AMESBURY, Mass. — A collection of John F. Kennedy’s personal effects goes up for bid next month, giving history buffs a shot at a collection of 700 photos, letters, documents and gifts that belonged to the 35th president.
The auction's highlight is an Air Force One bomber jacket with the presidential seal sewn on the front. The jacket is estimated to be worth $20,000 and $40,000 and comes with a color photograph of Kennedy wearing it while watching the America’s Cup race.
The jacket was apparently loaned at one point to President Ronald Reagan, and the auction includes a letter from Reagan thanking its owner, the late David Powers, for its use.
The collection is being sold by McInnis Auctioneers for Powers' estate. Powers was a special advisor and close personal friend of Kennedy.
“This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We are totally amazed at the breadth of this collection,” said Dan Meader, a McInnis Auctioneers appraiser. “The presidency of JFK was such a short period of time, but this is a collection that starts in the ‘30s and ‘40s, right through his life and then beyond."
Powers’ children recently found the collection as they were preparing to sell his family home. Most of his Kennedy-related items were donated to the JFK Library in Boston years ago, said Meader, but Powers decided to keep some of the deeply personal things for himself.
Powers, who died in 1998 at age 85, was deeply involved in Kennedy’s political career and traveled with the president from 1946 until his death in 1963. He remained close with the family after the president’s assassination and was instrumental in the creation the JFK Library.
The auction will be held at John McInnis Auctioneers in Amesbury on Feb. 17.
Details for this story were provided by the Daily News of Newburyport, Mass.