Kennedy White House Mementos from the Estates of Letitia Baldrige and

Robert Hollensteiner Highlight Weschlers May 11th Sale


Weschlers is pleased to offer several lots of Kennedy White House presentation memorabilia from the estates of Letitia Tish Baldrige and her husband, Robert Hollensteiner as part of our Capital Collections auction. Letitia Baldrige served as the social secretary to First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy from 1961 to 1963. When Ms. Baldrige resigned in June of 1963, she was presented with gifts from the Kennedys and the White House staff, including: a signed photograph of Jackie and John Kennedy in a sterling frame with the White House seal and dedication to Tish, estimated to bring $4,000-$6,000, and a White House Autographed Presentation Table, signed by Jackie and John Kennedy, Caroline, John Jr. and many prominent members of the Kennedy administration and staff, expected to fetch $7,000-$9,000. Also offered is a collection of three hand-written letters to Letitia Baldrige from Jackie Kennedy for $800-$1,200, a selection of assorted White House photographs with an auction estimate of $500-$700, and a three page letter with illustrations from American artist Ludwig Bemelmans to Letitia Baldrige for $1,000-$1,500. Other items of note, include: three remarkable Louis Vuitton packing trunks: the first, a steamer trunk, circa 1911, monogrammed J.D. and estimated to bring $2,000-$4,000, the second, a circa 1912 wardrobe steamer trunk fitted with a clothing rack, for $2,000-$4,000, and the third, a wardrobe steamer trunk, circa 1914, monogrammed M.McC., fitted with a clothing rack and drawers, which is expected to fetch $4,000-$6,000. Although unconfirmed, the family suspects that the trunks were obtained by Ms. Baldrige during her stint in Chicago, at Merchandise Mart, just after leaving the White House. The Louis Vuitton Heritage department has confirmed that these trunks are in fact those purchased in the Deering and McCormick families of International Harvester fame.

Although most remembered for her role in the Kennedy White House, Ms. Baldrige was an entrepreneur, author, etiquette advisor and business executive in her own right. With the permission of the family, and as a tribute to the late Robert Hollensteiner and Letitia Baldrige, Weschlers is pleased to offer copies of Ms. Baldridges books: A Lady, First, A Complete Guide to the New Manners, The Entertainers and Letitia Baldriges Complete Guide to Executive Manners, among other titles, in exchange for a charitable donation, with proceeds to benefit Sibley Hospitals Cancer Fund Program.

Contemporary art abounds with selections from artists such as Jacob Kainen (American 1909-2001), Fatima, oil on canvas, expected to fetch $3,000-$5,000, an early work by Victor Vasarely (Hungarian 1906-1997), Fugue, with a pre-sale estimate of $8,000-$12,000 and Untitled (Undulating Ribbon), a crayon, ink and correction fluid on paper by the evocative Louise Bourgeois (French 1911-2010), for $20,000-$30,000. Rounding out the contemporary offerings is a work by Pakistani artist Krishen Khanna (b. 1925), Nude in a Landscape, for $40,000-60,000 and two movement-filled works by Shinichi Maruyama (Japanese b. 1968), Kusho #2 and Kusho #3, archival pigment prints for $15,000-$25,000 apiece.

African American art also figures prominently in the sale with a work by seminal DC artist Sam Gilliam. His Riverlet, raked acrylic on Polypropylene, painted in 1995 is estimated to bring $6,000-8,000, and two watercolors on paper by Lois Mailou Jones (American 1905-1998), including: Hillside Houses, Haiti and Minyaki Masque, Congo, Kinshassa, each is estimated to bring $6,000-$8,000.

Additional fine art offerings include the Emilio Sanchez-Perrier (Spanish 1855-1907) oil on canvas entitled, Figure with Boat in a Landscape in for $10,000-$15,000, along with several works by Michel Delacroix, including: Trois Pniches sur la Seine for $7,000-$9,000 and Rue de lperon, $5,000-$7,000, each acrylic on board.

Decorative art objects are represented with examples such as the copper blueside carved flat bowl by New Zealand studio glass artist Ann Robinson (b. 1944) expected to sell between $15,000-$25,000 and the Zsolnay green iridescent Tulip vase, circa 1900, in for $4,000-$6,000.

Silver highlights among the European decorations include: a Faberge blue and green enamel bratina with a three-piece Russian partial gilt floral chased silver serving set, Moscow, circa 1898-1908, expected to fetch $5,000-$10,000 and a historic George III silver Warwick five-bottle cruet frame by Robert Peaston, London, 1763-1764, expected to fetch $1,500-$2,500. Meissen lovers will delight over the figural group of The Glorification of Saxony, late 19th Century, with underglazed blue crossed sword mark, in for $1,000-$1,500.

Collectors will appreciate a diverse assortment of Underwood & Underwood Stereoview Stereoscopes, photographs and accessories from two estates. Cards include foreign and domestic travel, culture, wartime and related subject matters from the early 20th Century. Estimates range from $200-$300 to $2,000-$4,000. Also of historical interest is a Topographical Map of the Original District of Columbia and Environs, a 1902 reproduction after the 1862 E.G. Arnold original, in for $3,000-$5,000.

High carat diamonds and sapphires sparkle in the jewelry section, including two GIA certified rings: the first, a platinum, 18-karat yellow-gold solitaire diamond ring, the center diamond weighing 4.7 carats, estimated at $30,000-$40,000, and a platinum, diamond and blue sapphire ring (the spectacular center diamond weighing 6.14 carats) expected to sell for $30,000-$40,000. Another 2.80 carat platinum solitaire diamond ring is offered for $10,000-$15,000 and a tested 14-karat yellow-gold solitaire diamond ring, 2.22 carats, should bring $8,000-$10,000. Designer jewelry by Henry Dunay also figures prominently with several lots of colored moonstone ear clips and a ring, as well as a white gold and diamond brooch, estimates range from $1,000-$2,000.

The public is welcome to view all lots during exhibit hours prior to the sale: Saturday, May 5 from 9am to Noon; Sunday, May 6 from 11am to 2pm; Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, May 7-9 from 10am to 5pm; and Thursday, May 10 from 10am to 2pm.

The catalogue for the Capital Collections Auction is available for purchase at the gallery and may be viewed online here.