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Guernsey’s to host major sale of John F. Kennedy memorabilia

New York auction house Guernsey’s is set to host its third major sale of JFK memorabilia, to commemorate the President’s 100th birthday.
Leading the sale is a highly significant pair of naval dress swords, which were displayed in the East Room of the White House as the President’s body lay in state.

The swords decorated the catafalque, the decorated wooden framework supporting Kennedy’s coffin, which had originally been constructed in 1865 to hold the coffin of Abraham Lincoln.

The swords belonged to Officer Jack Cutcomb and Lt. Henry Hirschy, the latter of whom served in the White House throughout Kennedy’s time in office.

Each of the swords will now be offered at auction for the first time, are both expected to fetch in the region of $300,000.

The sale will also feature several other rare pieces from Hirschy’s collection, such as one Kennedy’s leather bomber jackets, and rare transcripts of historic speeches including his address to the Nation during the Cuban Missile Crisis and his "Ich bin ein Berliner” speech.

Personal items on offer include JFK’s monogrammed cigars, a pair of his swim trunks, and a black lace mantilla worn by the First Lady during a trip to the Vatican in 1962.

Complimenting Hirschy’s collection is another private collection of items owned by Mary Gallagher, a former personal secretary to Jacquelin Kennedy who wrote a best-selling book about her experiences.

Further notable items will include a rocking chair used by both Kennedy and his successor Lyndon B. Johnson; a portrait of Kennedy by artist Aaron Shikler, whose work currently hangs in the White House; and rare casts of the iconic bronze Kennedy bust created by sculptor Robert Berks.

The Kennedy Era sale takes place in New York on October 6-7.

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