Items sold by JFK aide sell for as much as $2M in auction
CAMBRIDGE, Mass — Thousands of items that belonged to a longtime aide of President John F. Kennedy sold for as much as $2 million in an auction that ended on Monday, nearly 50 years after the president's assassination.
A birthday card from his son, the late John F. Kennedy Jr., fetched $17,000, a flag flown on Kennedy's motorcade limousine sold for $55,000, while a seal that hung above the aide's desk in the West Wing sold for $17,000, excluding buyers' premiums, said Dan Meader, auction appraiser at John McInnis Auctioneers.
A top sale item in the bidding that began on Sunday morning was Kennedy's Air Force One bomber jacket, which sold for $570,000 plus a buyer's premium, far greater than the expectation of a $20,000 to $40,000 final bid.
The collection included letters, photographs, books and other items that had been tucked away in drawers and file cabinets at the home of David Powers, who died in 1998. They were discovered in recent years by relatives as they prepared the Arlington, Mass., residence for sale.
Powers was close to the president throughout his political career, from 1946 until his assassination on Nov. 22, 1963. He later remained close to the Kennedy family and became curator of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston before retiring in 1994.
The auction included personal effects that reflected Powers' years of shared history with Kennedy and his family. Among them were dozens of letters from former first lady Jackie Kennedy and books inscribed by the president.
Some items sold for as much as 20 times their estimated price in bidding sessions that took twice as long as expected, Meader said.
Organizers have not yet tallied the total amount bid in the auction, but it was on the high end of $1 million to $2 million, he said.
Roughly 400 people from across the country attended the auction in Amesbury, Mass., which ended shortly after 5 a.m. on Monday. Bidders from around the world participated online, he said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- 12 missing after flooding in Texas sweeps away vacation home
- Obama gets state, local allies for key initiatives
- Doctors, hospitals get more time to convert to electronic health records
- EPA expected to expand protection of streams, wetlands
- Rescuers find stranded woman in California desert, too late for husband
- Children tossed, injured, from bounce house sent airborne by waterspout in Florida
- Ohio’s largest road project to cost 3 times its estimate
- BP credited with gulf tourism boom
- Biden reassures Iraq: U.S. backs your forces in fight against Islamic State
- Wife, brother accused in man’s hatchet killing
- Senate committee backs vets’ rights to marijuana