We've rounded up some of the most interesting and illuminating political memoirs, autographs from great American leaders, paintings and collectible antiques that tell the story of the founding of our Nation's government. Receiving any of these gifts during the holidays is sure to delight any political history buff.
This piece of Senate history is so cool. John F. Kennedy inscribed and signed this United States Senate Restaurant menu on April 10, 1957, when he was a Senator representing the state of Massachusetts. Kennedy was elected to the U.S. Senate and served as the junior Senator from Massachusetts from 1953 until 1960. The signature reads, in dark ink "To Kathleen-- / Best Wishes / John Kennedy / Mass," on the menu’s front cover. The menu is additionally signed by Tennessee Senator Estes Kefauver, at bottom left.
This beautiful Borghese bookend pair is the same style as seen in photos of John F. Kennedy’s Senate and Oval Offices desks. This simple elegance in design combines the stunning shine of the gold-painted eagles with the classic, clean-cut decorations of the six-pointed gold star base.
Consider gifting this handsome patinated bust of Abraham Lincoln, after Leo Cherne. Leo Cherne created the bust of President Abraham Lincoln in 1955. He based the sculpture off an 1865 photograph of Abraham Lincoln. The photograph was taken hours after Lincoln learned of General Robert E. Lee’s surrender and only four days before Lincoln was assassinated. The original sculpture of the Abraham Lincoln bust was once located in the Cabinet Room of the White House and has been in the White House since the presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower.
This is a beautiful oil on canvas painting of the signing of the Declaration of Independence by American artist Horace L. Carpenter. Painted in the early 20th century, this historic rendition is based on the epic 1820 oil painting of the same scene by John Trumbull. A skillfully rendered piece commemorating one of the proudest moments in the political history of the United States, this painting would make a beautiful addition to any early American history collection.
To go above and beyond this holiday season, consider gifting this rare second edition of the most important work of American political thought ever written, The Federalist. According to Thomas Jefferson, the Federalist papers were "the best commentary on the principles of government." This second edition, published in 1802, was the first edition to identify Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison as the authors, as well as the first edition to include text of the Constitution, which is missing from the first printing. It was also the last printing issued during Hamilton’s lifetime. This second edition is in its beautiful period, tree-calf boards with gilt titles and a new archival slipcase, for preservation.
This is a special limited edition printing of the political debates of Lincoln and Stephen Douglas. The series of seven debates between Stephen A. Douglas and Abraham Lincoln during the 1858 Illinois state election campaign was among the most significant statements in American political history. The issues they discussed were not only of critical importance to the sectional conflict over slavery and states’ rights but also touched deeper questions that would continue to influence political discourse. As Lincoln said, the issues would be discussed long after “these poor tongues of Judge Douglas and myself shall be silent.”
The Beautiful and the Damned, published in 1922 by F. Scott Fitzgerald, presents the reader with a fictionalized telling of the perpetually problematic relationship between Zelda and Frances Scott Key Fitzgerald. The novel is not only a landmark in the career of F. Scott Fitzgerald, but a glimpse into past high-societies wrapped up in a rebound cover of blue leather and hand-worked gilding.