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Autographs of Jackie Kennedy & Spouse

by Tom Carrier (12/11/08).

WorthPoint was a sponsor of the American Presidential Experience, a travelling exhibit of presidential history, as part of the festivities surrounding the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colo., in August 2008. While there, WorthPoint Worthologists evaluated all manner of usual and historic political and presidential memorabilia brought in by visitors and delegates alike.

I was particularly delighted to be able to evaluate a series of campaign programs and tickets brought in by a visitor named Dennis, who lives nearby in Denver.

“Well, my dad was involved pretty highly with the Democratic National Committee and he went to a fundraising event for John Kennedy,” Dennis said. “He had the program and after it was over he went up and just got it signed by himself and his wife.” The fundraiser for John F. Kennedy was in Seattle in late 1959, where he was accompanied by his wife, Jacqueline, a rather rare occurrence. Since it was always difficult to get an authentic John F. Kennedy signature and even rarer to have Jacqueline Kennedy’s signature alongside her husband’s, the pair of signatures were valued between $1,000 and $1,500.

I mentioned that the reason these set of programs and tickets were so significant was because they were signed. One of the things we encourage collectors to do is to actually have someone sign a program or something dated. The reason is that we can then place the person at an event and know that the provenance is correct.

Dennis then produced a 1960 dinner program honoring Adlai Stevenson, a former governor of Illinois and twice Democratic presidential candidate in 1952 and 1956. He was later United States Ambassador to the United Nations under President John F. Kennedy. This particular program was signed by Adlai Stevenson and a very young Ted Kennedy, who was not yet a U.S. Senator. The values of the signatures are within the $35 to $65 range each.

Lastly, Dennis produced a set of two tickets for a 1966 fundraising event featuring Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and Rep. Brock Adams. One ticket was signed by Robert Kennedy and has a value of about $200 to $250. The ticket signed by Brock Adams has a value of about $30 to $35.

Dennis brought all of these signed programs and tickets in their original photo album pages—the kind where the static electricity keeps the photos in place. Not a good environment for such important historical artifacts. The photo album pages are full of acid that will eventually eat at the paper of the program and tickets and cause blemishes called “foxing.” Over time, the foxing will cause the paper to become brittle, which will negatively affect the value of the signatures themselves. I suggested that they be placed in an acid-free envelope and kept in an acid free environment to prevent further decay.

Dennis decided he didn’t want to sell the items, instead keeping them as a sentimental link to his late father and allowing them to increase in value over time for his own kids. Good choice for some very choice presidential and political memorabilia.

Watch a video of Tom Carrier talking with Dennis about his Kennedy autographs by clicking here .
WorthPoint: Get the Most from Your Antiques and Collectibles

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52 Responses to “Autographs of Jackie Kennedy & Spouse”

  1. Lydia Lilli says:

    My uncle was the navigator for Air Force One during the Kennedy administration (U.S. Air Force Major). In 1964, while at the White House, he got for me as a gift, Jackie Kennedy’s autograph on a 1964 calendar photo of her, JFK and the 2 kids. How much would this document be worth and how could I go about selling it?

    Thank you.

    • please contact me…I’m interested in that autographed calendar.

    • Tom Carrier Tom Carrier says:

      Lyida:

      Sorry, just now getting to your question. I apologize for the delay.

      You have what appear to be official White House photos that were sent out when someone requested a signed photo from the White House. The Kennedy ones, such as any featuring the family, were very popular and continue to be for collectors. Yours are rather common and have a retail value of about $25 to $40 each.

      Tom Carrier
      Worthologist

    • Tom Carrier Tom Carrier says:

      Lyida:

      Any Jackie Kennedy autograph has a retail value now of about $450 to $550. Your calendar is a unique item in and of itself, but won’t necessarily increase the value of the signature.

      Keep the calendar in an acid free environment as much as you can. There are acid free or plastic holders at a scrapbook store that might help with that.

      Tom Carrier
      Worthologist

  2. Riley says:

    Was wondering also what an autographed picture of Jackie, JFK with Caroline in the middle around the age of 3 or 4 years old.Both autographs are signed just over the tops of their heads,on the same Photo.neighbors father passed away this last monday and had this in one of his fathers books,in a protected waxed paper pocket.?

    Thanks

  3. I have two pictures from the Kennedy family and dont know wether they are worth some money or not.

    http://zwischenzeit.de/jacqueline-kennedy-small.jpg
    http://zwischenzeit.de/kennedy-family-small.jpg

    Please contact me via email andreas@bemeleit.de

    • Tom Carrier Tom Carrier says:

      Andreas:

      I mistakenly answered your question under Lydia Hill above, but to paraphrase, your photos appear to be official White House ones with Jackie’s signature printed as part of the photo. Retail value for each is about $25 to $45 each.

      Tom Carrier
      Worthologist

  4. I have a very good copy of Uncommon Grace, Reminiscences and Photographs of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis and on one of the back pages a personal note to the author J.C. Suares with Jackie’s signature on the bottom of note. I’m not sure if I have the original or if the note appears on all copies. Can you be of any help?

    • Tom Carrier Tom Carrier says:

      Sorry, but the letter signed by Jackie is a facsimile and is found in all of the edition. In good condition, the book has a retail value of $20 to $35.

      Tom Carrier
      Worthologist

    • Tom Carrier Tom Carrier says:

      Sorry, but the letter signed by Jackie is a facsimile and is found in all of the editions. In good condition, the book has a retail value of $20 to $35.

      Tom Carrier
      Worthologist

  5. Linda Graham says:

    I have a 25 year old paperback of “Profiles in Courage,” signed by Jackie Kennedy and in excellent condition. Is this worth anything? Thank you.

    • Tom Carrier Tom Carrier says:

      Linda:

      A signed paperback book is rather unique in that the book doesn’t usually last in good condition for very long. I would have to see the signature to be sure its authentic, although I don’t know why it wouldn’t be as ‘Profiles in Courage’ didn’t feature her signature. Still, a photo would help. If it is indeed authentic, it would have a value of between $450 and $550 retail. A nice find.

      Now you have to find an acid free box to keep it in. The paper in the book is highly acidic and will eat away over time. If possible, you might even remove the page where the signature appears and place it in a plastic holder to protect it as well. The book itself has no particular value.

      Tom Carrier
      Worthologist

  6. Dan McCarthy says:

    I have a black and white photo of Jacquline and her 2 children on her lap can you tell me anything i can send a pic

    • Tom Carrier Tom Carrier says:

      Dan, it depends on the photo. Is it an official White House photo (it doesn’t always say those words on the reverse), a wire photo, a magazine photo, etc.? Sometimes that determines a final value. I’m not sure a pic would necessarily tell me the difference offhand, but it couldn’t hurt. An official White House photo would have a retail value of between $25 and $45, for example, while the others would have a value of much less.

      Thanks for visiting WorthPoint.

      Tom Carrier
      Worthologist

  7. Kevin Orr says:

    My Father-in-law has a thank-you card and envelope from Jackie Kennedy that was sent to his mother (a teacher) and her class in reply to a letter that the class sent following President’s assassination.

    The card is not signed but the envelope is signed by Jackie Kennedy, any thoughts on the value? The card and envelope are in excellent condition.

    Thanks,
    Kevin Orr

    • Tom Carrier Tom Carrier says:

      Mr. Orr:

      Without seeing the card, I would say that the card and the envelope is a standard White House response to a large special group like teachers and classrooms.

      As a former volunteer at the White House in the early 1990′s in the Office of Presidential Correspondence I can attest that the volume of mail received then was about 25,000 pieces of mail each day. So much mail, in fact, that most was stored in a warehouse before being brought to the White House for a response. But, every piece was answered in some way, like your card. And ALL the mail was catalogued and answered by volunteers.

      That’s a long way of saying that your card, like the card you would undoubtedly receive today, isn’t particularly rare or scarce, just standard. Again, without seeing it, I would estimate it’s retail value to be $35 to $75 with the envelope, but only because it is associated with the Kennedy White House. Similar cards from more recent Administrations would have a retail value of about $15 to $25.

      Hope this helps.

      Tom Carrier
      Worthologist

  8. Jeannie Cordner says:

    I have a signed hardcover edition Of Profiles in Courage signed by Jackie Kennedy with her personal card included.

  9. Dawn says:

    I have a thank you note from Jackie Kennedy that was sent after I wrote a sympathy card to her. Is it worth anything? Thank You!

    • Tom Carrier Tom Carrier says:

      Dawn:

      Chances are that the note is a White House card featuring the printed signature of Jackie Kennedy but I won’t know for sure until I see an image of it. You’re welcome to send an image along if you like.

      Still, a sympathy response card from Jackie, as I mentioned above, isn’t as scarce as they used to be with the advent of online auction sites. Today, the card and the envelope would bring about $35 to $75 retail value.

      Hope this helps.

      Tom Carrier
      Worthologist

  10. Anthony says:

    Tom
    I have a funeral program dated November 24 1963 cover says In Memoriam with picture of JFK in black border it was furnished by the detroit pasters conference and is a 4 page program for a JFK Mass any idea of what the value of this item may be It is in very good or fine condition.

    • Tom Carrier Tom Carrier says:

      Anthony:

      Many, many Catholic churches produced their own mass cards for a special JFK mass. Only the White House issued an official one approved by Jackie Kennedy.

      There being so many different versions of the JFK mass card, generally the value of them, while somewhat local and relatively limited, still have value only as ephemera, meaning it has only general collector value. I do not know of any collector who specifically collects mass cards apart from the official White House one (although I’m sure there may be one somewhere).

      But you also have a program, so together the value could be from $15 to $35 to a collector.

      Hope this helps.

      Tom Carrier
      Worthologist

      • Tom Carrier Tom Carrier says:

        Anthony, a correction. I initially read your message too quickly and saw the word mass and attributed that to a mass card for JFK (I get so many questions about them). You actually have a program from a conference. My mistake.

        Still, many localities produced items In Memoriam to honor the memory of JFK. I would still place this item in the realm of ephemera with a value of about $10 to the right collector.

        Tom Carrier
        Worthologist

  11. Russell says:

    Tom,

    My mother was the Kennedys personl flight attendant when he was running for office and flew with him on the Caroline. I have a picture of the white house signed both by Jackie and John thanking her for all her help. I also have pictures of her with Bobby and wife, kids, plane ect. What is this worth?

  12. Russell says:

    Tom,

    Also this is still in the original frame, paper backed with the presidential seal on the back of it. I do have much documentation and photos to prove that she was the attendant, just an fyi.

    Thanks.

    • Tom Carrier Tom Carrier says:

      Russell:

      Personal connection and corroborating paperwork are very important in establishing provenance, the ability to quickly determine a collectible’s authenticity. Keep it all together.

      If proven correct that you have a personally signed White House photo of JFK and Jackie Kennedy, the auction value of both signatures together has been from $750 to $1500. JFK, though, is notorious in that he rarely signed any photo or much correspondence while in Congress or the White House.

      Understand, too, that not every signed White House photo is actually signed by the president or First Lady. They simply do not have the time, then or now, to answer personally every letter or request they receive and that extends to personal mementos for those closest to them.

      To that end, the White House provides standard photos that are ‘signed’ by staff or printed to look as if they are personally inscribed. The quickest way to determine if the photo is probably staff signed is that the sentiment (the ‘To’ part) is written in calligraphy.

      The most certain way is to take the photo to a autograph specialist in your area who is a member of the Professional Autograph Dealers Association or the Universal Autograph Collectors Club. It seems your photo might qualify for a professional review.

      All the best.

      Tom Carrier
      Worthologist

  13. Danielle Nelson says:

    I have a thank you card signed by jackie kennedy for a donation to the JFK Presidential Library, would it be worth the same amount as the thank yous for sympathy cards?

    • Tom Carrier Tom Carrier says:

      Danielle:

      Since the thank you card was sent after Jackie left the White House, and without seeing it, I would guess that the card was a generic thank you card sent to all those making a donation to the JFK Library and signed with a printed signature.

      If that guess is correct, the card would have a value between $5 and $10. In any case, keep the envelope and card together if you can.

      Tom Carrier
      Worthologist

  14. Patty says:

    Tom:

    My father passed away several years ago. My mother is in the process of moving and we have large box of autographs/signatures that he collected. They are all in frames. There are many but ones that come to mind (I don’t have them in front of me) are: A signed pic of Ronald Reagan, signature of Chiang Kai-Shek and Patricia Nixon’s signature. I wanted to know if they are worth anything and where to go if they are.

    Thank you

    Patty

    • Tom Carrier Tom Carrier says:

      Patty:

      Unless your father was in a position to actually acquire actual signatures from the individuals directly, I’m usually safe in assuming that he sent away for the signatures and he was answered with a photo, card or letter bearing a printed signature.

      Or a letter was returned with a pre-printed signature or a variant such as having a signature signed by staff.

      Or he actually may have authentic signed photos.

      Without a clear image of any of the signatures, it is hard to tell from here.

      So, to boil it all down: any printed or pre-printed signatures of any of the individuals you have probably has a retail or collector value of between $20 and $35.

      If the signatures are authentic (just from the examples you provided above), Reagan and Kai-Shek have a value of between $200 to $500, depending on how it was signed; Pat Nixon has a value of about $75 to $95.

      How to tell? Show them to an autograph dealer credited with the UACC at http://www.uacc.info to find out for sure.

      Hope this helps.

      Tom Carrier
      Worthologist

  15. Jay Love says:

    I have a thank you letter signed by Jackie Kennedy that was sent to my Aunt. What would the value of that be?

    • Tom Carrier Tom Carrier says:

      Jay:

      In order to get a better evaluation, a clear, closeup photo of the signature and the letter will be helpful.

      Thanks.

      Tom Carrier
      Worthologist

  16. michelle says:

    we found a plaque titled KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS application for membership, the name of the applicant is john f kennedy through council no.62
    it has place of birth, date of birth, age nearest birthday, residence etc….
    does anyone know if this is worth anything,it is signed and stamped

  17. Toy says:

    I have a note given to my brother by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis written on blue stationery with the 1040 Fifth Avenue address on the top. The note thanks my brother for bringing her a jar of homemade jam. Is there value in the signed note and if so, who buys such memorabilia. Thank you.

    • Tom Carrier Tom Carrier says:

      Toy,

      Jackie Kennedy was known for sending thank you notes even before her service as First Lady and continued well after she left the White House.

      While there are plentiful examples of these thank you notes as First Lady, it’s hard to say how many were signed after the White House years. That’s not to say that they are rare or worth a lot, it just means they wouldn’t have the same collector value as ones signed during the White House years.

      But it depends on the content, too.

      Your example seems to be of a more personal nature. Is it signed by the staff secretary? Is it a printed signature? Hard to say since I haven’t seen an image of the note itself.

      With that in mind, I will evaluate based from a printed or staff signed note to an authentic signed note and suggest that, to collectors, the value would be from $75 to $300.

      Tom Carrier
      Worthologist

      • Toy says:

        Thank you, Tom. We live in Fauquier County, VA -Hunt Country – In the early 6o’s, the Kennedys leased a 400-acre 19th-century farm near Middleburg, called Glen-Ora, They later built a retreat named “Wexford” in Middleburg (Atoka). It was after Mrs. Kennedy remarried that my brother was doing some painting at the estate. At one point, he happened to be in the kitchen when Mrs. Onassis came in for some toast and tea. She requested some jam, and my brother asked if she liked raspberry jam. She replied that she did and he promised to bring her some of our mother’s homemade variety. He did so, and she wrote the note to thank him.

  18. Patty Heiberger says:

    My dad was photographer at Times Herald who taught Mrs. Kennedy how to use the Speed Graphics camera needed for her Inquiring Photographer job. She remained very fond of dad over the years. At Innaugural in ’61 dad was with the Wash. Post and assigned to viewing stand in front of the White House. He sent a copy of one of his pictures of the Kennedy Family on the reviewing stand and Mrs. Kennedy autographed it for him. The color in the picture has faded over the yers but still very clear. How would I go about selling this item?

    Thank you.

    • Tom Carrier Tom Carrier says:

      Patty:

      Without seeing the photo, it’s hard to know its overall condition, that is not just the photo, but the autograph as well. Is it a personalized autograph made out to “Dear…” or is it just a generic signature. I would hopefully guess the former. The collectible value will be most likely in the autograph and only secondarily in the photo itself.

      That said, there are a number of places to consider offering it for sale. WorthPoint’s Buy&Sell is gaining more and more, but of course there are the more traditional online auctions, too.

      However, more of the larger auction houses may not consider the photo enough by itself to warrant a separate auction and certainly without the autograph first being evaluated. I would suggest you first send clear and detailed images of the photo to WorthPoint’s Research area for a specialized Worthologist to determine its authenticity and place a general value on the photo.

      I hope this was helpful.

      Tom Carrier
      Worthologist

  19. jay says:

    I have the autographs of jaquie and of ted kennedy,completely authentic as i met them and these were signed in my young daughter’s shorthand pad, in front of us.. I couldnt believe that we met them like that; seems surreal now and i thought i would never part with them..BUT if they are quite valuable , i could certainly be tempted. what would be the best way to secure a good sale?

    • Tom Carrier Tom Carrier says:

      It’s always memorable to meet well known individuals outside of where we would normally find them – supermarket, restaurant, Starbucks, or just happen by. I have similar stories, too.

      And you had a good presence of mind to get a nice autograph. Nicely done.

      However, the Jackie Kennedy Onassis signature doesn’t command the same collector interest as a signature when she served as First Lady. It still has cache, just not as much, say about $125 to $195. The Ted Kennedy signature also doesn’t command as much as his famous brothers and is usually found from $50 to $95.

      Still, a nice collectible and a nice memory.

  20. Karen Klein says:

    I have a Chaucer textbook and inside the cover is the signature Jacqueline Bouvier in pencil.
    the book also has a lot of pencil notes inside. How do I verify if it is authentic?

    • Tom Carrier Tom Carrier says:

      Karen:

      Since I haven’t seen the signature or the book, it is possible to have an early textbook owned by the student Jacqueline Bouvier and for her to have added her name to it, especially in pencil. It’s possible, but not likely, that a ball point pen would have been used as its real commercial success didn’t happen until well into the 1950s when she was no longer using textbooks.

      The first question any professional dealer will ask is some variation of “where did you get it?” That is intended to determine whether the ‘back story’ fits the possibility of the book ever actually being in the hands of a young Jackie.

      If the ‘back story’ seems plausible enough, then a professional autograph dealer will determine whether the autograph fits with an earlier signature of young Jackie. You can find any professional autograph dealer at the Universal Autograph Collectors Club (UACC.org) or the Int’l Autograph Dealers Alliance & Collectors Club (IADA-CC.com).

      Depending on the signature, the value can be $75 to $300, a wide range I know, but it does depend on content and place or the ‘back story’ if you will.

      All the best.

      Tom Carrier
      Worthologist

  21. Bob Fitzgerald says:

    Hello Tom,

    I just came across your site while researching Jacqueline Bouvier’s signature. I purchased a set of scrapbooks compiled by a Newport socialite in the late 40′s/early 50′s. The books included a complete invitation set to Jacqueline Bouvier’s 1953 wedding as well as two 1947 invitations to gatherings featuring Miss Jacqueline Bouvier. In your opinion, what would the value of these items be? They are currently listed on Ebay.

    Thank you,
    Bob

  22. Pam Lewis says:

    I have a letter to Jackie Onassis from my mother offering assistance with horse rearing, and a reply from Mrs. Onassis thanking her but saying the rumor of her breeding horses is incorrect. Thanking her graciously for her time. Also have the original envelope. Does it have any value?

  23. domenick says:

    I have recently come across a two picture matted and framed Jaquiline Kennedy signed photo. The photo that is signed has JFK, Jackie, Caroline. No Jfk JR..It has a COA. Then there is another of just Jackie unsigned, your thoughts

    Thanks

  24. Ed Bird says:

    Dear Tom

    On the 31st of January 1985 the Kennedy family attended Lord Harlech’s funeral in Bangor, Wales. I bumped into Jacqui and Teddy on the train coming back to London and asked them for an autogragh. They kindly signed the bed and breakfast receipt I had from the place I stayed, which is dated and has the address. I know this is all a bit obscure, and quite personal, but having both Teddy and Jacqui’s signatures on the same page with the proof of place and date seams to be quite unique. Obviously they are genuine as I was there and had a brief conversation. Does this signed receipt have any value. Are there many other examples of with Teddy and Jacqui’s signatures together?

    Kind Regards

    Ed Bird. (London, UK.)

  25. Tom Carrier Tom Carrier says:

    Ed:

    I hope you had a pleasant conversation with Mrs. Onassis during your train ride. It’s universally understood that she was quite polite and an interesting conversationalist.

    As for your autographs, you are correct when you say that getting an autograph on any kind of program, receipt, or invitation where the principals are known to have attended is the surest way to a quick authentication. I believe that is the case for your autographs.

    The value of the autographs, though, especially with historical figures, usually determines when it was signed and whether it is part of something that was part of their historical standing. If Jackie signed a White House item, the value is much higher because that is where she is particularly well known. Still, any autograph from an historical figure will certainly have a certain value.\

    For Jackie, collectors concentrate on the time before and during the White House years. After her time there, I understand, her collectibility is less certain. Searching the WorthPoint database you will find her signature may be in the $95 to $150 range, post White House.

    Teddy Kennedy had a more troubled past. Sure he is from a well known family, but that doesn’t make him particularly collectable. His signature has never gone for more than $20 to $35 by itself. His brothers John and Robert continue to have a stronger collectibility.

    I hope this helps.

    Tom Carrier
    Worthologist

  26. Rick says:

    I am looking to buy a Historical guide that has an autographed signature of Jackie Kennedy. The note from Jackie is on first page of “the white house” which was put together by the white house historical society. Its addressed to the person in name then says best wishes. Jacqueline Kennedy. Also there is a additional letter from the white house administrator thanking the person for their help and then saying they were sending them a copy of “the white house” and saying that is has been autographed by jackie kennedy.
    I would like to know its value..
    thanks

  27. Hello! I have a photo signed in fountain pen ink by Jacqueline B. Kennedy and JFK. Caroline is between them holding a book and has a little bow in her hair.
    Thank you for your assistance in helping me to know what this may be worth. It is and 8 1/2 X 11 photo, black and white.

    May your kindness return to you many times over,

    Janai Lowenstein

  28. Kara says:

    Hi,
    I recently found a 3.5″x6″ thick piece of paper with the presidential seal on it and a typed message: “Congratulations on your graduation. The President joins me in extending warm good wishes to you always.” and Jacqueline Kennedy’s signature underneath it. I had an uncle who served during Vietnam and assume it was sent to him after graduating from a military program. Would this item have any value??

    Thank you,
    Kara

  29. Tom Carrier says:

    Kara:

    During my time as a volunteer in the White House Office of Correspondence, we received about 25,000 pieces of individual mail every day. This was in 1993 when email was not as relevant as it is today, so I’m sure the amount of mail and email combined has increased.

    Most of this individual mail was for a specific reason: an autograph, congratulations of some sort (like yours), and so on. It just isn’t possible for a president or First Lady to answer every request personally.

    So, the generic White House response card was created to reach as many as possible with at least a pro forma response. It is not a recent invention; response cards were used as far back as FDR if not earlier. Yours, though, is a standard card, still used today, to convey an official response while making it as personal as possible.

    Some generic response cards, like yours, have a certain collector value from $10 to $30, depending on the response and the Administration with some commanding much more than that because of the message.
    Also note that all cards are signed with printed signatures, none are personally signed as a rule.

    While the collector value isn’t particularly high (JFK’s tend to do a bit better than others), I would think that the sentimental value would be higher. It is a part of your family’s history after all.

    Tom Carrier
    Worthologist

    • Kara says:

      Thanks so much! I figured as much. I think it’s worth holding on to and is a really cool piece of history. It’ll be framed and kept in my home. :)

      Kara

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