Pieces of 'Camelot' up for auction in Amesbury

Courtesy photoA teenaged Jackie Bouvier on the horse Danseuse, c.1940.

AMESBURY — Pieces of the Kennedy family history will be on display on Main Street this weekend when John McInnis Auctioneers conducts what it dubbed a “Camelot with a Twist” auction.

Gallery director Dan Meader said some of the last items taken out of Jacqueline Onassis’ childhood summer home, Hammersmith Farm in Newport, Rhode Island, will be auctioned at the John McInnis Auctioneers gallery, 76 Main St., Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“The collection came from the actor, James Woods,” Meader said. “He was friends with a woman that was the personal assistant to (Jacqueline Onassis’ stepfather) Hugh Auchincloss. They were very, very close. She felt that she should sell these things because this was not something she should be hiding in the closet. So she partnered with (Woods) to handle the logistics of trying to figure out who to give it to.”

Among the items in the day’s first collection are unpublished photos of Onassis and her family.

“It goes on and on,” Meader said. “These are things that belong to Jackie’s family and we have some important things, such as Jackie’s writing desk. We have some books that belonged to President (John) Kennedy. One of them has the seal of the president of the United States on it.”

The second collection comes from Rosalie Helm, the personal assistant of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy and his first wife Joan Kennedy.

“This goes back to when Ted was at the beginning of his political career and all of that,” Meader said. “They worked with JFK and they worked with RFK on all of their campaigns. It really is an incredible timeline. There’s a lot of serious material for scholars and historians.”

This weekend’s auction marks the fourth Kennedy-related auction the Amesbury company has held since 2013.

The “twist” in the auction is a collection of sports-related memorabilia, including a bat Ted Williams used during the 1947 and 1948 Boston Red Sox seasons and a baseball signed by President Kennedy and the 1962 Detroit Tigers.

A preview of Sunday’s auction is scheduled Saturday, Oct. 12, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Staff writer Jim Sullivan can be reached via email at jsullivan@salemnews.com or by phone at 978-961-3145. Follow him on Twitter @ndnsully.

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