AMESBURY, Mass. — CNHI News Service
History buffs will have an opportunity to obtain their own presidential artifacts next month when a collection of John F. Kennedy’s personal belongings is put up for bid.
Included will be more than 700 photographs, letters, official correspondence, documents and gifts. The highlight of the auction is expected to be an Air Force One bomber jacket that belonged to Kennedy.
The collection is being sold off by the estate of David Powers, a special advisor and close personal friend of the former president. McInnis Auctioneers will handle the sale of the items.
The brown leather jacket, which has the presidential seal sewn on the front, is estimated to be worth between $20,000 and $40,000. It comes with a color photograph of Kennedy wearing it while watching the America’s Cup race. It was apparently also loaned to President Ronald Reagan, and the auction includes a letter from Reagan to Powers thanking him for the jacket.
“This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity; we are totally amazed at the breadth of this collection,” said Dan Meader, an appraiser for McInnis Auctioneers. “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,” he said.
Powers’ children recently found the collection locked away as they were preparing to sell his family home. Most of Powers’ Kennedy-related items were donated to the JFK Library years ago, but he decided to keep some of the deeply personal things for himself, Meader said.
Powers, who died in 1998 at the age of 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 Newburyport, Mass., News.