Jackie O's $134,500 letters show 'recovering market on an upward trend'


Christie's Printed and Manuscript Americana sale in New York yesterday (Thursday, May 19) realised $1,103,125 and was sold 76% by lot and 76% by value. 

The top lot of the sale was an unpublished archive collection of love letters from Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, also the earliest Jackie Kennedy letters ever to have appeared at auction.

Noted car collector Tammy Allen - owner of  the 1963 Pontiac Bonneville Ambulance believed to have carried President John F Kennedy from the scene of his assassination in 1963 - likened the Kennedys to "American Royalty" in her recent interview with Paul Fraser Collectibles.

And Jackie O's letters certainly confirmed that point at Christie's auction. In the end, they brought $134,500 - becoming the latest in a long line of valuable collectibles featuring Jackie either with or without her husband, President John F Kennedy.

The lot comprised 22 autographed letters signed ("Jackie") and one printed telegram, to R. Beverley Corbin, Jr., Farmington, Connecticut, 1945-1951.


He turned out not to be 'The One', but teenage Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis still wrote 75 pages of letters to her Harvard-studying boyfriend

Most were written when Jackie was 16 and 17-years-old to her Harvard boyfriend. They display a funny, spirited, at times cynical young woman, but one with great intelligence and a strong will of her own.

Remarkably, the letters together total 75 pages in eight volumes, written on school stationary. All but one sold in their original envelope, with a black and white photograph of Jackie Kennedy Onassis (unsigned).

"Today's results reflect a recovering market on an upward trend," said Chris Coover, Senior Specialist of Christie's Books and Manuscripts departments.

"It was encouraging to see a number of new, younger collectors actively bidding, and some long-term buyers returning to the market.

"Early books and broadsides of the French and Indian War [also] elicited good competition," said Mr Coover, "as did an extensive series of early maps depicting California as an island. We are hopeful of continued growth and market activity in future sales."


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