos to President John F Kennedy has sold at auction for $8,250.
The empty wooden box — engraved with the letters JFK — was sold today (Friday, February 24) by Nate D Sanders Auctions in Los Angeles.
After Kennedy’s assassination, his widow Jackie Kennedy gave the cigar box to Jack Spangenburg who worked for the former US President.
In the letters of authenticity attached to the lot, Mr Sangenburg said: “Around 1962, the President of the Republic of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos, sent four cigar boxes to President John F Kennedy with the President’s initials, JFK, carved into the top upper left corner.
“Sometime after 1963, Mrs J Kennedy arrived at Robert Kennedy’s home. When I answered the door, she handed me one of the Ferdinand Marcos’ cigar boxes and said, ‘This is for you, Jack, for the many years of services for the Kennedy families.’ I thanked her and was appreciative of what she gave me.”
Mr Sangenburg documented his years of service to the Kennedy family in his memoir Moonlighting As a Butler: Serving the Kennedys 1960-1977.
Like Winston Churchill before him, Kennedy was renowned for his love of a good cigar. It was therefore the ultimate irony that JFK imposed the trade embargo on Cuba, that closed down the source of some of the world’s greatest smokes.