Lapel pin promoting John F. Kennedy for president, c. 1963. Gilt brass. Emress Specialty Co., New York. Issued in anticipation of Kennedy's 1964 reelection campaign.
The story behind the rocking chair, and how it came to symbolize Camelot, is well known. Suffering from chronic back pain as a result of injuries he sustained while in the Navy, Kennedy could not remain seated in the same position for long periods. The White House physician prescribed the use of rocking chairs, and one was placed anywhere the president routinely sat. The Oval Office rocker became famous from the countless press photos of Kennedy sitting in it, and was the inspiration for this lapel pin, issued in late 1963, just prior to Kennedy's assassination.
The Oval Office rocker was sold in the auction of the Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis estate in 1996, where it brought $453,000.