On the Block

Sotheby’s Robert S. McNamara Auction (Photos)

Sotheby’s is auctioning a cache of memorabilia from JFK’s defense secretary, Robert S. McNamara. See photos.

Alfred Eisenstaedt, Time Life Pictures / Getty Images

Alfred Eisenstaedt, Time Life Pictures / Getty Images

Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara

Timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, Sotheby’s is auctioning a cache of memorabilia from JFK’s defense secretary, Robert S. McNamara. See photos.

Courtesy of Sotheby’s

Lot 7: Kennedy, John F., and Robert S. McNamara

Color photograph of John F. Kennedy and Robert S. McNamara on the White House portico, inscribed by President Kennedy: For Bob McNamara │with highest esteem │John F. Kennedy Est. $3/4,000

Courtesy of Sotheby’s

Lot 13: Onassis, Jacqueline Kennedy

Autograph letter signed, two pages in a revealing letter of thanks and encouragement to Robert McNamara, the first lady provides a candid look at the chaotic state of the White House during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Est. $5/7,000

Courtesy of Sotheby’s

Lot 21: Onassis, Jacqueline Kennedy

Autograph letter signed, 10 pages, Dec. 11, 1963, to Marjorie McNamara; Mrs. Kennedy graciously declines a gift “from the man in his cabinet who gave the most (as much as Jack’s own brother Bobby gave).” Est. $6/8,000

Courtesy of Sotheby’s

Lot 14: Cuban Missile Crisis calendar paperweight presented to Secretary McNamara by President Kennedy.

One of the rarest and most significant of presidential gifts. Est. $15/25,000

Courtesy of Sotheby’s

Lot 33: Secretary McNamara's Department of Defense flag:

50 inches (hoist) x 65 inches (fly). Pole: 99 inches. Est. $10/15,000

Courtesy of Sotheby’s

Lot 73: The Presidential Medal of Freedom with Distinction Est. $5/7,000

Courtesy of Sotheby’s

Lot 41: Johnson, Lyndon B., 36th President

Color photograph of President Johnson and Secretary McNamara walking under the east portico of the White House, c. 1965, with lengthy inscription on the mat by President Johnson. Est. $2,500/3,500

Courtesy of Sotheby’s

Lot 79: Political Cartoon by Newton Truitt, 1961–1968

A group of approximately 121 political cartoons (most original art world in pen and ink, a few reproductions) by Gene Basset, Herb Block, Paul Conrad, Gib Crockett, Jon Kennedy, Bill Mauldin, Pat Oliphant, Newton Truitt, and many others, of which 55 are inscribed to Secretary McNamara. Housed in three albums with brass plaque labels on the front covers. Est. $25/35,000

Courtesy of Sotheby’s

Lot 79: Political Cartoon by Gene Basset, 1961–1968

A group of approximately 121 political cartoons (most original art world in pen and ink, a few reproductions) by Gene Basset, Herb Block, Paul Conrad, Gib Crockett, Jon Kennedy, Bill Mauldin, Pat Oliphant, Newton Truitt, and many others, of which 55 are inscribed to Secretary McNamara. Housed in three albums with brass plaque labels on the front covers. Est. $25/35,000