Signed Richard Nixon, Kennedy, and Smathers Documents

Value (2010) | $6,700 Auction$9,300 Auction
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GUEST:
My father was born and raised in Indiana but moved to Miami when he was about 12 years old. Grew up in Miami. Two of his best friends when he was growing up here, that he went to high school with, were George Smathers, who was the junior senator from Florida for three terms, and Bebe Rebozo, who eventually became Richard Nixon's best friend.

APPRAISER:
Let's talk about this letter first. This is a letter from Richard Nixon addressed to your dad.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
And Nixon spent an inordinate amount of time here in Florida. Key Biscayne was often called the Florida White House.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
And Rebozo was one of his best friends for over 40 years. The Nixon market for signatures, as you can imagine, is not very strong.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
He has such notoriety within his term that people don't want to say they actually collect Nixon. But what I love about this letter that was written in 1975 is it's so genuine. It says here, "You were especially generous and kind in your remarks about me. This took a lot of guts on your part because, of course, the more popular line these days is to point up everything that is wrong during the years I was in office and ignore everything that was right." Just a lovely passage, and shows a part of Nixon that people don't often see.

GUEST:
He really was very personable and cared deeply about the people around him.

APPRAISER:
And then you have a menu here. Tell me a little bit about why you have this.

GUEST:
This is a menu from Don Julio's Restaurant, which used to be on Northwest 36th Street in Miami. They featured Cuban cuisine, which was Nixon's favorite. And one evening, my father went to dinner with Richard Nixon and Bebe Rebozo, and so my father asked Nixon to autograph a menu, and at the bottom it says, "To David, best wishes from Richard Nixon."

APPRAISER:
And then on top of it, we have this pamphlet, this brochure from the Florida Presidential Dinner. It was a fundraiser for the Democratic National Party. And the signatures are almost so sloppy, so you tell me who signed them.

GUEST:
This was a Democratic Party fundraiser in Florida in March of 1962. This signature right here is addressed to my dad-- "To Sloan, best from John Kennedy." And this one over here is “To David-- to me-- "Best wishes from George Smathers," who was the junior senator from Florida.

APPRAISER:
Well, that document is just a wonderful document. Kennedy and Smathers were lifelong friends. Smathers was in part of the wedding party...

GUEST:
Right, I knew that.

APPRAISER:
And it just is a wonderful document of two really terrific people and commemorates a lovely, lovely friendship. In terms of value, Nixon's signatures usually bring $50 or $100, but I would say in terms of this wonderful document, which has very personalized name and signature, it's the content that really speaks to us, and this would have a value of about, at auction, $1,200 to $1,800.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
This signature, again a lovely signature, about $500.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
In terms of the two signatures here, they definitely are original signatures. You know that because they were gotten in person. The signatures alone are valuable, but together on this document would be about $5,000 to $7,000.

GUEST:
Holy cow.

APPRAISER:
Thank you for illuminating the Florida White House for us.

GUEST:
Thank you very much.

APPRAISER:
In this small vignette.

GUEST:
Thank you. That's amazing. I'm totally flabbergasted.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Heritage Auctions
New York, NY
Appraised value (2010)
$6,700 Auction$9,300 Auction
Event
Miami Beach, FL (July 10, 2010)
Period
20th Century
Material
Ink, Paper

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