February 8, 2015: Extensive archive of over 400 pieces covering nearly all construction and design aspects of the Kennedy’s Wexford home built near Middleburg/Atoka Virginia are set for auction. Bidding on these items begins February 12-18, followed by a live auction event on February 19 that will take place at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge. More details can be found online at www.rrauction.com.
Jackie’s Personal Touches
Included here is all of the 1961–1964 correspondence between Jacqueline Kennedy and the building agents, with an emphasis on 1963, the main year of construction. The most important items in the archive are those which Jackie herself penned. Included are ten letters handwritten by Jackie (five particularly lengthy and detailed ones written on large yellow legal pad paper); two are signed “Jackie,” one “J,” and two are unsigned - all are undated.
In one of these long letters Jackie exclaims, “This house may not be perfectly proportioned - but it has everything—all the places we need to get away from each other - so husband can have meetings...wife paint...all things so much bigger houses don’t have. I think it’s brilliant!” In another she raves, “You have done the most fantastic job and everyone agrees that house is really a dream. One could not wish for anything more perfect - if only we could live there all year long! And Jack loves it.”
The five shorter ALSs are on various types of letterhead (three White House, one mourning, and one plain). Three of them are signed “J,” one “Jackie,” and one “JBK.” Also present are eight typed letters, dated from December 1962 through September 30, 1963, on White House letterhead, and all signed, “Jackie.”
Of particular interest are the ten 11 x 14 magazine pages (mostly French but one Home and Garden) which the first lady tore out and wrote interesting design notes on. Also present in the archive are five layout sketches in Jackie’s own hand, each in various levels of detail (see image above).
February 6, 2015: Incredible, never-before-released original photographic proof booklet, containing 27 images of John and Jacqueline Kennedy will be part of an upcoming live auction event by Boston, MA based RR Auction.
The astonishing images include: Jackie smoking freely; the first lady sitting cross legged, bare feet and hands clearly on display; a back-brace-free, shirtless JFK swimming (proof strip notated on reverse, “hold”), Jack enjoying himself on a yacht and exhibiting uncharacteristic strength by pulling himself up the boat ladder; the president sitting at a round table whilst intently speaking with Bunny Mellon about redesigning the White House Rose Garden; and JFK smoking a cigar and behind the wheel of a small boat.
The unpublished images taken by Washington Post heiress Katharine Graham at Bunny Mellon’s Cape Cod beach shack, produced directly from the original negatives - show JFK and Jackie on an August 1961 visit.
The lot also includes 15 high-quality original photographs of various finishes. All but one of the photos (contained in the proof book) picture Jack and Jackie, either together or separate. Most images show the Kennedy's and their friends gathered on the back patio of the Mellon’s quaint beach shack, but there are a few on the beach front, in the water, on a larger boat, and on a small boat with just Jack, Jackie, and Eunice Kennedy.
The 26-acre Mellon estate, set in Cape Cod’s Osterville, and featuring 1,000 feet of continuous shoreline, was sold in 2013 for nearly 20 million. Despite that, the here-offered photos were unpretentiously shot at the sprawling estate’s beach shack.
January 31, 2015 Notes: Rare view of items on President Kennedy's phone table in his White House bedroom. Table was located to the right of the bedroom's fireplace. The table featured a lamp, phone, artwork (possibly by Caroline) and photographs of the President with his brothers in Palm Beach 1934, and Caroline (close up below).
Sources: JFK Library including May 1963 film by Cecil Stoughton. Images edited by Steven L. Brawley.