Joined: 13 Feb 2006
|Posted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 7:35 am Post subject: Auction Celebrates The Lives of Diana & Jackie
|Auction Celebrates The Lives of Diana & Jackie
Written by Joanne Leyland
Saturday, 16 September 2006
We heard claims this week that Diana, Princess of Wales harboured a dream of becoming America's First Lady. Now, for a few hours at least, the lives of the two women who were embraced by the world will be celebrated in unison.
An auction in Diana's old stomping ground of Cirencester in Gloucestershire — close to her marital home of Highgrove House — is set to herald the sale of precious items relating to the Princess and JFK's wife, Jackie Kennedy.
A collection of condolence books published by the Daily Mail newspaper in the immediate aftermath of the 36-year-old Princess's shocking death in Paris is expected to fetch a four-figure sum when they go up for sale on October 4th.
The four-volume collection comprises approximately 132,000 messages and tribute and condolence, written by grieving members of the public in the days after the car crash which took the life of the 'People's Princess' on Sunday 31st August 1997.
The collection, which is set to be sold by Dominic Winter Book Auctions, is one of just three copies produced of the public's incredible tribute, a reminder of the huge strength of feeling and outpouring of grief generated by the death of the Princess.
Not anticipating the sheer volume of feeling and response, the Daily Mail invited readers to send in their tributes to Diana in the immediate aftermath of her death. Within just three days, the newspaper's postbag was full and the fax machine working overtime due to the public's overwhelming response.
Nevertheless, Associated Newspapers honoured their promise to publish the tributes, resulting in the four-volume collection of books. So meticulous was the project, the printing firm hired to publish the over four thousand pages of text arranged the tributes alphabetically by sender's surname and town before boxing the cloth-bound ring binders, which weighed in at a whopping thirteen kilograms.
A second copy of the set was presented to the head of Associated Newspapers, Sir David English, whilst the third and final copy is in the ownership of the printers.
Speaking about the upcoming sale of the condolence books, auctioneer and Ephemera Specialist Chris Albury (pictured in the accompanying images) said: "It's both exceptionally boring and morbidly fascinating as the sentiments are all very similar and repetitive. However, it's sheer size does remind us of the peculiar Zeitgeist that afflicted the nation for a few months following her death."
"It's a very odd thing to value and I'm not quite sure who will buy it but we've always had good interest for Princess Diana's letters, Christmas Cards, pieces of wedding cake, magnums of champagne, pillboxes and other memorabilia, so the valuation of £700-1,000 is based on these previous successes over the last ten years."
Other royalty memorabilia to be offered in the same auction includes signed Christmas cards, letters and royal menus from the time of King William IV to the present Queen.
Meanwhile, next month's auction will also pay tribute to America's very own 'Royal family' with an auction of items and memorabilia relating to the Kennedy years.
The collection, all of which were autographed by John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline, are expected to fetch around £20,000 when they go up for sale, having been put up for auction by the heirs of the Kennedy family's Kent-born nanny, Maud Shaw.
Says Chris Albury: "This is a red letter day for the many Kennedy collectors worldwide. The closeness of Maud Shaw to the Kennedys and their children makes these mementos very personal and collectable. It was Maud Shaw who had the difficult task of breaking the news of J.F. Kennedy's death to his young daughter Caroline on 22nd November 1963."
Included in the sale are a series of three White House engravings signed by the President and First Lady and given as Christmas cards between 1961 to 1963, all of which are bound to excite interest, especially those relating to the seasonal cards of 1963, a time which JFK never lived to see.
It was later revealed that the President had already signed fifteen Christmas and New Year cards before that fateful day of November 22nd 1963 in Texas on which an assassin's bullet took the life of the President whose arrival in the White House heralded the glamorous 'Camelot' years.
It's believed the complete set of three White House Christmas cards will fetch a five-figure sum at next month's sale.
Of huge interest too will be the presence of an original painting from the hand of Jackie which shows her husband and children, Caroline and 'John John' wearing Indian dress and turbans. The President is shown at the front of the group, dragging a dead tiger by its tail, followed by his young children.
It's thought the future Jackie Onassis painted the image in 1962, following a trip she undertook to India and Pakistan with her sister, Lee.
Other items up for auction include a photograph signed by all four of the President's family to their nanny, two pairs of style icon Jackie's chic, elbow-length gloves and a leather handbag given to Maud by Jacqueline Kennedy as a gift.
Diana, Princess of Wales is and always will be The People's Princess.