Kennedy Collection Up for Auction

Many people know that John F. Kennedy was the youngest American president ever elected. They also know his family -- an American political dynasty -- is often thought of as American royalty. Many people do not know, however, that Kennedy was a chronic doodler.

Many of Kennedy's personal memorabilia -- including the doodles he drew on White House stationery during the Cuban Missile Crisis -- will be auctioned in New York City from Dec. 15 to 17.

All but 5 percent of the auction, which features 1,800 lots, comes from the Robert White Collection, which includes the former president's drawings of sailboats and his children. Bids can also be placed on eBay in January. The auction is expected to take in between $5 million and $10 million.

"This collection is the most famous Kennedy collection in the world -- apart from the one in the Kennedy Museum," said Arlan Ettinger, president and founder of Guernsey's Auction House. Many of the items were given to Robert White by Kennedy's longtime secretary, Evelyn Lincoln, Ettinger said.

In addition to the wealth of historical items, the auction features personal things -- like the president and first lady's passports. One can even see where Jackie Kennedy crossed out her maiden name, Bouvier, and wrote in her married name. Also up for bidding is the watch the president wore during his 1961 inauguration speech. It was a gift from friend Ambassador Grant Stockdale.

Other items include a sailboat that the 19-year-old Kennedy bought with his brother Joe Kennedy Jr., who died in World War II. Jackie Kennedy later gave a similar boat to their son John F. Kennedy Jr., which is also being auctioned.

From the darker side of the Kennedy legacy, there are items related to the president's 1963 assassination including the itinerary for that November day and the flags on the limo he was riding in when he was shot to death. There is also a note from the first lady that reads: "There will never be another Camelot."

Some of the items have potential to be quite affordable as there is no reserve, which means there is no minimum price, Ettinger said.

Here is a sample of the items available and some estimated prices:


Kennedy's Omega wristwatch is believed to be in working condition. He wore it during his inauguration. It was given to him by his friend Grant Stockdale, who became his ambassador to Ireland.

The engraving reads: "President of the United States John F. Kennedy from his friend Grant."

It was given to Kennedy before the 1960 election. He wore it throughout 1961 and whenever he saw Stockdale.


The Flash II, a Star Class sloop, purchased by Kennedy and his brother Joe when Kennedy was 19.

Joe Kennedy Jr. was killed Aug. 12, 1944, while at war as a Navy flier.

The boat was seized from a convicted drug dealer in 2004, forfeited to the government, and is being sold on consignment for the U.S. Marshals Service.


The 12-feet by 4-inch sailboat was ordered in 1969 by Jackie Kennedy from the Beetle Cat Boat Division of Concordia Yachts.

She purchased it so that son John could use it to learn to sail.

The boat is considered a "classic-style" sailboat.

It was shipped to the Kennedys in Greece, where they lived at the time.

It was later sent to Hyannis Port, where it was kept in storage until this auction.

The boat is not from the Robert White Collection.

Expected sale price: $40,000 to $60,000.


One typed page with listings of Kennedy's appointments on Nov. 21 and 22 in 1963 -- including arrival at Love Field and motorcade through Dallas.


The American flag and the Presidential Flag were used throughout Kennedy's administration on all motorcades, as well as on the convertible limo the president was in when he was fatally shot on Nov. 22, 1963.

The flags remained on the limo until Nov. 25, 1963, the day Kennedy was buried, when they were removed and replaced by new ones.

Etiquette requires that two flags be flown on any vehicle the president is riding in and the flags be of "approximately equal size" with the American flag on the right front fender. The American flag is slightly larger than the Presidential Flag.


The handwritten note to Evelyn Lincoln is in black ink on a White House stationery card.


Kennedy's doodles were drawn on a sheet of White House stationery at a meeting in the Oval Office on the Cuban Missile Crisis. The notations include "Blockade Cuba," "NATO" and "Fidel Castro," as well as a drawing of a sailboat.

The Second Cuban Missile Crisis doodle has "good" written several times across the top and "bad" five times across the bottom. "Haiti" is also written and crossed out.

The Kennedy drawings were done for daughter Caroline in Palm Beach, Fla., in 1960. She requested that her father draw her cats, dogs and houses -- this picture in blue ink is the result.


Essex Fox Hounds Trophy was awarded to Jackie Onassis for "Ideal Time" in the 1992 Hunter Pace. She rode "Be Frank." Expected sale price: $2,000 to 3,000.

Wool Cooler Horse Blanket with "JKO" monogram. Expected sale price: $1,500 to $2,500.

One-piece sarong-style bathing suit is styled in a cotton print of light-blue butterflies on a white background. The label reads "Reel Poise 4 Bestlyne Co. New York."

Bodice-fitting bathing suit has shoulder straps and back zipper. The label reads "Catalina Created in California."