One of the four cigarette boxes given by President Ferdinand Marcos to President John F Kennedy (JFK) 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 a certain Jack Spangenburg. He had worked for the former US President for many years.
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. She 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.”
JFK loved a cigar
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, JFK was renowned for his love of a good cigar. It was therefore the ultimate irony that it was he who imposed the trade embargo on Cuba. This closed down the source of some of the world’s greatest smokes.
One unverified tale says that before taking this decision, he sent an aide to secure two boxes of the finest Cuban cigars.
It seems a shame that the president and Fidel Castro – another famous cigar lover – never had a chance to settle their differences amid a cloud of smoke.