7499 - 20170309 - Art and emblems of friendships with the Kennedys offered in Bonhams' New York sale - 09.03.2017


A going away gift jewelry with letter of recommendation to Jackie Kennedy’s personal secretary. Estimate: $3,000-5,000. Photo: Bonhams.
The “Kennedy Years”, a special section in the Fine Books & Manuscripts sale in New York on March 9, has several items on offer that tell the story of JFK’s days as a young senator arriving in Washington D.C. with his beautiful young bride, his nomination to the Democratic ticket, and his presidential campaign and presidency.

Leading the sale is the original plaster maquette for the bust of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, modeled by renowned sculptor Felix De Weldon, best known for his Marines Corps Memorial, in mid to late 1963, estimated at $150,000-200,000. After Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963, Jackie Kennedy worked closely with the sculptor to ensure the most accurate depiction of the fallen president. Most notably she re-shaped the mouth so the bust portrayed JFK smiling.

Prominently featured in the sale are groups of photographs taken by Orlando Suero from Three Lions Picture Agency, that offer a rare glimpse into JFK and Jackie’s first year of marriage in 1954. From a five-day shoot with the couple in and around their first home in Georgetown, the first group of photos show Jackie in class and around the campus of Georgetown (estimate $3,000-5,000). The second group presents JFK relaxing at home whilst discussing a senate bill with Jackie, and playing a friendly game of football with brother Robert while his wife and sister-in-law watch (estimate $4,000-6,000).

Additional highlights include items from Jackie’s personal assistant, Mary Gallagher, who served JFK when he was a young senator before working for his wife. Gallagher met Jackie in her bedroom at 9:30 am each morning, and liaised between her, designers, artists, and the president. Jackie’s famed relationship with Paris-born designer Oleg Cassini comes to life in a collection of notes, delivered to her exclusive couturier, estimated at $3,000-5,000. These include Jackie’s hand-drawn sketches of dresses on White House stationary. Jewelry and a goodbye note from Jackie at the end of Gallagher’s employment estimated at $3,0005,000, are also in the sale.