Mementoes of JFK’s 1963 visit fetch $18,500 at auction

White House photos and other mementoes of John F Kennedy’s 1963 visit to Ireland have made more than $18,500 (€14,000) under the hammer.

A set of photos of JFK in Dublin, including a picture signed by him, of the presidential cavalcade on O’Connell Street, made $11,000 (€8,320) at the auction in his home state of Massachusetts at the weekend.

Approaching the 50th anniversary of his historic visit here in June 1963, just five months before his assassination in Dallas, almost $2m was made at the sale of items from the estate of his former special assistant and close friend David Powers.

Another set of items relating to his trip to Ireland included his speech at Cork City Hall, where he was conferred with the freedom of the city. Along with five photos of him greeting children and other well-wishers in Cork and Wexford, and a commemorative illustrated catalogue of his visit, this lot was bought for $2,250 by an internet bidder.

John McInnis Auctioneers was unable to say, due to buyer confidentiality, if any of the items were purchased by bidders in Ireland.

They sold the items for the family of Mr Powers, who died in 1998 and had kept hundreds of personal keepsakes from his time working with Kennedy since 1946.

His seven-page itinerary of the Irish visit, including his handwritten notes, along with his own typed recollections of the trip, a photo of JFK at Dublin Airport and a green harp pin, were sold for $1,000.

Another bidder bought a four-foot banner showing JFK, flanked by the Irish and United States flags, under the words ‘Céad Míle Fáilte.’

The entire collection contained around 2,000 items in more than 700 auction lots, with one buyer paying $570,000 for the former president’s Air Force One leather bomber jacket.

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