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AUCTION DROPS KENNEDY LETTERS

Thirteen letters written by Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy to her hatmaker were deleted from an auction after relatives of the milliner complained.

The letters and notes, most handwritten by Mrs. Kennedy, were withdrawn last week by the estate of Marita O'Connor, who died in 1974. They were to be auctioned next Wednesday at Sotheby's as part of the "Nothing to Wear" sale of clothing and accessories of the past 100 years. They had been expected to fetch up to $25,000.

Two weeks ago, some Kennedy memorabilia were removed from another auction after members of the Kennedy family complained.

Matthew Weigman, a spokesman for the auction house, said Tuesday that Sotheby's was disappointed that the letters were withdrawn. But he added that they were only one lot in a sale of 195 lots.

He said family members of Mrs. O'Connor objected to their being auctioned and prevailed on the relative who inherited the letters to withdraw them from the sale.

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