Memorabilia of Kennedy Are Headed to Auction





A lot of Camelot - the Camelot of John F. Kennedy, not of Arthurian legend - has been squeezed into a warehouse in East Harlem. There, in a bright, white room in the basement, a crew of auction house employees born after Kennedy was assassinated is scrambling to prepare for an auction in December.

Their boss at the auction house, Arlan Ettinger of Guernsey's, is old enough to remember where he was on Nov. 22, 1963, though not old enough to have voted in 1960. Mr. Ettinger obtained the material on consignment from the collection of Robert L. White, a cleaning-supplies salesman who amassed more than 350,000 items of Kennedy memorabilia before his death, at age 54, in 2003.

Mr. Ettinger said it was difficult to put estimates on many of the items being examined in the warehouse. He said bidding on the flags from the limousine - an American flag and a flag bearing the presidential seal - could go "into the six figures."

Mr. Ettinger said the auction might draw other dealers and collectors who might resell what they buy. But they, more than most people, will remember what Mr. White himself said after the Sotheby's auction in 1996: "The value will not last." After bidding on 40 items, Mr. White said he was "appalled" by prices that ranged as high as $2.6 million for a diamond ring.



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