Rare JFK memorabilia auction commemorates 50th anniversary

With 2013 marking the 50th anniversary of John F Kennedy's assassination, an auction house has consigned a spectacular collection of rare memorabilia, which will be sold on February 17 in Massachusetts.

JFK Bomber Jacket
According to staff, the bomber jacket was a popular subject of discussion for Powers while at the JFK Library

The collection has been consigned from the family of David F Powers, who served as the president's White House special assistant and was one of his closest friends. He was also the first curator of the JFK Library in Boston.

Powers passed away in 1998 with the family unaware of the items, which had been hidden away and were only found as they prepared to sell their home.

Highlighting the sale is Kennedy's own Air Force One bomber jacket, sporting a sewn patch of the Great Seal of the President. Estimated at $20,000-40,000, it will be accompanied by several photographs of it being worn by JFK, who gifted it to Powers in 1962/1963. It is also being sold with a signed letter from Ronald Reagan, in which he thanks Powers for loaning the jacket to him.

JFK 1963 Christmas signed book
JFK items from the heartbreaking Christmas of 1963 are some of the most valuable

Expected to bring the second highest bids is a particularly poignant lot - a copy of the 1961 edition of the Inaugural Addresses, which the president had planned to give to Powers as a Christmas gift before he was killed. Valued at $15,000-25,000, it was instead given to him by Jackie Kennedy and is inscribed with a tear-jerking paragraph that ends: "You and I will miss him most."

Also featuring in the sale are numerous signed photographs, letters and ephemera from Kennedy, as well as Powers' White House desk, which will sell for $5,000-10,000.

A similar collection of presidential memorabilia was seen at auction in December 2012, when the collection of Gerald and Betty Ford was offered at Heritage Auctions. The collection of secretary of defence Robert McNamara in October 2012 was highlighted by a JFK-gifted paperweight that marked the Cuban Missile Crisis. 

Paul Fraser Collectibles also has a superb collection of John F Kennedy memorabilia for sale, including a "posthumous" signed Christmas card, and an authentic strand of his hair.

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