Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Tool Chest

05 Feb

President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s personally-owned and -used tool chest, given to him at Christmas by his valet John Moaney and his wife Delores, who was Eisenhower’s personal cook for over 25 years. Large tool chest, made by White House carpenters, measures 33 x 15 x 15, with “D. D. E.,” engraved into the inside of the lid, and a handsomely engraved brass presentation plaque affixed to the top of the lid which reads: “To the President from Sgt. and Mrs. John Moaney, Christmas 1959.” Chest features three creative sliding compartmentalized trays, and replacement hinges, closing latch, corner guards and handles. All of the chest’s original brass ware is included. Chest was presented to President Eisenhower as a Christmas gift in 1959, and is accompanied by a thank-you letter sent by President Eisenhower, on White House letterhead as president, dated December 26, 1959, to the Moaneys which reads, in full: “I think you probably know how proud I am of that handsome tool chest, and consequently, how grateful I am for your thoughtfulness in having it made—and handsomely identified—for me. It was a wonderful idea, and I am more grateful than I can say.” Also included is a 1985 letter of provenance, on a White House card, from Moaney’s wife Delores. Letter reads, in part: “The large wood tool chest with a brass plaque on top was owned and used by President Eisenhower. It was a gift from my husband, Sgt. Moaney, to him in 1959. After the President died on 3/28/69, Mamie gave it back to my husband.” It is exceptionally rare for any presidential relic to appear accompanied by direct provenance from the president himself, directly referencing the item. Chest retains some tools and other instruments, some labeled with Moaney’s name, and others unidentified, but most likely the remainder are President Eisenhower’s. In very fine condition. Moaney became Eisenhower’s valet in 1942 during World War II, meeting the general at England’s Telegraph Cottage, and spent the next 27 years as his valet, including both his terms as president. After serving the Commander-in-Chief during his two terms, Moaney moved to the Eisenhower family farm in Gettysburg, and lived right in the mansion with Dwight and Mamie, finally retiring from the Army in 1969 after the President’s passing. But Sgt. Moaney would continue to work for Mamie Eisenhower until his death in 1978. A very thoughtful gift from one of the president’s most trusted and loyal companions, and deeply appreciated by the president as evident from his thank-you letter sent just one day after the Christmas holiday. This handsome and impressive piece has the potential to be the centerpiece in the room of the most discriminating collector. The Raleigh DeGeer Amyx Collection.

Absentee Bidding Starts Thursday February 12, 2015


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