JFK's travel box in Kells auction

Story by John Donohoe

Wednesday, 22nd November, 2017 8:35pm

JFK's travel box in Kells auction

A travel box that once belonged to American President, John F Kennedy, is to be auctioned in Kells next month. President Kennedy, who was assassinated 54 years ago today, left the box in a Dublin house he stayed at while in Europe as a Rhode Scholar. During this time he travelled over from England to Ireland on several occasions.

Lot 489 in Matthews auction is an American mid-size leather-bound, pale green linen-covered travel box marked JFK to the top. Auctioneer Damien Matthews says that in this modern aesthetic age, it would make an interesting talking point with a plate glass placed over it as a coffee table. Offered without reserve the auctioneer has an estimate of €300 - €500 .

On Saturday and Sunday, 2nd and 3rd December, Oldcastle auction house, Matthews. Damien Matthews will conduct a two-day auction of antiquarian books and antiques in the Duke Brothers building on Market Street in Kells.
Day one will be antiquarian books, of over 650 lots. This sale will include the dispersal of the library of Horace Plunkett biographer,  Senator Trevor West (1938-2012) of Middleton, Co Cork, and Trinity College, Dublin, and the residual contents of the private library of Mary-Colette McAlister, who died in 2016. Interests and age range right across the board over the past 400 years, much concerning Cork, Dublin, Louth, Meath, and Ireland generally. Also included in this auction of over 10,000 books will be an important set of WWI and Order of Malta dress medals given to Rex B Beaumont (deceased) of Belvedere House in Mullingar by Lt-Col Charles Howard-Bury, the famed early 20th century explorer and Mount Everest pioneer. These medals are Lot 611, and carry an auction estimate of €2,000 - €3,000.
Day two, which included the Kennedy lot,  will be an auction of antiques and collectables, of over 500 lots. Included in this auction are various house clearances, several dispersals by order executors and other private entries – owners either moving or selling their homes. Most of the lots are privately entered with estimates ranging from €20 right up to €2,500, the majority to be cleared without reserve. 

A fully illustrated catalogue can be viewed on the auctioneer's website from 7pm tomorrow, Thursday 23rd November, www.matthewsauctionrooms.com. The auction itself will be open for public viewing in the Dukes Buildings, Kells, from 11am on Thursday 30th November.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, 25th November at 1pm, Eason O’Connell Street will host a book signing with Jackie Kennedy’s former personal assistant, Kathy McKeon.  Monaghan native Kathy will be on hand to sign copies of her new book, 'Jackie’s Girl: My Life with the Kennedy Family', a rare and engrossing look at the private life of one of the most famous women of the 20th century. Jackie's Girl is also a moving personal story of a young woman finding her identity and footing in a new country, along with the help of the most elegant woman in America.   

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