AMESBURY, Mass. – John McInnis Auctioneers’ October 13 Camelot With a Twist Presidential and Sports Event features historically important documents, books, photographs and household items from the Kennedy and Auchincloss families. Bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers. This nearly 600-lot auction includes breathtaking rarities from Hammersmith Farm, the Kennedy administrations’ summer White House and childhood home of Jacqueline Kennedy; intimate and revealing collections of first family ephemera; and outstanding sporting related merchandise from baseball legends, including Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth and Ted Williams.
This auction launches with almost 300 lots of presidential-caliber materials from the Hammersmith Farm estate in Newport, Rhode Island. These items were bequeathed to Colleen Townsend Pilat, the assistant to Jackie’s stepbrother Hugh “Yusha” Auchincloss upon his passing.
Treasures from first lady Jacqueline Kennedy’s youth are certain to catch the eye of historians, museums and connoisseurs. Lot 97, Jackie’s childhood desk (below), is estimated at $2,500-$5,000. This Louis XIV-style French Provincial desk measures 30 by 48 by 27inches. Two diaries, written by Yusha, reveal the privileged life he and Jackie lived as teens in the 1940s. These diaries include lot 88, covering Jan. 1, 1943, through Sept. 30, 1945, and lot 89, covering Oct. 1, 1944, through Sept. 30, 1946. Each carries an estimate of $2,000-$4000. And lot 69, Jackie’s copy of The Book of Dogs, given to her by her father John Bouvier III, is estimated at $1,000-$2,000. The book includes notations, made by 6-year-old Jackie, highlighting her favorite breeds.
Books from the family’s personal library are well represented in this sale. Lot 129, a John F. Kennedy signed copy of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare is estimated at $3,000-$6,000. Lot 174, a signed copy of Aaron Burr, the Proud Pretender, is estimated at $3,000-$6,000. This book includes its original Seal of the President of the United States bookplate. And lot 212, a Jackie-inscribed copy of The Architectural Heritage of Newport Rhode Island is estimated at $2,000-$4,000. The book is dedicated to her stepfather and embellished with an original watercolor painting of flowers.
The Hammersmith Farm collection features astonishing photographs, many unpublished. Lot 91, an Auchincloss family album, is estimated at $2,500-$5,000. This archive contains over 150 images with several pages annotated by Jackie. Lot 92, the first known color photo of Jackie, is estimated at $2,000-$4,000. This ethereal image shows Jackie on her 14th birthday smelling a flower. Lot 126, a collection of photos taken at Jack and Jackie’s wedding reception at Hammersmith Farm, is estimated at $500-$1,000. And lot 74, a group of unpublished, playful photographs of Jackie Bouvier at the Chapin School is estimated at $400-$800.
President Kennedy was a lifetime sports fan, and this sale includes rarities that bridge his government and athletic interests. Lot 298, a baseball signed by JFK and members of the 1962 Detroit Tigers, is estimated at $10,000-$20,000. The ball was autographed at D.C. Stadium on opening day, April 9, 1962. The President threw out the first pitch at this game.
The range of amazing sporting collectibles offered through this sale is a grand slam. Lot 312, a signed Ted Williams bat, is estimated at $10,000-$20,000. This lot includes a 35-inch Louisville Slugger bat stamped W155 and signed in ink on its opposite side and a Williams statistics card autographed by Williams. Lot 313, a Ted Williams signed baseball from 1958, is estimated at $1,000-$2,000. It is signed “To Ellen Best Wishes Ted Williams 1958.” Lot 304, a Babe Ruth/Lou Gehrig autographed baseball, is estimated at $4,000-$6,000. And lot 303, a Ty Cobb and author-signed copy of The Light of Faith is estimated at $500-$1,000.
The final third of this sale features items associated with the Kennedy family. Much of this material has been consigned from the estates of people who were employed by the family, including Deirdre Henderson and Rosalie Helm. Helm was an avid ephemera collector and was gifted her Kennedy materials directly from the family.
The Helm collection features ephemera that provides a firsthand view of the family’s professional and everyday life. Highlights include lot 453, JFK’s manuscript for The Strategy of Peace – Senator John Kennedy’s Views on America’s World Policies. It is estimated at $2,500-$5,000. Lot 457, a Lucite box given as a gift to Joan Kennedy, is estimated at $1,000-$2,000. Lot 596, a collection of doodles and drawings by Ted Kennedy, is estimated at $200-$400. And lot 550, a handwritten note on U.S. Senate memorandum paper from Ted Kennedy simply asking, “Rosalie – where is clicker for T.V.” is estimated at $100-$200.
This sale comes full circle with fine selections of Kennedy materials. Lot 433, a portrait of Rosemary Kennedy as a child, is estimated at $2,000-$4,000. And lot 399, the blueprints for JFK’s final resting place at Arlington National Cemetery, is estimated at $4,000-$6,000. Dated April 1, 1965, these plans were drawn up by John Carl Warnecke & Associates; this was a significant project completed with the blessing of JFK’s family after his burial in 1963.