Items in my little Oval Office

Resolute Desk :

I acquired the Resolute Desk from the online store on the website of John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum at the following site :  https://store.jfklibrary.org/ .  But, the Resolte Desk was created by the company Victorian Replicas (website : www.victorianreplicas.com). It is a wonderful replica.

(Photo : Pierre Marceau)

The construction is solid first-grade mahogany of the honduras type and the wonderful detailed victorian carving faithfully duplicates the original. Each pedestral contains a file drawer and a letter drawer behind a lockable cupboard door.

The top measures a presidential 72″ by 48″ and is covered with a single hide of tooled leather in a beautiful antique brown color.

The desk is 29’’ high and 31’’ high when a separate plinth is in place to accommodate taller owners more comfortably like President Reagan was.

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Items on my Resolute Desk :

(Photo : Pierre Marceau)

The information concerning the items on my Resolute Desk can be  found on the website of John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum at the following site:  https://www.jfklibrary.org/learn/about-jfk/life-of-john-f-kennedy/fast-facts-john-f-kennedy/president-kennedys-desk .

In this section, the pictures were taken by Mr. Pierre Marceau.

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1. Desk set in black alligator (Hermès, Paris)

Five pieces : Desk Pad, Pen Holder, Note Pad, Rocker Blotter and Cigarettes Box.

Gift from President Charles de Gaulle of France, on the occasion of President Kennedy’s state visit to Paris, June 1961. It is during this trip that the President Kennedy said : “ I am the man who accompanied Jaqueline Kennedy and I have enjoyed it.”

On the internet site 1stdibs, I purchased only three items created by Hermes Paris : the desk pad, the note pad and the cigarette box. I added a pad in the note pad created by the company Modoc.

For the rocker blotter and the pen holder, they are great replicas from Mr. Luc Pilon of VIP Memorial.

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2. Coconut Shell paper weight

Although now obscured by the clouded and scratched plastic which encases it, the coconut husk bears the inscribed message :

    NAURO ISL COMMANDER NATIVE KNOWS POSIT HE CAN PILOT

          11 ALIVE NEED SMALL BOAT KENNEDY

The message was inscribed by Lt John F. Kennedy after his PT Boat, PT 109, was rammed and sunk by a Japanese destroyer, the AMAGIRI, and he and his men were marooned on Nauro Island in the Solomons in World War II.

For this item, it is a great replica from Mr. Luc Pilon of VIP Memorial.

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3. Cannons book-ends

The book-ends on the desk are replicas of cannons mounted on the U.S.S. CONSTITUTION (Old Ironsides), now berthed in Charlestown.

For this item, I found two cannons on website ebay.ca . Unfortunately, they are not the same but the resemblance is very close. Once again, the book-ends are a replica from Mr. Luc Pilon of VIP Memorial.

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4. Plaque inscribed with the Breton fishermen’s prayer

“O, God, Thy sea is so great and my boat is so small.”

Presented to President Kennedy by Vice Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, “Father of the Nuclear Navy”.

I acquired this item from the online store on the website of John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum at the following site :  https://store.jfklibrary.org/ .

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5. Steuben Glass Etching

The etchings are of a PT boat and the Presidential seal. The item was presented to President Kennedy by an organization of PT Boat veterans knows as Peter-Tare inc.

For this item, it is a great replica from the company R2M Imagem.

(Photo : Joseph Beaumier)

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6. Gold Inaugural Medal

The medal commemorating his inauguration was presented to the President Kennedy by the Inaugural Committee.

I found a bronze medallion on website ebay.ca . I then had the medallion plated gold at Placage Royal Québec Inc. Finally, the medallion was set in plexiglass by boutique Plante Sports.

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7. Ashtray

The ashtray is of Waterford crystal and bears an etching of the Kennedy coat-of arms. The ashtray was presented to the President Kennedy by Mrs. Dorothy Tubridy of Dublin, Ireland.

I found a Waterford ashtray on website ebay.ca . Naturally, it did not have the Kennedy coat of arms.

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8. Pictures

The President Kennedy had on his desk two pictures with his daughter Caroline. The pictures were in a golden double-frame.

Photographer friend of mine reproduced the pictures of the President with his daughter Caroline for me. I then placed them in a golden double-frame that I found on website ebay.ca .

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9. Scrimshaw teeth

On his desk, the President Kennedy had some scrimshaw teeth (it is most commonly made out of the bones and teeth of whales  with elaborate engravings in the form of pictures and lettering) for his love of the ocean and sailboat. One of the scrimshaw teeth was on a little wood pedestal.

I acquired the three scrimshaw teeth from the online store on the website of John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum at the following site :  https://store.jfklibrary.org/ . The little wood pedestral is a creation from Mr. Luc Pilon of VIP Memorial.

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10. Books

Among the books that President Kennedy habitually kept on his desk were the following :

  • As we remember Joe : Personnal reminiscences of his brother, who was killed in World War II.
  • Why England Slept : His honors thesis for Harvard University.
  • Profiles in Courage : His Pulitzer Prize winning work of biography.
  • Strategy of Peace
  • To Turn the Tide

I am very proud to have found a copy of the book As we remember Joe. I found the book on website ebay.ca . I acquired the books Why England Slept and Profiles in Courage from the online store on the website of John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum at the following site :  https://store.jfklibrary.org/ . For the books Strategy of Peace and To Turn the Tide, I found them on website ebay.ca .

Then, I put three other books on the Resolute Desk. These are :

  • A Nation of Immigrants
  • Quotations of John F. Kennedy
  • James Bond, Form Russia with Love

I acquired the books A Nation of Immigrants et Quotations of John F. Kennedy from the online store on the website of John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum at the following site :  https://store.jfklibrary.org/ .  I included the James Bond book From Russia with Love by Ian Flemming which was one of the President’s favorite books as mentioned in the 1962 Time Magazine article.

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11. Telephones

  • One large green Call Director phone with several buttons.
  • Two black telephones for communicating with his staff and the Mansion.

I found the black phones on website ebay.ca .

For the Call Director green phone, I found it on the website of the company PHONECO inc. at the following site : www.phonecoinc.com .

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12. Lamp

On the Resolute Desk, there was a Hercolite Executive  green lamp with brass made by  Herco Art Manufacturing of Wallingford in Connecticut. I found the identical lamp on website ebay.ca .

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Other items :

(Photo : Pierre Marceau)

In this section, the pictures were taken by Mr. Joseph Beaumier.

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1. Leather chair

In the Oval Office, behind the Resolute Desk, President Kennedy had a leather chair. The base of the chair was made of wood and brass and was on wheels.

The chair that I purchased is a replica of the President’s chair bought from the company The Presidents Desk at the following address : www.presidentsdesk.com .

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2. Rocking chair and standing ashtray

In the Oval Office, there was a rocking chair in which the president frequently used due to his back problems. Right next to the rocking chair, stood a standing ashtray made from wood and brass.

The replica of the rocking chair was purchased from the online store on the website of John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum at the following site :  https://store.jfklibrary.org/ . The standing ashtray was purchased on website ebay.ca. It is identical to the one used by President Kennedy.

(Photo credit : photo 9)

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3. Presidential seal carpet

In order to make the Oval Office perfect, there had to be a carpet with the seal of the President of the United States.

I acquired the Presidential seal carpet from the online store on the website of John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum at the following site :  https://store.jfklibrary.org/ .

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4. Flags

On both sides of the desk and behind the President’s leather chair, there are two flags on flag posts with eagle heads.

  • American flag on the left
  • Presidential seal flag on the right

The flag posts were purchased at Flag Shop in Montreal.

I found the Presidential seal flag on website ebay.ca .

I am very proud of my American flag. It came from President Obama native land. I purchased it from the Pearl Harbour souvenir shop in Hawaii on a visit in 2013. This particular flag flew from the U.S.S. Missouri on July 4th, 2013 (Independence day).

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5. Paintings

For decoration, I installed two magnificent paintings in my little Oval Office.

Naturally, the first represents President Kennedy. It is a reproduction of the official posthumous portrait which is found at the White House. The painting is the work of artist Aaron Shikler.

The second painting is a portrait of past Democratic presidents gathered around a pool game. The painting is called Callin’ the red from the artist Andy Thomas.

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6. Illustrations

In my little Oval Office, there were mirror doors for the wardrobe. To hide the mirrors, I had a photograph made representing the Capitol Building.

Then, in my oval window (hence the name of my office) overlooking the outside, I had a photograph made representing the Washington Monument.
 
These two beautiful photographs are the work of Bélitec imprimeur digital Inc. whose photographs were acquired on the Shutterstock company website at the following address: www.shutterstock.com .

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