This item comes with solid provenance. Here is the story:

Obtained by Fred Holmes, a percussionist with the Black Watch military band. On the 13th November 1963, The Black Watch Band were invited to The White House to perform for President Kennedy, Mrs Kennedy and their two children, Commonwealth ambassadors, their staff and several hundred school children that Mrs Kennedy had especially invited. Following the performance, the band members were allowed to walk around The White House where they could have as much whisky as they liked! After re-alighting the bus to leave The White House, President Kennedy and Dean Rusk, the Secretary of State boarded the vehicle to thank everyone for their performance. At least ten members of the band and including Fred, went straight up to the president asking him to sign anything they had available. When a pen failed to work, Dean Rusk, handed over a propelling pencil for the president to sign this matchbook.

What do people think? If it is genuine, does the scruffiness/pencil hurt the value?

Tags: 1963, Fitzgerald, JFK, John, Kennedy

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It looks like JFK attempted a variant of his “campaign” style autograph.  The first part looks like a spot-on example of his campaign style autograph.  The extra-enlongated “y” is somewhat unusual for this style of autograph.  However, keep in mind Kennedy was signing on a very small surface (part of a matchbook) while holding it in the palm of his hand to sign it.  I’m sure this did not make signing this item very easy.  Also, it would appear that this was signed right in front of the band member.  It’s not like it was taken off the bus by a staffer who went somewhere and signed it for JFK.  That didn’t happen apparently.

Normally, something like a signed matchbook, signed in pencil wouldn’t be as valuable as some other things, but this has tremendous provenance.  It’s a GREAT story.  Plus, it was signed just 9 days before arguably the most infamous moment in 20th century American history took place.  This would be an AWESOME thing to own, imho.

I'm glad you agree, I think the story and date of signing more than make up for the scruffy autograph. 

Would you be able to post a classic example of his "campaign" style signature?


I would also love to see a "campaign" style signature.  Don't believe I've ever seen one...

Here is an example of a campaign style signature from JFK.

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Now, keep in mind, there are even variations of the campaign style autograph.  To paraphrase Charles Hamilton, JFK was probably the most complicated signature study in history!  That’s because he had so many different styles of autographs that he would use.  It has been said that JFK could sign five different items in-a-row and each could look like it was signed by an entirely different person.  That may be a slight exaggeration, but it’s not too far off.

I might need to retire ahead of schedule if I'm ever going to crack JFK's autograph(s) ......

Thanks for the info James

Here’s another one.

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at least this one somewhat resembles his other signature styles...I would have never guessed that the others were his !

Here’s my campaign-style autograph.

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It was signed on October 22, 1960, just about two weeks before the election.  It was signed at Shawnee Mission East High School in Prairie Village, Kansas.  The guy who got it signed was a prominent local businessman and Democrat Party activist who lived just a couple of blocks from the high school.  Kennedy was supposed to appear at the high school at about 8pm but didn’t make it until about 10pm.  It was also the same night as the school’s homecoming dance.  Because Kennedy was already running very late, his handlers wanted to cancel the appearance, but a Kansas City Congressman insisted he needed to appear because the guests who had been waiting such a long time would so be so disappointed.  So fortunately JFK did attend where he boldly predicted he would win Kansas.  He wasn’t right about that, but he did become our 35th President.


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