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Noteworthy

Belongings From The Kennedy Family’s Palm Beach ‘Winter White House’ Will Be Up For Auction

Want to catch some Zs in the same bed where JFK slept?

In January, we'll all have the chance to take home a piece of history when belongings from the Kennedys' Palm Beach "Winter White House" go up for auction.

Owned by the Kennedys for 62 years, the more than 15,000-square-foot mansion at 1095 N. Ocean Blvd. served as a warm-weather retreat from Washington, D.C., during John F. Kennedy's presidency.

"They loved their home in Palm Beach and spent a huge amount of time there," auctioneer Leslie Hindman said.

Earlier this year, John Castle, who bought the estate along with all its furnishings from the Kennedy family in 1995, sold the oceanfront property for $31 million. He kept the Kennedys' belongings but has now put them up for consignment with Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.

"I met with them and talked about what a fun sale it would be," Hindman said.

About 100 items will be auctioned off at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers' West Palm Beach salesroom on Jan. 23. The collection includes indoor and outdoor furniture, such as chests of drawers, tables and chairs, as well as lamps, art and other decor.

One of those pieces is an 18-foot dining room table, where the Kennedys enjoyed holidays and family dinners, according to Hindman, who has visited the home and perused the collection.

"I think the dining room table is amazing," she said. "That is just an absolute beautiful table to begin with—it's huge—but it's also full of history."

Other highlights include a chest with the contents of each drawer labeled in matriarch Rose Kennedy’s handwriting; bedroom furniture used by brothers Joe, Bobby and Ted Kennedy; and the twin beds used by John and Jackie Kennedy.

Some of the furnishings are originals designed by Boca Raton visionary Addison Mizner, who built the 1923 estate for the heir to the Wanamaker's department store fortune. Other pieces were personally purchased by the Kennedys.

"It's a very eclectic group of property," Hindman said.

Hindman said she expects to see quite the turnout at the January auction.

"I think people from all over the world will come because the Kennedy name is magic," she said.

The auction house sets estimated prices for each item based on the value of a "normal" equivalent (i.e. furniture that has not been touched, eaten on, and slept in by one of America's most distinguished families). However, Hindman said it's impossible to know how much the items at this auction will go for, with "the Kennedy factor" being part of the equation.

"Anytime there's a famous person associated with something, bidding tends to be elevated," she said. 

The Kennedy Winter White House collection catalog should be out by December, according to Hindman, and the collection will be available for preview a week before the auction.

Check out some of the items that will be auctioned off, below:

Venetian-style walnut twin beds

A pair of Venetian-style walnut twin beds

provincial-style mahogany banquet table

Louis XV provincial-style mahogany banquet table

Spanish Baroque-style walnut dining chairs

Set of 14 Spanish Baroque-style walnut dining chairs

8-panel floor screen

Coromandel 8-panel floor screen

Italian painted hall bench

Italian painted hall bench

Venetian glass mirrors

Pair of Venetian glass mirrors

UPDATE: This article has been updated to reflect that the specialists working on the consignment have now said the lot count is closer to 100, not the 300 initially anticipated.


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