John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, left an indelible mark on American history and continues to captivate collectors and enthusiasts alike.
Kennedy memorabilia, from personal items to campaign posters, have been highly sought after at auctions and continue to hold significant value.
Here are 10 of the most valuable pieces of John F. Kennedy memorabilia to sell at auction:
1. John F. Kennedy's Presidential Limousine
In 1963, President Kennedy was assassinated while riding in a 1961 Lincoln Continental Presidential Limousine. In 2018, the limousine sold for $375,000 at auction, making it the most valuable piece of Kennedy memorabilia to ever be sold.
2. PT-109 Coconut
During World War II, Kennedy commanded a patrol torpedo boat, PT-109, in the Pacific Theater. After the boat was sunk by a Japanese destroyer, Kennedy and his crew swam to a nearby island, where they found coconuts to sustain them until they were rescued. One of these coconuts, inscribed by Kennedy, sold for $25,000 in 2017.
3. John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Address
A copy of Kennedy's famous inaugural address, given on January 20, 1961, sold for $99,000 in 2012. The speech is considered one of the greatest in American history and has been memorized by countless schoolchildren.
4. JFK's Harvard sweater
Kennedy attended Harvard University, where he was a member of the swim team. His Harvard sweater, which he wore in several photographs, sold for $85,000 in 2013.
5. PT-109 Tie Clip
In 1962, Kennedy presented his PT-109 tie clip to his brother-in-law, actor Peter Lawford. The tie clip sold for $50,000 in 2015.
6. Air Force One Memorabilia
In 1962, President Kennedy purchased a set of Air Force One playing cards, which he used to entertain guests on the plane. A complete set of the cards sold for $43,000 in 2014.
7. John F. Kennedy's Rosary
Kennedy was a devout Catholic and often carried a rosary with him. His rosary, which he used during his presidency, sold for $32,000 in 2013.
8. JFK's personally-owned rocking chair
Kennedy used a rocking chair in the Oval Office, which he reportedly used to relieve back pain. The chair sold for $50,000 in 2018.
9. Kennedy Campaign Posters
Campaign posters from Kennedy's 1960 presidential campaign are highly collectible and can fetch high prices at auction. A poster featuring Kennedy's famous "Ask not what your country can do for you" slogan sold for $14,000 in 2016.
10. JFK's personally-owned White House Pool Cue
Kennedy was known to enjoy playing pool and had a table installed in the White House. His personally-owned pool cue sold for $15,000 in 2015.
John F. Kennedy's legacy and personal items continue to captivate collectors and enthusiasts alike.
From his presidential limousine to campaign posters, these valuable pieces of history provide a tangible connection to one of America's most beloved presidents.
About your Author:
Adrian Roose has over 30 years’ experience covering all aspects of the rare stamp & memorabilia industry during which he has sold over £50m of unique items, helping build collections for Royalty, household name celebrities and 1,000s of collectors around the world.
Adrian was previously a Director at Stanley Gibbons, a Board Member of Stampex, and Executive Director of Paul Fraser Collectibles, PFC Auctions and JustCollecting, prior to founding The Memorabilia Club.