Kennedy Oval Office flags auction for $425,000 in Dallas

A pair of flags that stood in the Oval Office during John F Kennedy's tenure as president of the United States made $425,000 on November 23.

The Political and Americana Signature Auction took place the day after the 50th anniversary of the assassination, at Heritage Auctions in Dallas. The flags sold as a single lot - up an impressive 325% on a $100,000 estimate.

Kennedy flags Oval Office
The flags stood behind Kennedy's desk in the Oval Office

Kennedy's secretary, Evelyn Lincoln, was presented with the American and presidential eagle flags on November 27, 1963 at the request of Jacqueline Kennedy.

Miss Lincoln wrote at the time: "Special Agent Clint Hill and John J. 'Muggsie' O'Leary came to my office in the EOB (Executive Office Building) and handed me an envelope upon which was written the words 'The President's Office.'

"I thanked them for the envelope after they had told me that Mrs. Kennedy wanted me to have it. When I got home later that evening I handed the envelope (to my husband), telling him that Jackie had given it to me.

"Not knowing what was in the envelope we opened it and to my surprise there were these two flags. I cried and cried and cried. I sat down and immediately wrote her a note expressing my gratitude."

The flags were bequeathed to the University of Pittsburgh upon Lincoln's death, which sold them for an undisclosed sum in 2002 - with the proceeds being used to establish a scholarship programme.

A P&P Chair Company rocker that stood in Kennedy's bedroom in the White House also performed well in the sale, realising $87,500 against a $50,000 estimate - an increase of 75%.

JFK chair Heritage
The damage to the chair is believed to have been caused by Kennedy's back brace

The president suffered from chronic back pain throughout his life and found that rocking chairs soothed his symptoms.

He is thought to have owned around 14 identical examples, two of which sold in 1996 for $442,500 and $453,500, respectively.

The date of Kennedy's assassination may have passed, but with a major new film dramatising the events of that day, public interest is likely to continue to grow.

We have a range of Kennedy memorabilia for sale, including this original poster from his 1960 presidential campaign.

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