About two years ago, the director of John McInnis Auctioneers got a phone call from Hollywood actor James Woods, telling him about a treasure trove of photographs and memorabilia from Jackie Kennedy’s life that his friend had inherited.
Some of those items — including Jackie’s childhood writing desk and her stepbrother’s diaries — will go on the auction block Sunday.
“They’re unique,” said Dan Meader, director of the Amesbury auction house.
Meader said the items once belonged to Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis’s stepbrother, Hugh “Yusha” Auchincloss. When Auchincloss died, the collection was bequeathed to his assistant, Colleen Townsend Pilat, who is a friend of Woods.
The auction will feature an array of photos from Jackie’s teenage years, including a black-and-white photo of her standing next to a black 1947 Mercury convertible, which was her first car, and a photo of her on her horse, Danseuse.
Also included is a rare color photo of her smelling lilies, which was part of a larger collage of photos that her stepbrother gave to their parents on their first wedding anniversary in 1943.
The collection also includes diaries that were written by Auchincloss, who became Jackie’s stepbrother when her mother, Janet Bouvier, married his father, Hugh Auchincloss, in 1942.
In one diary entry, from March 26, 1943, Auchincloss, then a teenager, says he “played Spin-the-Bottle with Jackie and some of her friends.”
In another entry, from June 11, 1943, he says he “saw millions of chickens and 2 cows. Jackie and I broke 2 eggs by playing ball with them after gathering (and they both got all over her).”
“The diaries are unbelievable,” Meader said. “It could be a movie.”
The auction items are on display in the John McInnis Auctioneers gallery and will be available for preview on Oct. 12 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Oct. 13 from 8 a.m. throughout the sale. They can also be viewed online at Liveauctioneers.com.