A Papal Document, Original Stephen Ward Art and a JFK New Year’s Card Headline at Fraser’s Autograp A truly unique document from the controversial 1903 Papal Conclave will feature at the Fraser’s Autographs’ auction on Friday 5th June alongside a hugely rare New Year’s Card from American President J
News-Antique.com - May 28,2014 - Initiated by the death of Pope Leo XIII, the 1903 Conclave is among the more famous of modern times due to a Jus exclusivae (veto) imposed against papabile Mariano Rampolla del Tindaro by the Austrian Emperor Francis Joseph I, for what is believed to be Rampolla’s liberal views which were at odds with the conservative stance of the powerful Catholic heads of State.
The truly remarkable aspect of this document is that one can clearly see that Rampolla was the favourite, by some way, and ultimately won the vote. Sarto initially had little support from the other cardinals of the conclave but of course once the veto was initiated Rampolla was effectively removed from the ballot.
Offered alongside the document is a ballot paper from Cardinal Svampa with the note “This is the vote I’ve always given in the seven ballots of August 1-2-3-4, 1903”, which leads to speculation that he kept the ballot and his vote as proof of his sustained allegiance to Sarto, and Sarto was not a second choice in obedience to the imperial veto. A good political move perhaps, as Sarto became Pope Pius X.
Tradition dictates that minutes of a conclave are destroyed by burning them to produce the famous white or black smoke denoting the outcome of proceedings. Because this vote was vetoed, it was never burnt with the ballot papers.
The owner was extremely well connected with numerous relations and contacts within the high ranks of the Roman Church. It is the first time they have ever been offered at auction and due to their unique nature and significant historical importance, the interest in this item is expected to be extremely high. Starting bid: £500 [Lot 128]
Custom made by Hallmark in 1963 for President Kennedy, two versions of the card were ordered, the much rarer card featured here with ‘Blessed Christmas’ omitted. The card front features a photograph of the nativity scene located in the East Room of the White House.
Days before making his fateful state visit to Dallas, Texas, President Kennedy returned to Washington on the evening of November 18 from a trip to Florida. Sometime between his return and the evening of the 20th, both the president and first lady began to sign the cards at their leisure. On the morning of November 21, they boarded a plane and left for San Antonio, Texas, with plans to arrive in Dallas on November 22. There the president would be assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald. The cards were never sent and remained relatively unknown, even to the Kennedy Library, until the 1980s.
An extremely rare card indeed, and with only a few known examples, one of which resides in the Smithsonian Museum, this is a highly sought after item. In exceptionally good condition this card represents the chance to own a piece of American political history. Starting bid: £3,000 [Lot 141]
An artist, osteopath and prolific socialite, Stephen Ward, was one of the central figures in the 1963 Profumo affair, a