I occasionally search online for interesting cocktail shakers and came across the Cartier shaker shown below:
What got my attention were the many signatures on the shaker as well as the prominently displayed initials “J.R.H.” at the top with the date April 27, 1940. I had seen similar such presentation shakers before. Since all the signatures appeared to be male, I guessed this was a shaker presented to a groom on the occasion of his wedding by a group of his friends.
I confirmed that the date April 27, 1940 was a Saturday and I felt certain I was on the right track assuming it was a wedding.
So I tackled the names that I could decipher. August Heckscher was distinctive enough and should be an easy search. And it was! His Wikipedia bio follows. He was quite a prominent figure: Appointed by John F. Kennedy as the first White House Special Consultant on the Arts and later NewYork City Parks Commissioner Appointed by John Lindsay.
His brother, Gustave Maurice, signed the Shaker as “Maury” and this is his Wikipedia page:
Horace W. Davis was another signature and upon finding the following obituary I realized that what these men had in common was that they were Yale graduates.
Robert Train, another Yale graduate:
Frederic H. Lassiter, yet another:
I searched that April 27, 1940 date and Yale and, as luck would have it, a wedding announcement appeared… Frances Ann Cannon was Wed to John R. Hersey. J. R. H. John R. Hersey! Yes!
John R. Hersey was not just another Yale graduate, he was a well known author and Pulitzer prize winner for his novel A Bell for Adano.
His bride, Frances Ann Cannon, had previously dated John F. Kennedy for some time. JFK was a guest at their wedding.
Following is a link to a very interesting article on Hersey, Cannon and JFK.
So whoever you are who owns this shaker, maybe you are already aware of all this history regarding it. But if you don’t know and are researching it, I hope you find this post!