An extensive collection of John F. Kennedy memorabilia up for bid in Amesbury has garnered international attention, and this week’s preview exhibit has drawn hundreds of people from across the country to John McInnis Auctioneers.
Unlike past Kennedy auctions, this collection gives the public a unique glimpse into the intimate, personal life of President Kennedy and his family through the eyes of David Powers, Kennedy’s personal adviser and best friend.
“You can see that this is a real person,” said Dan Meader, an appraiser for McInnis Auctioneers. “It’s not just the legend, the hero, the president — it is a real person, and that’s what shows here.”
Powers, who died at 85 in 1998, was by the former president’s side literally every day of his political career, and after his 1963 assassination he was instrumental in the creation of the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston. He donated thousands of items to the library upon its opening, but kept some of the most personal things to himself.
Those things remained at his home until his family began to clean out the house to sell it, and when it became clear how extraordinary the collection was, the family decided to put most of it up for bid. The auction is scheduled for Sunday at 11 a.m.
McInnis Auctioneers secured the opportunity to conduct the sale for a variety of reasons, but owner John McInnis said geography was his biggest selling point.
“I said it would be a crime to take this estate from Massachusetts and sell it out of state,” McInnis said. “People are going to want to see this in Massachusetts.”
McInnis and his staff have spent nearly a year since then preparing for the auction, and when word of the sale first broke last month in The Daily News, the media response was overwhelming.