• Jackie Kennedy reveals why she turned down Ormsby Gore's marriage proposal - and why she married Onassis
• Letters have been hidden in a Parliamentary despatch box for more than 40 years
• Jackie writes about devastating pain following JFK's assassination
Heartfelt personal letters from Jackie Kennedy to David Ormsby Gore, (the 5th Lord Harlech), former UK Ambassador to the US will be on show at Bonhams 580 Madison Avenue New York on Tuesday 28 February 09.00-11.00. They will be sold at The Contents of Glyn Cywarch – the Property of Lord Harlech Sale at Bonhams in London on Wednesday 29 March on behalf of Jasset, 7th Lord Harlech.
The letters reveal for the first time that Ormsby Gore proposed marriage to Jackie Kennedy, why she turned him down and why, shortly afterwards, she married Aristotle Onassis. The
letters form part of a cache of papers that have been locked away unseen in two despatch boxes at Glyn Cywarch, the Harlech family house, since Lord Harlech's death in 1985, including personal correspondence from President Kennedy and from British Prime Ministers, Harold Macmillan, Sir Alec Douglas-Home and Harold Wilson. The archive is estimated at £100,000-150,000. One of the despatch boxes will also be available to view.
Other treasures from the house on view include:
• A portrait of The Godolphin Arabian, one of the three horses brought to England between 1689 and 1730 from which all modern thoroughbreds in the world descend, including the famous champion horse, Sea Biscuit. Estimate £15,000-20,000.
• The Portrait of Ellin Maurice by Marcus Gheeraerts, a previously undiscovered Elizabethan portrait attributed to Elizabeth I's own portrait painter. Ellin Maurice, the current Lord Harlech's ancestor, was a prominent Welsh heiress and she is depicted wearing strings of costly pearls worth more than a million pounds in today's money. Estimate £60,000-80,000.
• A basket-hilted sword that belonged to a Parliamentarian who switched side to become a leading supporter of Charles I in the English Civil War. The owner of the sword, Baron Capell, was eventually captured and imprisoned in the Tower of London. He made a daring escape but was betrayed and executed. Estimate £5,000-7,000.
• An American Tiffany silver cigarette or cigar box presented to the 5th Lord Harlech to mark the opening of the The John F Kennedy Memorial at Runnymede by Queen Elizabeth II. The lid engraved is engraved in the centre: 'David Harlech Runnymede May 14, 1965' surrounded by 18 names engraved at the corners, including Jacqueline Kennedy, Robert F Kennedy and Edward M Kennedy. The underside of the lid is engraved with the inscription: "This acre of English ground was given to the United States of America by the people of Britain in memory of John F Kennedy" Estimate: £2,000-3,000
A further selection of furniture, silver, jewellery and works of art from Glyn Cywarch will also be on display, and the following Bonhams specialists from London will be on hand to help with questions and provide more information:
Charlie Thomas, Director of House Sales and Private Collections
Harvey Cammell, Deputy Chairman Bonhams UK
Antony Bennett Deputy Chairman Bonhams England and Wales
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. Today, the auction house offers more sales than any of its rivals. The main salerooms are in London, New York and Hong Kong. Sales are also held in the UK in Knightsbridge and Edinburgh; in the US, in San Francisco and Los Angeles; in Europe, in Paris and Stuttgart and in Sydney, Australia. Bonhams also has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of forthcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments, please visit bonhams.com