When the virtual gavel slammed down at eleven in the evening on March 3 in Chicago, JFK's letters to his Swedish lover sold for $97,500. Almost as high as expected and the price of Kennedy's letters fetched more than ten times the bids being cast for other U.S. Presidential memorabilia.
His writing talent, such as "Profiles in Courage" (1956), was prized and acclaimed, but just lately, his penmanship in the form of torrid love letters has come to light. Indeed, former US President John Fitzgerald Kennedy continued a heated a transatlantic love affair while he was a Senator with a Swedish woman, Gunilla von Post...that went on after he married Jackie (Jacqueline Bouvier Onassis).
Von Post kept their passionate secrets - although they tenderly ended their relationship in 1958 - until 1997, following Jackie's death, when she revealed the affair on US television. However, she only recently proved her contentions beyond doubt by revealing that she had preserved eleven of JFK's love letters, most with envelopes and in his own handwriting, along with three telegrams.
When the virtual gavel slammed down at eleven in the evening on March 3 in Chicago, the complete collection was purchased for US $97,500 after weeks that saw 18 high price bids cast with the on line auctioneers, Legendaryauctions.com. While it fell short of the $100,000 that was estimated, even in current recession, the last few hours (with a 20-minute extension) saw the price go from $42,500 - a hike of $55,000 or about $10,000 per hour.
The final price, including the 18.5% buyer's premiuim, came to $115,537.50. The winner of the auction, a collector from the Pacific coast, remains otherwise anonymous.
The price of Kennedy's letters fetched more than ten times the bids being cast for other US Presidential memorabilia such as a signed 1804 letter from Thomas Jefferson ($6,500), a signed 1862 commission from Abraham Lincoln ($6,000) or a signed photograph of Ulysses S. Grant ($10,000) taken in 1865 only weeks after Lincoln's death (before Grant's own election in 1868).
Their contents offer intimate, first hand glimpses into lives at the pinnacle of history, power and prosperity and a love affair that raged from Sweden's castles to French hotels. The contents of the letters along with historical notations and text versions of the handwritten text can be seen on the auctioneer's web site, www.Legendaryauctions.com
The book, “Love, Jack” by Gunilla von Post. ISBN-10: 0517328909 ISBN-13:978-0517328903.