RSS FeedFacebookSearch
Gary Younge
Kennedy jumble sale at Sotheby's

Caroline Kennedy's decision to hold this high-class jumble sale in February next year is prompted not by desperation but excessive wealth.

Nine years ago she and her late brother, John F Kennedy Jr, auctioned part of their mother's estate through Sotheby's. The auction of Jacqueline Onassis's wares netted $34.5m (£18m), earning it the title "the sale of the century".

"In the intervening years," writes Ms Kennedy in her catalogue, "I found myself again with more houses and belongings than I could possibly use or enjoy."

Items include a pair of folding suitcase racks described as "mid-20th century" and incomplete sets of crockery ($150-$200) as well as tables with nicks and what the New York Times describes as "painted pieces [that] are missing some of their paint".

At the other end of the range is a Khmer sandstone torso priced at $40,000-$60,000. The prices are based on the value of the goods, without reference to the identity of the previous owner.

But it is that identity which has brought them to Sotheby's and will bring the crowds to gaze. At the last auction 30,000 people trooped by to examine what was in the Kennedy attic, creating queues so long that Sotheby's put up tents to accommodate them and set up a lottery system to determine which browsers should be admitted. The auction earned seven times more than had been expected.

The forthcoming sale is much smaller, with less than half the number of lots and an estimated value of a fifth of the total worth of the last one. Nonetheless, the Kennedy allure promises a huge turnout.

"All of the lots have the Kennedy flavour," David Redden, vice-chairman of Sotheby's, told the New York Times. "Those of us who remember that first sale so well will find material here that will remind them of that."

© Gary Younge. All Rights reserved, site built with tlc
The Speech: The Story Behind Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream
book review
“The speech is profoundly and willfully misunderstood,” says King’s longtime friend Vincent Harding.
 follow on twitter
@OwenJones84 @DanHolliday13 Don’t worry. I have already reported myself to HR for crass objectification of a colleague. You’re welcome
@OwenJones84 @DanHolliday13 It all comes from love @OwenJones84 . I find your gelly bouffiness distracting. I’m try… https://t.co/UjMEXMPKpH
RT @eliistender10: This interview should tell you all you need to know about Boris Johnson, as Eddie Mair says "a nasty piece of work" http…
RT @fotoole: So Britain's now had the two worst PMs in its history one straight after the other. The chances of a hat trick seem very high.
@sharmishta18 @BenHCarrington @shaunking @guardian “Not a word on caste,”apart from, literally, the word ‘caste’
@DanHolliday13 @OwenJones84 Did you also like Take That?
Don’t pity May. Her immigration obsession helped get us into this mess (From December) https://t.co/2Shbxb5p5C
@OwenJones84 Owen, can we talk about your hair? Or is today not the day?
“There is precious little value innpointing our, every four or five years, that racism is the problem of you are no… https://t.co/kUskfrVyJI
Shocked by the rise of the right? Then you weren’t paying attention https://t.co/Ad9e1NMnli
© Gary Younge. All Rights reserved, site built with tlc