JFK legacy lives on the auction block

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 17, 2005

I have always had a deep fascination with Jacqueline Kennedy, from her style and grace to her charisma.

Starting on February 15, Sotheby’s in New York City is giving the highest bidders a chance to own their own piece of Camelot.

The items in the auction would normally be considered average yard sale junk but add the name Kennedy and you have a treasure.

Sotheby’s is auctioning off personal belongings of President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy from homes in Hyannis Port as well as other family homes in Martha’s Vineyard, New Jersey, New York City and Virginia.

The auction will run until February 17th.

It will feature over 600 lots of collectibles, furniture and candid photos. It is expected to bring in over $1 million; it is considered modest in comparison to the 1996 auction, which brought in 34.5 million.

The previous auction was a bit more glamorous, featuring the diamond engagement ring given to Jackie O from Aristotle Onassis that went for two and a-half million dollars.

Caroline Kennedy consigns the property, after she gave any items of historical significance to the JFK Library. She told Sotheby’s after the death of her brother she found herself with more houses and belongings than she could possibly use or enjoy.

She mentioned she and her children kept the items that meant most.

She also mentioned a portion of the auction and the proceeds from the Sotheby’s catalog sale will go to the John F. Kennedy Library and other charities.

The Sotheby’s website has a list of items already auctioned off and the prices bidders paid.

A red wool flannel blanket went for the bargain price of $18,000.

A group of books relating to Washington DC and the White House ended bidding at $5,100.

Residents of North Carolina can relish in a turned oak and brown painted rocking chair from our state went for $96,000 to an anonymous phone bidder. JFK used the rocker to ease his chronically bad back.

A &uot;free&uot; Martha’s Vineyard poster went for $2,040.

A sugar bowel with a pre-sale estimate of only $100-$150 went for $7,200.

A stack of Life and Saturday Evening Post magazines with Jackie’s doodling went for $4,200.

I am sure the excitement of bidding on a piece of history gets your blood pumping, but it would take me two years to be able to afford the group of magazines for $540.

I did though spend $50 at the Field Museum in Chicago to experience Jacqueline Kennedy-The White House Years exhibit.

I am just as happy to experience the Kennedy legacy from a far.