A 58-minute film of John F. Kennedy greeting voters during his 1952 Senate campaign sold for $34,500 on Thursday as an auction wound up with more enthusiastic bidding than the dismal first day.
The 16mm black-and-white footage of Kennedy, parts with no sound and parts with Kennedy narration, was intended for television commercials. It shows him greeting factory workers and others in Massachusetts and was bought by an anonymous telephone bidder.
A mahogany cigar box with a silver plaque engraved with the president’s name, stocked with a dozen original 7-inch cigars, went for $40,250.
Kennedy’s black wood walking cane with a gold-plated handle went for $14,950, well above a pre-sale estimate of $4,000 to $5,000. An off-white china bowl used by Kennedy for lunches in his Senate office sold for $3,162, compared with a pre-sale estimate of $300 to $500.
A diary kept by Kennedy’s mother, Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, sold for $31,625 ($10,000 to $12,000 estimate) and a Kennedy family Bible was bought by a telephone bidder for $16,100 ($7,000 to $8,000 estimate).
Two pairs of Kennedy’s gray long johns sold for $3,450, after being estimated at $2,000 to $3,000. The underwear was bought by Richard Wilson of Chevy Chase, Md., who runs a mail order business selling unusual celebrity memorabilia.
Wilson said he plans to display the president’s knickers side-by-side with a slip worn by Marilyn Monroe.
On Wednesday, although Kennedy’s presidential yacht went for $5.9 million and his favorite alligator briefcase for $772,500, some items had to be pulled when buyers failed to reach the minimum bid. Other items sold for far less than their pre-sale estimates.
Total sales figures are expected to be available today.