Signed John F. Kennedy Photograph
Appraised Value: $1,500 - $2,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (1:50)
C. Wesley Cowan
Arms & Militaria, Books & Manuscripts, Decorative Arts, Folk Art, Photographs
Cowan's Auctions, Inc.
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.
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.
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