Caroline Kennedy, the heir to the combined fortunes of her father, former US president John F Kennedy, and her mother, Jacqueline Onassis Kennedy, has decided to sell over 600 lots of belongings from the family’s five homes.

The auction’s catalogue ranges from such mundane items as a doorstop from the Kennedy’s compound in Hyannis Port and a set of tumblers from their retreat at Martha’s Vineyard, to a Khmer sandstone bust valued at $AUD 52,000 – $AUD 77,000.

The prices have been based on the value of the goods, without reference to their previous owners.

However, intense interest in all things relating to the iconic American family is expected to fuel hard bargaining when Sotheby’s opens its doors to collectors from February 15 to 17.

The last sale of Kennedy possessions in 1996 raked in $34 million, seven times above the expected earnings.

A massive crowd of 30,000 people flooded the auction house to buy up their own piece of American ‘royalty’, forcing staff to set up tents to accommodate them.

Californian governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the husband of Kennedy cousin Maria Shriver, reportedly paid more than $750,000 for JFK’s golf clubs.

The passing decades has failed to diminish America’s fascination with one of its’ foremost families.

John F Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963, at the age of 46.

His widow, Jacqueline, died of cancer in 1994.

Tragedy again touched the family five years later when Caroline’s brother, John Kennedy Jr, was killed, along with his wife Carolyn Bessette and sister-in-law Lauren Bessette.

The group was been flown by John Jr to Martha’s Vineyard, in Massachusetts, when the single-engine plane crashed not far from its destination.

Ms Kennedy, now the sole surviving member of the Kennedy family, wrote in the auction catalogue she had chosen to sell-off a further portion of her inheritance because she had “more houses and belongings than (she) could possibly use or enjoy.”

Only those things that have special significance to Ms Kennedy and her three children to artist-husband Edwin Schlossberg will be kept aside.

Some of the proceeds raised will go to charity, the arts and to the John F Kennedy library.

Those items of historical significance have already been given to the John F Kennedy Library Foundation, “which will make it accessible to scholars and to the public,” Ms Kennedy stated.

A figure for the auction’s expected earnings has not been given, but Sotheby’s vice-president David Reddan told the Sydney Morning Herald, that some people were prepared to pay a premium for Kennedy memorabilia.

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