Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS


Support ANTIQUES ROADSHOW by supporting public television! Give Today
  • SHOP
  • Appraisals

    Signed John F. Kennedy Photograph

    Appraised Value:

    $1,500 - $2,000

    Appraised on: June 21, 1997

    Appraised in: Cincinnati, Ohio

    Appraised by: C. Wesley Cowan

    Category: Photographs

    Episode Info: Tomorrow's Antiques (#917)

    Originally Aired: September 26, 2005

    slideshow IMAGE: 1 of 1  

    More Like This:

    Form: Photograph, Autograph
    Material: Paper
    Period / Style: 20th Century
    Value Range: $1,500 - $2,000

    Related Links:

    Understanding Our Appraisals
    Useful tips to keep in mind when watching ANTIQUES ROADSHOW


    Appraisal Video: (1:50)


    Appraised By:

    C. Wesley Cowan
    Arms & Militaria, Books & Manuscripts, Decorative Arts, Folk Art, Photographs

    Cowan's Auctions, Inc.

    Appraisal Transcript:
    GUEST: In 1959, John Kennedy came through our hometown campaigning for president.

    APPRAISER: And where was that?

    GUEST: Charleston, West Virginia. In the course of a rally, he stepped on my friend's toe. And she came to school and told about it, and I was very envious. And I told a good friend who was a campaign worker, and he got me into a receiving line with Kennedy, and asked Mr. Kennedy to please step on my toe, too. Kennedy couldn't believe this, but he hesitantly reached down and stepped on my foot. A week later, when he was leaving town, he didn't have time to sign any photographs, but my friend again raised his hand and said, "How about one for the girl whose foot you stepped on?" And he said, "Oh, I'll sign that." And so he signed it, and it's autographed to me.

    APPRAISER: Well, I think it's a wonderful story, just absolutely priceless, but we ought to say, first, that the fact that it is a genuine signature of John F. Kennedy-- it's got great provenance-- makes it more valuable than a lot of Kennedy photographs, because Kennedy was one of the presidents who used the autopen extensively. An autopen is a machine that signs photographs. A popular president like JFK probably got dozens of letters a day, asking for a photograph with his signature, and so the way they got around this, of course, was to have a machine that signed his photographs. And presidents still do that to this very day. So the fact that yours is a genuine signature makes it a great photograph, and I would say that in today's market, this photograph is worth anywhere from $1,500 to $2,000.

    GUEST: Golly!

    APPRAISER: Of course, not that you'd want to sell it, but it's a great signature.

    GUEST: Never, never.

    APPRAISER: Thanks for coming today.

    GUEST: What a wonderful experience. Thank you.

    APPRAISER: You bet.

    WGBH This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2015 WGBH Educational Foundation.
    ANTIQUES ROADSHOW is a trademark of the BBC and is produced for PBS by WGBH under license from BBC Worldwide.
    WGBH and PBS are not responsible for the content of websites linked to or from ANTIQUES ROADSHOW Online.
    PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.

    ROADSHOW on Facebook ROADSHOW Tweets ROADSHOW on YouTube