A briefcase containing incredible correspondence on a marriage proposal between Jacqueline Kennedy and a British diplomat auctioned for £98,000 ($121,721) this afternoon.
The lot was discovered at Glyn Cywarch, the Welsh ancestral home of David Ormsby Gore (1918-1985) - the diplomat in question who was once British ambassador to the US.
We now know that in 1968, five years after JFK’s assassination, Gore proposed to Kennedy.
However, she turned him down in favour of Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis – whom she married in October, 1968.
The correspondence was found in an old government dispatch case during a valuation by experts from Bonhams.
The collection was discovered in a locked red dispatch box
Matt Healey, Bonhams’ head of books and manuscripts, described the moment of discovery: “The keys were nowhere to be found and in the end we had to call a locksmith to slice through the locks.
“It was one of those astonishing moments when you can’t quite believe what you’re seeing.”
The excitement was due to the fact Gore and Kennedy’s relationship had been the subject of speculation for decades.
In one of the letters she explains her decision: "You and I have shared so many lives and deaths and hopes and pain – we will share them forever and be forever bound together by them...
“If ever I can find some healing and some comfort – it has to be with someone who is not a part of all my world of past and pain – I can find that now – if the world will let us..."
In a response dated February, 1968 Gore writes: “I have tried for hours and hours to understand your explanation and I suppose I do in a way, without agreeing with it; but what I find unbearable and in a way, dearest Jackie, untrue is that you could come to such a categorical conclusion…”
We have this genuine poster from JFK's 1960 presidential campaign for sale.
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