Remarkable Autographed Kennedy Family Post-“Camelot” Artifact from the Estate of Fashion Designer Oleg Cassini

Signed by Robert F. Kennedy

$2000
Item: 21202
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KENNEDY, ROBERT F. (1925-1968). American politician and brother of President John F. Kennedy and Senator Edward M. Kennedy; assassinated during the California Democratic presidential nomination campaign in 1968. N.p., N.d. [Sun Valley, Idaho, late December, 1966.] A framed, stretched out chef’s toque inscribed to American fashion designer OLEG CASSINI (1913-2006). Kennedy has inscribed it: “To Oleg – Who made such a difference for us. Bobby Kennedy.” Additionally signed by:

PAT KENNEDY LAWFORD (1924-2006). Robert Kennedy’s sister; American socialite and wife of English actor Peter Lawford from 1954-1966. Inscribed “A cook? Patty;” Jackie Kennedy had traveled to Sun Valley the previous year to provide support for her sister-in-law, Pat, who was about to divorce her husband, Peter Lawford. When the Kennedy family left after the Christmas holidays, Pat remained in Sun Valley to establish residency and finalize her divorce from Peter in February, 1966.

ETHEL KENNEDY (b.1928). Robert Kennedy’s wife. Ethel’s brother, George Skakel, Jr. and Ann Markham’s father (see below) were both killed in a plane crash in Idaho earlier in the year. Inscribed “For Oleg – whose 5 course meal really did things for our stretch pants xxx & ooos Ethel;

MICHAEL KENNEDY (1958-1997). Robert and Ethel Kennedy’s son; the sixth of 11 children. As an adult he was an American lawyer and activist who died in a skiing accident in Aspen, Colorado. Signed in a juvenile hand “Michael Kennedy;”

COURTNEY KENNEDY (HILL) (b. 1956). Robert and Ethel Kennedy’s daughter, the fifth of 11 children, currently an American human rights activist. Signed in a juvenile hand “Courtney Kennedy;”

KATHLEEN KENNEDY (TOWNSEND) (b. 1951). Kennedy’s eldest child and former governor of Maryland. “Two days after President Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, Kathleen’s father Robert wrote his 12-year-old daughter a note on White House stationery: “As the oldest of the next generation you have a particular responsibility… Be kind to others and work for your country. Love, Daddy,’” (“Kathleen Kennedy Townsend: Just like her father?” CNN.com, Donnelly). Kathleen currently serves as the chair of American Bridge, a non-profit organization that supports Democratic candidates. Inscribed “It was great Kathleen Kennedy;”

JOAN KENNEDY (b. 1936). Robert Kennedy’s sister-in-law and first wife of longtime U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy. Signed “Joan Kennedy;

JOHN H. GLENN, Jr. (1921-2016). Astronaut; the first American to orbit the earth. Inscribed “To Sun Valley’s greatest chef JH Glenn, Jr.;

ANDY WILLIAMS (1927-2012). American singer best known for “Moon River” and host of the Andy Williams Show. Signed “Andy Williams;

CLAUDINE GEORGETTE LONGET (b. 1941) French-American singer and actress married to Williams; convicted of negligent homicide in the death of her boyfriend, skier, Spider Sabich. Signed “and Claudine,” with a drawing of a flower following her husband’s name;

JANET LEIGH (1927-2004). American actress best known for Psycho, Bye Bye Birdie and Touch of Evil; mother of actress Jamie Lee Curtis. Leigh and her then husband Tony Curtis were among the many celebrities to attend John Kennedy’s Inaugural Ball Gala, after which they spent the weekend with the Kennedy family in Palm Beach. Leigh was married to Robert Brandt from 1962 until her death. Signed “Janet Leigh Brandt;”

PIERRE SALINGER (1925-2004). American journalist, White House press secretary for JFK and LBJ, senator, and RFK’s campaign manager during his ill-fated presidential campaign. Signed “Pierre Salinger (Assistant);”

NICOLE SALINGER (née NICOLE HELENE GILLMAN). Journalist and Pierre Salinger’s third wife, whom he married in June 1965. (His fourth wife was also named Nicole but went by the nickname “Poppy” to avoid confusion.) Signed “Nicole Salinger;”

ANN MARKHAM (CARTER JUDD), likely the daughter of White House aide Dean F. Markham, who was director of the President’s Council on Youth and Fitness and the White House Conference on Narcotics and Drug Abuse in the Kennedy administration. He died in a plane crash with Ethel Kennedy’s brother George Skakel, Jr., the previous year. Signed “Ann Markham;”

MARILYN BRANT CHANDLER “MISSY” DEYOUNG. The wife of Otis Chandler, publisher of the Los Angeles Times. Missy is the author of Remarkable Women of California and an activist for women’s reproductive health. Signed “Missy Chandler; To Oleg, my great ski partner;

JAMES W. WHITTAKER (b. 1929). American mountaineer who became the first American to summit Mount Everest in 1963 and served as Kennedy’s guide up the newly named Mount Kennedy in 1965. The two men became close friends and Whittaker served as RFK’s campaign manager for Washington State. “Oleg – A mountain man with many talents! James W. Whittaker;”

BLANCHE WHITTAKER. Mountaineer, wife of James Whittaker and close friend of Jackie and Ethel Kennedy. Their son was named in Kennedy’s honor. “Oleg – who in the morning & at noon is my kind. Love & Kisses Blanche Whittaker;”

Oleg Cassini, Jacqueline Kennedy & John F. Kennedy

Robert Kennedy served as an advisor to his brother, President John F. Kennedy, and as attorney general from January 21, 1961 until his resignation on September 3, 1964. He was the first sibling in American history to serve in his brother’s cabinet. Following his resignation, RFK continued his vigorous support of civil rights and led a tough and imaginative campaign against organized crime. In November 1964, he was easily elected U.S. Senator from New York and, in this role he became the chief spokesman for liberal Democrats and a harsh critic of the press. Kennedy announced his candidacy for president on March 16, 1968, but less than three months he was fatally shot in Los Angeles by Palestinian immigrant Sirhan Bishara Sirhan.

Cassini was born to an aristocratic Russian-Italian family and studied fashion in Rome. He left the eternal city after fighting a duel and reported in his autobiography that he arrived in the United States with nothing but a tuxedo, two tennis racquets, a title, and talent. He went on to launch a celebrated fashion career in Hollywood, designing costumes from the 1940s to the early 2000s. After serving in World War II and becoming a U.S. citizen, Cassini began designing ready-to-wear dresses, and, in 1953, a few years after his brother, Igor Cassini, acting as society columnist “Cholly Knickerbocker,” named her “Queen Deb of the Year,” Cassini met Jacqueline Bouvier, the soon-to-be wife of Senator John Kennedy. With Cassini as her stylist, the first lady became known for her elegance and greatly impacted the fashion of the time. Her exclusive relationship with Cassini can be summed up in the nickname she gave him: “Secretary of Style.” Originally, Jackie was to have joined the Kennedys for Christmas in Sun Valley, but abruptly cancelled her plans.

Our unique object was autographed during the Kennedys’ holiday ski trip in Sun Valley, Idaho, where Cassini dinner for them and their friends. Cassini was an avid skier from his youth. From Cassini’s estate. Some show through of adhesive and light soiling. Mounted and framed. Not examined out of the frame.

Remarkable Autographed Kennedy Family Post-“Camelot” Artifact from the Estate of Fashion Designer Oleg Cassini

Signed by Robert F. Kennedy

$2000 • item #21202


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