Personal letters from Jackie Kennedy made £100,000 at Bonhams sale of The Contents of Glyn Cywarch – The Property of Lord Harlech in London. The Kennedy-Harlech Papers – the heartfelt personal letters between Jackie Kennedy and David Ormsby Gore, Lord Harlech, sold in the room to a private buyer. This was a white glove sale where every one of the 531 lots sold. The sale total was £2,599,038, more than two and a half times the pre-sale estimate.
The collection included Mrs. Kennedy’s rejection letter to the 5th Baron Harlech, one of JFK’s most intimate confidantes. He was British Ambassador to the US from 1961 to 1965 and he and JFK had been friends since their student days at the LSE. The 18 letters reveal that when he asked her to marry him she responded that she saw him ‘like a brother’. They remained friends until his death in 1985. She penned the rejection letter five years after JFK’s death as she sailed on the yacht of Aristotle Onassis, the shipping magnate who became her second husband. Lord Harlech had recently lost his wife Sissy in a car crash and was said to have proposed to Jackie while they were on holiday together in February 1968.
Other highlights included a newly discovered portrait by Marcus Gheeraerts, court painter to Elizabeth I. It sold for £269,000 against an estimate of £60,000-80,000. Painted in 1597 it portrays Ellen Maurice, a prominent Welsh heiress and Harlech ancestor, whose pearls and jewellery are worth the equivalent of one million pounds in today’s market. Two remarkable Elizabeth I joined oak three-tier buffets, circa 1580-1600, made £140,500 against an estimate of £35,000-45,000. A 1936 Rapier 10Hp Tourer, a rare British sports car, one of only 300 built sold for £31,500. And Irish artist Daniel Quigley’s portrait of The Godolphin Arabian, one of three Eastern stallions from which all modern racehorses descend, made over five times its estimate, selling for £100,000. The auction was to raise funds for the restoration of Glyn Cywarch (known as Glyn) which Jasset, 7th Lord Harlech inherited on the death of his father in February 2016.
(See post on antiquesandartireland.com for Febraury 26, 2017)
The Kennedy-Harlech Papers sold for £100,000.
Marcus Gheeraerts. This Portrait of Ellen Maurice made £269,000. Her pearls and jewellery would be worth £1 million in today’s market.