Sunday 18 August 2019

John F Kennedy's leather jacket valued at six figures by Antiques Roadshow

The leather jacket that belonged to former US president John F Kennedy (BBC/PA)
The leather jacket that belonged to former US president John F Kennedy (BBC/PA)
The jacket belonged to US president John F Kennedy

A leather jacket that belonged to former US president John F Kennedy is now thought to be worth a six-figure sum.

The dark-coloured garment, which appears to be in good condition with deep pockets and high collar, will be valued on the Antiques Roadshow.

Its owner, Canon Carl Arvidsson, told the BBC programme how the jacket was handed down to him by his father whose best friend had family connections with Swedish aristocrat Gunilla von Post.

He said: "Gunilla was 21, 22, and lived in the south of France and then in Paris, and she was JFK's lover before he got married to Jacqueline Bouvier.

"I believe the relationship ended in 1955 or 1956. She kept the jacket. It's size 44, which was his size. Some of her belongings and love letters from JFK were sold recently in America and some of his goods were left in the apartment.

"She had three children and a nephew. The nephew was given some of the items and his best friend is my father."

Antiques Roadshow expert Jon Baddeley - who valued the jacket at a six-figure sum to be revealed on the show - told a delighted Canon Arvidsson: "In America or anywhere worldwide, it is an iconic piece. The story's everything, please write it down. I feel confident the market will pay that price."

Talking about his valuation, Mr Baddeley said: "Valuing unique items such as this flying jacket is not an exact science as there has been nothing directly comparable sold previously.

"However, judging by the fabulous prices paid at the auction from the estate of Jackie Onassis and subsequent items relating to the Kennedys, the market for Kennedy memorabilia continues to grow.

"A leather jacket owned and worn by George Harrison in the early years of the Beatles and a flying jacket from Air Force One worn by JFK both have sold recently for significant six figure sums."

:: The show will be broadcast on BBC One at 8pm on November 22.

PA Media

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