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Over 100 Lots Dedicated To Jfk And The Kennedy Family Will Be Auctioned On Feb 25 At Amesbury, Ma

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By Author: John McInnis
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Over 100 rare and historically significant lots pertaining to the Kennedys – mostly JFK, but also to include RFK, Jackie and Ted Kennedy, with some of the items coming from the estate of longtime Kennedy assistant Helen Mary Keyes – will headline a Fine Antiques & Estates Collection auction planned for Sunday, February 25th, by John McInnis Auctioneers.

The 469-lot auction, starting promptly at 12 o’clock noon Eastern time, will be held live in the John McInnis Auctioneers gallery located at 76 Main Street in Amesbury, as well as online, via LiveAuctioneers.com and Invaluable.com. Telephone and absentee bids will also be accepted.

The auction will be conducted in two sessions. Session 1, starting at noon, will feature lots 1-265. Session 2, later on in the day, will begin with lot 301 – the Kennedy lots – and conclude with lot 469. The extensive catalog will feature Americana, historical items, baseball, porcelain, fine art, furnishings, weathervanes, eagle collections and, of course, the Kennedy lots (301-417).

Helen Mary Keyes had long and storied ties to the Kennedy family. Her father was ...
... the dentist to Joe and Rose Kennedy’s children and the families’ children became friends. Helen played a major role in JFK’s 1952 Senate campaign, hosting famous ‘Ladies’ Teas’ for the rising star of the Democratic Party. Her involvement continued in the 1960 presidential campaign of 1960.

Numerous lots in the auction are letters from JFK and RFK to Ms. Keyes, either typewritten or handwritten, but always hand-signed by the Kennedys and often with humorous inscribed asides, showing their warm, compassionate side. For example, lot 312 is a 1952 handwritten letter from JFK, thanking Ms. Keyes for her help in the U.S. Senate campaign, with the inscription, "This expresses inadequately my thanks for all that you did. As I heard Ohara said at the Clover Club dinner Mr. Lodge was drowned in five hundred gallons of tea you had poured." He was referring to the many Ladies’ Teas that helped carry Kennedy to victory (est. $2,000-$4,000).

Lot 313 is a two-page letter written by Robert F. Kennedy in 1952 on Hyannis Port stationery, thanking Ms. Keyes and Polly Fitzgerald for making the Ladies’ Teas a success and aiding in JFK’s Senate campaign, signed “Bobby” (est. $500-$1,000). Lot 307 is a rare 1952 silk scarf promoting JFK’s U.S. Senate bid, 30 inches by 33 inches with images of JFK (est. $500-$1,000).

Lot 300 is a fine quality Royal Worcester tea and dinner service from the Fitzgerald family, used in the hosting of Campaign Teas during JFK’s runs for political office. Polly Fitzgerald was instrumental in the success of the teas (est. $2,000-$4,000). Lot 419 is an original JFK autograph for “Skip + Billy” dated October 15, 1958, from Kennedy’s visit to Transitron Electronic Corp. in Wakefield, Mass., along with the very pen JFK used (est. $400-$800).

Lot 503 is a group of four photographs, three of Jackie Kennedy and daughter Caroline and one of Jackie and her sister Lee holding Lee’s son Anthony, all from 1961, taken by Jacque Lowe, signed and framed. Lot 504 is also a group of four photographs by Lowe, all showing Jackie and Caroline, taken in 1961 in Hyannisport, Mass. Both lots should bring $400-$800.

There’s much more to the catalog than just Kennedy items. Lot #1 is a very rare 13-star American parade flag printed with a raccoon (the symbol of the Whig party) for the 1844 presidential campaign of Henry Clay and Theodore Frelinghuysen. The flag, measuring 24 ¼ inches by 29 inches, contains the slogan, “The Same Old Coon” (est. $5,000-$10,000).

Babe Ruth comes to bat not once but twice in the auction. Lot 16 is a 1933 Sport Kings Gum #2 Babe Ruth card graded SGC 2.5 GD+ (est. $8,000-$12,000). Lot 17 is a 1933 Goudey Gum Co. Ruth card, no. 181 out of 240 baseball stars featured that year (est. $4,000-$8,000).

A scarce Coventry Glass Works (Coventry, Conn.) Masonic flask (GIV-29), an olive-colored pint bottle blown-molded with a crescent, hour glass and twin pillars (Boaz and Jachin), 6 inches tall, should realize $3,000-$6,000. Also, a great 19th century (circa 1876-1888) Louis Vuitton steamer trunk with period Rayee-Stripe canvas and original hardware, with a vibrant original interior label, 22 ½ inches by 36 inches, is expected to hammer for $3,000-$5,000.

Original artwork will feature two paintings by Joe Abbrescia (1936-2005), one an oil on Masonite titled St. Mark’s Basilica, Venice, 30 inches by 40 inches (canvas, less frame), signed; the other an oil on canvas titled The Grand Canal, Venice, same dimensions, also signed (each est. $3,000-$5,000); plus an oil on canvas by Arthur Clifton Goodwin (1864-1929) titled Park Street Church, Boston (1912), artist signed and framed (est. $2,000-$4,000).

A sculpted and painted foam board Folk Art Mural by 20th century artist Kevin Paulsen (“Manuel Describing the Only Method of Proper Domestication of Ursa”), contained in a 48 inch by 48 inch floating frame; and an oil on Masonite work by Alan Davie (1920-2014), titled Abstraction (1959), signed, dated and framed, both have estimates of $2,000-$4,000.

The Americana category will be abundant, with weathervanes pointing the way. They include a full-bodied prancing horse weathervane with fabulous patina and a great weathered surface (est. $3,000-$6,000); a mid-20th century weathervane with an elegantly posed Lady Liberty holding a 13-star flag with a nice weathered gilt surface (est. $2,000-$4,000); and a late 19th century folk art elephant weathervane with a history of make-do repairs (est. $2,000-$3,000).

In-person previews will be held February 16th thru 24th, from 2-6 pm Eastern time. The gallery will open on auction day at 10 am; a preview will be held throughout the day. Online bidding is available now on the two platforms, LiveAuctioneers.com and Invaluable.com.

In addition to the live and online auction on February 25th, there will also be a pair of timed, online-only auctions on Thursday and Saturday, February 22nd and 24th, both starting at 7 pm.

The Thursday, February 22nd Estates Fine Interiors timed online-only auction contains 235 lots of period and custom furnishings, photography, Modernism, nautical, silver, porcelain, fine art, jewelry and more. The February 24th timed online-only Estates auction features 211 lots of toys, dolls, books, furnishings, collectibles, instruments, country, primitives and Asian.

For hotel accommodations, John McInnis Auctioneers recommends the Hampton Inn, at 284 Elm Street in Amesbury (phone: 978-834-5080) or the Fairfield Inn, at 35 Clarks Road, Amesbury (phone: 978-388-3400). John McInnis Auctioneers holds Massachusetts auction license #770. To learn more about John McInnis Auctioneers and the auctions planned for February 22, 24 & 25, visit www.mcinnisauctions.com.

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