John F. & Jacqueline Kennedy scarce 1953 wedding invitation, plus gorgeous oversized wedding photo
Two lovely pieces of Kennedyiana comprised of a scarce September 12, 1953 wedding invitation, and an over-sized black and white photo of the newly married couple at Hammersmith Farm. The invitation is in near fine condition, with isolated toning found at the upper left corner of the front page. The invitation measures 4.375" x 5.875". The photo has been trimmed, with tape residue at top and minor wrinkles, else near fine.
These invites are incredibly scarce and we have only seen two others in 40 years of business. the last one sold in Heritage auctions in 2011, was not in great condition, did not include the oversize photo and fetched over $2000!
The Kennedy wedding invitation invited the guest to the wedding ceremony and reception. Cream weighted paper with black typeface, the front reading:
"Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Dudley Auchincloss
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of Mrs. Auchincloss' daughter
Jacqueline Lee Bouvier
The Honorable John Fitzgerald Kennedy
United States Senate
on Saturday, the twelfth of September
at eleven o'clock
Saint Mary's Church
Newport, Rhode Island."
Within the bifold invitation are stapled smaller admittance passes to the reception and church respectively, apparently unused. Pre-wedding planning included issuing a memorandum to the Head Usher, now preserved in the collection of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. "All guests invited to wedding will have 'Admittance to Church' cards. These cards will be taken by the secretaries, Miss Weaver and Miss Donovan, who will be standing in the back of the church at the center aisle…", the ushers were instructed. Our card was an example of one such "Admittance to Church" cards.
John F. Kennedy (1917-1963), then a United States Senator from Massachusetts, married Long Island socialite Jacqueline Lee Bouvier (1929-1994) at St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church in Newport, Rhode Island on September 12, 1953. The morning wedding mass was officiated by Archbishop Richard Cushing, a family friend, and was preceded by a special papal blessing. Over 800 guests attended the Kennedy wedding church service in the Gothic Revival style church on Spring Street. Outside, crowds formed to congratulate the couple.
Over 1200 guests were welcomed to the reception which followed at Hammersmith Farm, the bride's family's 300-acre beachfront estate. Mother Janet Lee Bouvier Auchincloss (1907-1989) and stepfather Hugh D. Auchincloss (1897-1976) feted the newlyweds on the grounds of their 28-room Cape Cod style shingle style house. Guests enjoyed an alfresco luncheon, 4-tier wedding cake (ordered by father of the groom Joseph P. Kennedy), orchestral music conducted by bandleader Meyer Davis, and dancing.
As we know, wedding photos were also snapped on the grounds. This enlarged photo enables us to see the splendid sartorial details of the newly minted Kennedy couple.
Jackie Kennedy wore an ivory silk wedding gown with a portrait neckline, ruched bodice, and boufant skirt decorated with tiered flounces and tucked pinwheels and designed by black NYC fashion designer Ann Lowe. She also wore an heirloom rosepoint lace veil garlanded by orange blossoms, a pearl choker, and a diamond bracelet from the groom. The new Mrs. Kennedy held a bouquet of pink and white orchids and gardenias. She was attended by 10 bridesmaids garbed in pink taffeta, red sashes, and matching Tudor caps.
John F. Kennedy was equally dashing in a black morning suit with tails, gray pinstriped trousers, and a cream silk tie that matched his bride's ensemble. He was accompanied by an entourage of groomsmen and ushers.
The Kennedy's 36pp typed wedding guest list with handwritten corrections, comes from the same source and will be offered as a separate lot in this sale.
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