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Marketplace 2023

May 1, 2023

New England Auctions had a sale on January 15, 2023. One “mixed lot” caught our eye. It featured a signed ticket for the trial of the conspirators issued to Dr. Robert K. Stone, Lincoln’s personal physician and one of the doctors in attendance during Lincoln’s final hours in the Peterson House. These  typically sell in the $3,000 range, but this example went “bonkers”, selling for $10,880. 


Selkirk Galleries in St. Louis held an auction on January 15, 2023. A limited edition 30” bronze bust of Lincoln, titled “The Candidate”, by Edward James Fraughton (b. 1939) sold for $9375, despite dating from 1993. Size and quality made the difference!


A CDV of Illinois General John A. Logan, with Goldin of Washington, D.C. back mark, was offered on eBay. A most unusual pose, it depicted the “Black Eagle” wearing a “Forty Rounds” corps badge on his uniform and a Lincoln memorial ribbon badge on his sleeve. It closed on January 23, selling for $228. 


Sotheby’s held an “Americana Week” sale on January 23, 2023. The only Lincoln item was a good one… an Imperial albumen of O-79, measuring 16” x 20” overall. It was taken by Alexander Gardner on November 8, 1863, just eleven days prior to the Gettysburg Address. Estimated $30,000-$50,000, it failed to attract the $18,000 opening bid. 


Christies held their traditional Americana Week “Printed and Manuscript Americana” sale on January 27th. A very rare example of the first separate printing of the Gettysburg Address was offered. Printed by the Washington Chronicle on November 22nd or 23rd, it is one of only five copies extant, four of which are housed in institutional holdings. Titled “Gettysburg Solemnities”, the sixteen-page pamphlet includes the lengthy oration by Edward Everett, followed by the brief, but inspiring, remarks by President Lincoln. Christies previously sold the Malcolm Forbes example in 2004 for $307,000. This example realized $252,000. A 7.75” x 6” broadside “Proclamation” of Lincoln’s preliminary Emancipation Proclamation was another noteworthy item, catalogued as possibly the first broadside printing of this important document. Both this, and a similar broadside, lack the name of the printer, but are attributed to J. M. Forbes of Boston. A different example was  sold by Christies in 2006 for $26,400. This one was acquired from Ralph Newman of the Abraham Lincoln Book Shop in Chicago and crossed the block for $37,800.


Richard Withington Auctions of Hillsborough, New Hampshire conducted a sale on February 17th that included an unusual Lincoln item. It was a framed engraving on silk, measuring approximately 10” x 12”, that featured the “Tousled Hair” portrait of Lincoln taken in 1857 by Alexander Hesler of Chicago. It had a facsimile signature of Lincoln and the date “1860” below the portrait. It included credits for the photographer, Hesler, and the engraver, H. C. Shotwell of Rockford, Illinois. Rockford is situated close to Chicago and it is entirely feasible that Shotwell obtained a copy of the photograph from Hesler, or may have had some licensing or profit-sharing agreement. The portrait was used on three 1860 campaign ribbons that we are aware of, as well as three different engraved prints issued during the campaign. Some online research revealed that the mother-in-law of a past owner (Mrs. Charles Rader of Mercer, Pennsylvania) was born in 1860. Meaningless, perhaps, but who knows? Housed in the original frame, this handsome piece sold for $1320. 


A nice Lincoln ribbon from 1860 sold on eBay March 5th. It had some faults, including two “bites” out of the edge, a small hole on the flagpole finial and a “panel” of discoloration on the flag from the old piece of adhesive tape, still present on the verso. Still, it displayed quite nicely and had a bright sheen. Someone paid $1624 to make the acquisition. 


A bifolium sheet of unusual Lincoln & Johnson campaign stationery surfaced on eBay in March. Reflecting “March Madness”, it rebound to a record $1288. 


Locati, LLC of Pineville, PA held a live auction on March 19, 2023. It featured eight lots related to Dr. Charles A. Leale (1842-1932) who attended the ill-fated performance of “Our American Cousin” at Ford’s Theatre. He was an assistant surgeon at a local military hospital who specialized in gunshot wounds. He was the first doctor to reach the presidential box and initiated examination and treatment of the mortally-wounded President. He directed that the President be carried over to the Peterson House, joining Mrs. Lincoln, Secretary Stanton and Drs. Taft , Barnes & Stone, supervising care until the President expired. He was credited with keeping Lincoln alive for as long as possible, despite the dire prognosis. The material was advertised as the property of a “Main Line” consignor, likely a descendant of Leale. The archive contained family photographs, photographs of Leale from 1860 and beyond, his marriage license, medical licenses and personal papers. Of particular note was a gold & enamel Medical Staff badge inscribed to Leale (“C. A. Leale Capt. and Assistant Surgeon N.Y.V. 1865”), a circa 1866-1868 CDV of Leale wearing the badge, his military commissions from 1866, a manuscript speech titled “Lincoln’s Last Hours” given in New York in 1909, a two-page manuscript commenting on the positioning of Lincoln on the bed in the Peterson House with an explanation of his wounds and treatment, an 18-page manuscript article published in Harper’s Weekly in 1909 and a 13-page manuscript  reminiscence titled “The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln”. The eight lots sold for a total of $26,500 hammer. We could not determine the buyer’s premium charged by the auction company for in-house bidders, but the LiveAuctioneers platform charges 25%, bringing the total to $33,125. A gentleman in the audience purchased seven of the eight lots. The only one he passed on was a single CDV portrait, a duplicate of examples that were included in the archive. Though marked on the back “April 1865”, it had to be taken shortly after Leale left military service in 1866, returning to New York City. It should be noted that the manuscripts (with annotations) dealing with the assassination were all written decades after the event, with some possible inconsistencies and lapses of memory. A letter written by Leale in May 1865, recalling the events, was part of the Lattimer Collection, selling for $86,000 years ago. We suspect this archive might appear on an “upscale dealer’s” web site, at a substantial markup, given the provenance and historical significance. 


Stacks/Bowers held a “Numismatic Americana” online auction on March 21, 2023. An extremely rare example of a John Bell campaign medal (DeWitt JBELL-1860-3) caught our eye. It is the first and only example we have seen for sale. It did not go “unnoticed”, realizing $1680. 


Hake’s of York, Pennsylvania, held an auction on March 21st. It included a 4” x 6” bifolium post-1860 election invitation from St. Charles, Missouri. These celebratory soirees apparently were commonplace in the electoral landscape of the time. It made a strong $1428.


University Archives held an auction on April 19th. It included a most unusual 7” x 4” note written by Lincoln on November 2, 1864. The cataloger speculated that it was addressed to Robert Todd Lincoln, a recent graduate of Harvard. Since there is no documentation to establish this fact, it remains open to speculation. Our guess is that it was sent to the son of a member of the White House staff who addressed the President as “Mr. L” and that this unknown youngster was about to enter into public service or the military. Estimated at $40,000-$60,000, it wound up at $57,600.


A large size woven silk Lincoln memorial ribbon made in Switzerland in 1866 generated a lot of bidding activity when recently offered on eBay. An exceptional example, it made a record $1136.


Morphy Auctions of Denver, PA held a sale on April 13, 2023. It included a silver match safe that purportedly belonged to Abraham Lincoln. The safe was engraved “A” on one side and “Lincoln” on the other, in Old English font. It came out of the Dr. John K. Lattimer Lincoln Collection and included some identifying paperwork to that effect, but with no period documentation. The estimate was a modest $1,000-$2,000 with an opening bid of $500. Personalized artifacts of Abraham Lincoln, while not unknown, are incredibly rare. Whether Lincoln would have gone to the trouble of personalizing such a mundane artifact is subject to conjecture, although it may have been a gift. We did notice that the engraved letter “A” had developed a dark, black patina in the recesses while the recesses in the word “Lincoln” appeared shiny. Bidding activity was “heated” with the artifact realizing $18,450. 


Sotheby’s held an auction on April 22nd that featured items from the “Wolf Family Collection”. A 9.75″ seated bronze of Lincoln by Daniel Chester French realized $57,150 (obviously not your typical cheesy bookend!) A 16.5″ bronze bust of Lincoln by Augustus St. Gaudens, cast in 1923 by the Roman Bronze Works, did even better at $63,500. Finally, a 16.25″ bronze standing figure of Lincoln by George Bissell, rounded things out, selling for $8255.


James Cummins Bookseller of New York City, offered an important Lincoln printed document in his May 2023 fixed-price catalog. The price is $125,000. A partial description follows:

Washington, D.C: April 15, 1861. Broadside, 10 x 8 inches. 4to. Lincoln’s First Presidential Proclamation and De Facto Declaration of War. Penciled date at top of sheet. Fine. In a blue morocco case, gilt. President Abraham Lincoln’s first proclamation, calling for troops to suppress the rebellion of the secessionist states and “maintain the existence of our National Union,” issued two days after the fall of Fort Sumter. A document of the greatest consequence for the nation, this momentous proclamation was also an important antecedent of the Gettysburg Address, embodying Lincoln’s first official articulation of a central theme of his presidency and the war effort – the “perpetuity of popular government.” This Department of State circular is the only separate, contemporary printing and – for an officially printed state paper of such profound significance – is exceedingly rare; the only known copies are the present one and the copy in the National Archives.


An Anthony/Brady CDV of John Nicolay, in very nice condition with full borders and back mark, sold on eBay on May 7th for $1525. It is only the second example we recall seeing and sold for exactly what we expected. 


Sarasota Estate Auction sold a Lincoln & Hamlin “Grand National Banner” small folio lithograph on May 21st. With some damp stains and irregularly trimmed side border, it realized $2772. 


A group of five railroad passes for 1865 and 1866, made out to Navy Secretary Gideon Welles and family members was sold on eBay for $510. No doubt, other perks and “comps” were available to government officials. 


A high grade Lincoln & Hamlin ferrotype was offered on eBay, selling for $1532. We thought this might be a record or, at least, a very strong price. Au contraire, mon ami! Research indicates the record for a 25mm Lincoln & Hamlin back-to-back ferrotype is actually $7365, achieved in 2011. The #2 spot is $4433 from 2006. Still, paying a record price seems a dubious distinction. 


An eBay vendor is currently offering an 8” x 10” pro-Lincoln 1864 election handbill for a Buy-It-Now price of $1997. It is directed towards the “Laboring Classes” and warns that, in the event of a Southern victory, slavery will extend throughout the United States, forcing them to compete with slave labor and slave wages. It also notes that most Southern states have a property qualification to hold office and that presidential electors in South Carolina are not elected by the voters, but by the House of Delegates. 


Does it pass the “smell test?” Selkirk Auctions in St. Louis sold what was possibly an important Lincoln relic on June 9th. It was “the purported child’s chair of Abraham Lincoln.” The hickory chair  measured 21.75” high with a rush covered seat measuring 14.25” x 10”. It was accompanied by a newspaper article from 1902 picturing it and detailing its history. It also had a modern handwritten provenance and a damaged caption card from a previous exhibition at a G.A.R. post. The caption card said the chair was made by Nancy Hanks (she may have woven the seat) while the manuscript history said the chair was made by Thomas Lincoln (who is known to have made furniture). It further states the chair was given away when the Lincoln family left Kentucky for Indiana, at which time young Abe was supposedly 12 years old. The Lincoln family actually left Kentucky in 1816 when Abe was 7 years old and his sister 9 years old. Given the small size of the chair, the fact that Thomas Lincoln made furniture, and the common practice of discarding unwanted items prior to moving, all give credence to the claim. The recipient in 1816 was a lady neighbor who had a small daughter. The chair descended in her family. They eventually relocated to Missouri. It was put on exhibit from time to time, but souvenir hunters sliced off slivers of the wood, prompting the owner to stop loaning it out. Given all the facts, it appears that “family lore” likely is accurate, which isn’t always the case. Bidders must have felt likewise as the relic sold for $18,200. 


Concept Art Gallery of Pittsburgh held a sale on June 10th that included a 5.25” x 7.25” salt print of Lincoln, attributed to Roderick Cole circa 1858. On November 12, 1859, William E. Frazer wrote a letter to Lincoln requesting a photograph, to be displayed next to one of Simon Cameron. In addition, Frazer argued, there were people who had never seen Lincoln and would appreciate a portrait. Accordingly, Lincoln complied and dispatched this image which was subsequently trimmed to fit into an oval frame (not present). The starting bid was $5000 and it sold for $7620.


An eBay seller offered a rare 13.5” x 15.75” lithograph of a beardless Lincoln published by Child & Bradley of Springfield, Massachusetts. It seemed rather nondescript and was incorrectly described as circa 1858, coinciding with Lincoln’s campaign for the Senate. The “Bradley” in the publisher’s credit was none other than Milton Bradley, who later opened a business manufacturing children’s board games. He excelled in this endeavor and made quite a name for himself. Hotly contested, it realized $1375.


Hindman Auctions held an online sale on June 16th. A 9” x 7” albumen of Lincoln delivering the Second Inaugural Address (O-108), on the original unmarked photographer’s mount, is attributed to Alexander Gardner. We recall an example selling many years ago for $14,000. This one did as well as expected, trading hands for $18,900. The conspirator Lewis Powell appears in the crowd, just below the President. A nice 1864 ferrotype in an ornate frame, mounted on a black mourning rosette with two attached red, white and blue ribbons, went reasonably for $945. 


An eBay vendor in New Hampshire recently acquired a group of Civil War artifacts and ephemera. A 6” x 9.5” Southern Guardian Extra, dated December 20, 1860, announces the passage of the South Carolina Ordinance of Secession. It sold for $1135, cheap in comparison to the more frequently seen Charleston Mercury broadside. A 12.5” x 18.5” broadside, titled “Secession Notice”, Columbia, South Carolina, December 21, 1860, notes the passage of the ordinance the day before, and directs all members of the public to celebrate the event and engage in demonstrations of “unqualified joy”. It was bid up to $2212, with both items going to the same buyer. 


Fontaine’s Auction Gallery in Pittsfield, Massachusetts held an auction on June 23, 2023. It included a 29” x 24”  oil on canvas portrait of Lincoln signed “Schmit 1864”. It had some craquelure and areas of in-painting. Not a great artwork, but done during Lincoln’s lifetime and ready to hang. Starting at $300, it went out the door for $819.


Heritage Auctions held a “Platinum Sale” of “high-end” manuscripts on July 8th. An 8” x 10” document signed by Lincoln on April 19, 1861 authorized a naval blockade of seven Southern states which had seceded from the Union. Following the attack on Ft. Sumter and absent a Congressional resolution, it was the equivalent of a declaration of war. It realized a well-deserved $471,000. 

A two-page letter, Washington, D.C., April 16, 1865, contained a first-hand account related to the Lincoln assassination. The writer, George Lovett, was attending the play “Aladdin” at Grover’s Theatre when the announcement was made that the President had been shot (Tad Lincoln also being present). Lovett immediately went to Ford’s Theatre, just in time to view the President’s body being transported across the street to the Peterson House. It sold for $47,500.  A partial transcript of the letter reads:

I cannot let the present historic time pass with out expressing my feelings of commiseration at the loss which we as a people have to mourn. The American nation today mourns the loss of the best, the truest, the wisest, and the most purest of statesman. Abraham Lincoln, our chosen and respected chief is no more. He has fallen by the hand of the foul and cowardly assassin….You have the full particulars and it is unnecessary for to say anymore about the matters. But from actual observation I shall speak. I was in Grovers Theater on the eventful Friday night listening to Effie Germon as Aladin [sic]. At 10 o’clock and 20 minutes precisely the ushers came to door of the Parquette and announced that President Lincoln had been assassinated in his private box at Fords. The frantic audience rushed to the door. When it was announced it was a lie and vengeance sworn against the author, the larger portion returned to see the play finished, when the manager immediately came forward upon the stage and announced the truth of the report. President Lincoln shot Sect. Seward’s throat cut. In as few steps as possible I made my way over every obstacle into the street, and down to eleventh st. to the scene of the murder. On my way I cannot bring myself to believe that such is the case. But alas it is true. I reach the front of Fords Theater. Some 6 or 8 men are in military uniform carrying the almost inanimate body of a man across the street followed by several women, one in the habiliments of an ader[sic]. The women scream, wildly and one faints in the street, and is taken by more stalwart hands and carried in the same direction of those preceding with the man. I rushed for the door into which they apparantly [sic] were going and by strenuous effort reached it before they entered with the body of the man – and ah heavens what a sight – Abraham Lincoln is the man that is a carrying almost lifeless. Imagine my feelings when I held the friend of humanity struggling in his death agonies by a murderous hand. His face on the left side was covered with blood and breathed in a rattling sound. His eyes were sinking fast. There I gazed a few seconds upon the fast sinking remains of all that is good as a man and exalted and magnanimous as a ruler. Cursed forever be the man that has thus deprived society of its best…

I asked the Dr. as soon as he came out what was his hopes. He told me he can’t live but a short time. The murderer has done his work effectually. The brains is protruding. The pulse at eleven was reported at 41. At half past one was up to 86, and at six failing, and at twenty two minutes past seven He Was Dead, April 15th, 1865. So died the great martyr of freedom and right vengeance – Vengeance to all Rebels and their sympathizers.


Garth’s in Columbus, Ohio held an online-only auction on July 11th. A limited edition pewter bust of Lincoln, produced by Chilmark in 1993, numbered 313/350, stood 15.5” high and hammered for $225. 


Freeman’s of Philadelphia held a Books & Manuscripts sale on July 25th. A rare John Bell campaign ribbon, with some acceptable faults, realized a healthy $4410. The matching Lincoln, with some fold lines, but quite nice overall, was a better deal, in our estimation, crossing the block for $3024.


Hake’s of York, Pennsylvania held an auction on July 25th. A 30mm Douglas donut ferrotype caught our eye. When viewing the enlarged photo of the obverse portrait, it appears to have a circular mark and scratch on the left eye and the mouth has been retouched, producing an “Emmet Kelly” clown-like frown. We don’t know if this was an inept attempt at restoration or a deliberate application of graffiti, post-election. It sold for $236, warts and all! A Jefferson Davis ferrotype stickpin mounted on a silk rosette was quite attractive. The portrait comes in various formats, including an Abbott rectangular tintype and an insert in an “oreo” thermoplastic case. This version appears totally original and untouched. It realized $1817. A pair of ornate Lincoln and McClellan ferrotypes were sold separately. The Lincoln appeared quite minty in the catalog, although additional close-up images provided by Hake staff shows a general pattern of surface wear and dullness. It was hotly contested through the closing hours, topping off at $4307. The ferrotype portrait on the McClellan mate was in much better shape, although the frame did not display as well. It went for $1070. Finally, a standard Lincoln-Johnson back-to-back ferrotype in choice condition achieved what may be an auction record of $4307. Prices quoted include an 18% buyer’s premium, reduced to 15% if payment is made by cash or check. 


Eldred’s of East Dennis, Massachusetts held a sale on July 27th. It included a 32″ tall plaster bust of Lincoln, made by Caprioni of Boston, dated 1907. It sold for $1512.


Rolands is an estate auction house on Long Island that has offered interesting properties over the years including the Dr. Alan York collection of political Americana, a major sale back in 2016. On July 29th, they offered a bronze of the famous life-mask of Lincoln by Clark Mills (1810-1883). The original casting was made on February 12, 1865. Stamped “Gorham & Co. Founders.” and encused “Abraham Lincoln 1865.” we of course appreciate the historic significance…but are of the mind this is as UGLY as it gets! The elongated chin and overall presentation is part man part ape! $6,000.


An eBay vendor offered a very rare, if not unpublished, CDV of a public viewing of President Lincoln’s remains in Cleveland, Ohio. The event took place on April 28, 1865 in the town’s Public Square (Monument Park). It was the only outdoor viewing of the open casket during the series of funerals that stretched from Washington, DC to Springfield, Illinois. At 10 PM that evening, the casket was closed and a solemn procession escorted it to the train station, en route to the next stop, Columbus, Ohio. Unfortunately, the item failed to meet its opening bid of $750 and is still available. 


Leatherwood Antiques of Sandwich, Massachusetts currently is offering a 9″ x 12″ cast-iron silhouette wall hanging of Lincoln, modeled on the famous historical painting by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris. The asking price is $1450.


Fleischer’s Auctions of Columbus, Ohio held a Civil War and historical Americana auction on August 5th. It focused heavily on documents and vintage photographs. A rare CDV of Booth with J. Carbutt of Chicago back mark, hammered for $1100. The cataloger could not locate any auctions records for it. That seems to also be the case for the unmarked CDV of John Surratt, showing the youthful co-conspirator in a standing pose. It went for $1800. A Brady CDV of all the members of the assassination conspirators trial, a from-life image seldom seen, sold for $1700. Finally, a ninth-plate ambrotype of a child wearing a kepi and a Stephen Douglas campaign ferrotype mounted on a rosette handed hands for $2200.


RR Auctions of Boston held a sale on September 23rd. There were two high-end Lincoln items. We reprint their catalog descriptions:

Civil War-dated LS as president, signed “Yours truly, A. Lincoln,” one page, 8 x 10, Executive Mansion letterhead, May 3, 1864. Letter addressed in Lincoln’s hand to “Hon. Secretary of the Navy,” Gideon Welles, regarding the devastating massacre of Union soldiers (many of them part of the United States Colored Troops) at Fort Pillow on April 12, 1864. In full: “It is now quite certain that a large number of our colored soldiers, with their white officers, were, by the rebel force, massacred after they had surrendered, at the recent capture of Fort Pillow. So much is known, though the evidence is not yet quite ready to be laid before me. Meanwhile I will thank you to prepare, and give me in writing, your opinion as to what course, the government should take in the case.” In fine condition, with a very light, uniform block of toning. Passed against an estimate of $100,000-$150,000.

Exceedingly rare pair of original front-row balcony tickets to the production of ‘Our American Cousin’ at Ford’s Theatre on April 14, 1865, during which President Abraham Lincoln was shot by assassin John Wilkes Booth. Each ticket measures 4.25 x 1.75 and is stamped at the center: “Ford’s Theatre, APR 14, 1865, This Night Only.” The left sides of the tickets are imprinted, “Ford’s Theatre, Friday., Dress Circle!,” and are filled out in pencil with section (“D”) and seat numbers (“41” and “42”). The right sides are clipped, evidently by the ticket-taker when presented for admission, and carry the printed signature of “Jas. R. Ford, Business Manager.” Includes an envelope annotated in a contemporary hand: “Front Seats, Dress Circle, Reserved, Complimentary, Fords Theatre, April 14, 1865, (Night of Assassination of President Lincoln).” The tickets are in very good condition, with fragile central vertical folds, some light creasing, and one with a chipped lower corner. Sold for $262,500 all-in.


An eBay vendor of architectural salvage is currently offered a “life-size” terra cotta plaque of Stephen A. Douglas, removed from a Flanders & Zimmerman designed school in the Windy City. Dating from the 1885 period, the asking price is $3500.


In the antique trade, it is said that “brown furniture is dead”. That seems to be the case, based on the sale of a Lincoln “memorial” bookcase sold by Milestone Auctions of Willoughby, Ohio. Standing 94″ tall, it was 41″ wide and 16 1/2″ deep. It had a brass profile of Lincoln within a wreath at the top. Needless to say, few people have the space for something of this stature. Accordingly, maybe the final price of $840 should come as no surprise.


Hindman Auctions of Cincinnati offered a 20″ x 15 1/2″ oil on board of Abraham Lincoln, signed by Franklin C. Courter, in their October 4th sale. Painting portraits of Lincoln was a “cottage industry” for Courter. This example did well, reaching $7200.


Bonanza Auctions in Philo, California held a sale on October 15th that included a Lincoln oil portrait on canvas. It was signed by Louis Lussier (1832-1884), a Canadian who lived and worked in Illinois and California. Measuring 29” x 35” overall, it had some damage in the background, not affecting the portrait. It realized $826.


An eBay vendor is currently offering a cabinet card of a woman wearing a pom-pom hat and sporting an Abraham Lincoln celluloid pin back button on her blouse. It has a Baker’s of Columbus, Ohio photographer’s credit on the mount.  The Buy-It-Now asking price is $304.95. We suspect the sitter might be a cross-dresser… a guy in drag. Sure looks that way to us. One way or the other, it’s an oddball item!


Hermann Historica Auctions of Munich, Germany, recently offered a Congressional Medal of Honor award to Sgt. John Hanna. The reverse was engraved “The Congress to Sergt. John Hanna Co. B Vet. Res. Corps of Escort to Remains of President Abraham Lincoln April 1865.” Hanna was a member of the Honor Guard which escorted the body from Washington, D.C. in Springfield, Illinois. All members of the Honor Guard received a MOH “In testimony of… faithful and exemplary conduct as one of the escort to the remains of President Lincoln to Springfield, Ill.” The award was later revoked, as it was not related to courageous exploits in battle. It is currently illegal to sell Congressional Medals of Honor in the United States, although the rule may not apply to awards subsequently revoked. It brought $6500.


Matthew Bullock Auctions of Ottawa, Illinois held a sale on October 28th. We spotted two nice Lincoln lots, both mounted albumens made during the mourning period following the assassination. A view of the State House in Springfield, draped in mourning, measured 8″ x 10″ overall and realized $3437 while a similar view of a servant or groom posed with Lincoln’s horse (Old Robin or “Bob”), both dressed for the occasion, sold for $5080.


Pook & Pook of Downington, Pennsylvania held a sale on October 26th. One lot was described as a “lantern” on the original pole with spurious painted inscription reading “Lincoln-Hamlin”. First off, it isn’t a lantern… it’s a torch. Second, the inscription, in our opinion, is totally legit. We’ve seen three of these, all identical, and even posted an article in “Suspect Lincoln” titled “The Real and the Unreal” where we picture an original, attached to a hand-carved wooden rifle torch, contrasted with a rather sloppily done “spurious” example with the paint dripping down the sides. The only part the auction house got right was the “original pole”. Prospective bidders got spooked, resulting in a “bargain basement” sale of $322. To our amusement, they “slipped on a banana peel”, despite the best of intentions. It’s one of the pitfalls of running an auction house. Send in the clowns…


Ahlers & Ogletree of Atlanta, Georgia held an auction on November 10th. It included a 33″ tall plaster bust of Lincoln by Thomas Dow Jones, originally done in 1861, prior to Lincoln’s departure for Washington, D.C. It is uncertain when the example offered here was cast. It displayed scattered wear and chips to the painted, sand-colored finish. A bid of $1625 took it home.


Heritage Auctions of Dallas held a sale on November 17th. A 6.25″ x 9″ albumen showing Lincoln, McClellan and other members of the military at the Antietam battlefield exceeded expectations, selling for $12,500. A similar piece, showing Allan Pinkerton, Lincoln and General McClernand topped that, achieving a record $25,000. The fact that neither was affixed to the original Gardner mount apparently meant little to the bidders. Mount…schmount!!

A 26″ tall plaster bust of Lincoln, sculpted by Clark Mills, modeled on the life mask he made of the President on February 11, 1865 was, unlike the life masks, an unknown piece to us. There are no references to it anywhere and no auction records. Could be an “important” piece. It realized $5250. Finally, a graphic, rainproof cape or slicker worn by a Lincoln Wide Awake marcher in 1860, sold for $6250. The matching kepi was previously sold by Heritage but, unfortunately, the two are not reunited.


Du Mouchelles Auctions of Detroit held a sale on November 16th. A medium size bronze plaque of Lincoln by Victor David Brenner, measuring 14.5″ x 11″, nicely framed, sold for a reasonable $2790.


Jeffrey S. Evans of Mt. Crawford, Virginia held a sale on December 2nd. It included the following item which was described in the catalog as follows:

“RARE AND IMPORTANT 1860 “WIGWAM” REPUBLICAN CONVENTION KENTUCKY STATE DELEGATION FLAG, printed glazed cotton linen, the canton exhibiting highly desirable Great Star pattern with 31 stars, the stripes bearing “KENTUCKY” in bold painted black letters, probably stenciled, retains correspondence from Larry Malis regarding the present flag, including one example detailing the origins of its discovery. Housed under glass in a modern frame. 1860. 11″ x 16 3/4″ object, 14 1/2″ x 22 1/4″ overall.
Catalogue Note: The present flag is believed to have been used at the 1860 Republican Convention in Chicago, Illinois as a state delegation flag. An important political and historical event, often referred to as the “Wigwam” Convention, the occasion generated much debate in a fractious environment. After several ballots, the delegates ultimately nominated Abraham Lincoln for President and Hannibal Hamlin for Vice President, and the rest is history, as the expression goes. 
One of several nearly identical flags bearing black lettering for each respective state in attendance at the convention, the present flag appears to be part of a large group of nearly identical flags discovered in an estate in Middletown, New York by Jan and Larry Malis sometime in 1974. Mr. Malis describes the extraordinary discovery of these important political textiles in a letter to Mr. George Huffman dated June 21, 1975: ‘This flag was obtained by us from an estate in Middletown, New York. The estate was pure, having been unpicked with no additions at the time we got to it. There were three related families represented, all active in New York State and local politics for several generations. We obtained all of the political memorabilia with the exception of personal family documents and photos. The period covered was from 1840 through approx. 1890. The flag was from a group that was documented in family papers as having been from the Lincoln/Hamlin Republican Convention of 1860. The group consisted of identical flags (yours included); two had ‘Lincoln and Hamlin’ printed in black on the face, and 37 identical flags each had the name of an individual state of the Union printed on the face in identical fashion. These 37 flags represented 37 of the 42 attending states and Territories at the time. My memory is a little unsure on the following point, but, if memory serves these were originally owned by a gentleman of the name of Halstead Sweet or his direct descendant.’
The present Kentucky delegation flag was purchased by George Huffman from Larry Malis in the winter of 1975 at the Crutcher Antiques Show in Indianapolis, Indiana, where, according to Mr. Huffman, Mr. Malis had all 37 state flags on display in his booth.” It achieved $6875 with just two bids. 


W. Graham Arader of New York City held a sale on December 9th. We admired a satirical oil on canvas depicting Jefferson Davis, inspired, we thought, by Don Quixote. The catalog description read:

DAVIS, William Moore (American, 1829-1920). Jefferson Davis, The Forlorn Cavalier, Oil on canvas. Signed lower right “W. M. Davis 1864”. 15 x 17 1/8″ canvas, 23 3/4″ x 25 3/4″ framed in a period gilt wood and composition frame. William Moore Davis, no relation to the president of the Confederate States, found fame in New York by painting Civil War subjects. His most famous image was of Jefferson Davis, painted in 1862, and was widely distributed in printed form. This image of Davis on horseback shows him in a planter’s hat, grey uniform, carrying a version of the Confederate Flag, against a backdrop of the war ravaged landscape.

The original starting bid of $30,000 was soon lowered to $20,000. Despite the enticement, it failed to sell. That put us in mind of the theme song of “Man of La Mancha” namely; “To Dream the Impossible Dream”.


Shafran Collectibles of East Meadow, New York is currently offering a Theodore Roosevelt TLS as President on eBay for a Buy-It-Now price of $2500. TR writes to publisher George Putnam to inform him he possesses a letter written by Abraham Lincoln on March 1, 1840. The President was a devoted fan of Lincoln. He was given a gold ring containing a lock of Lincoln’s hair by John Hay as a present on his inauguration day, March 4, 1905. Apparently, he had other “stuff” in his collection.


An eBay vendor offered an unusual McClellan ballot from Illinois. The inclusion of the word “Union” in the title was an attempt to co-op the name adopted by the Republican Party in the election of 1864. One of the electors was Adlai E. Stevenson, later Vice President under Grover Cleveland and namesake of the 1952 and 1956 Democratic nominee for President. Measuring 3″ x 6 5/8″, it made a reasonable $57.


Heritage Auctions of Dallas held a so-called “Platinum” sale on December 15th. It featured a signed Anthony/Brady CDV of Abraham Lincoln, with written verification on verso by John Hay, one of Lincoln’s personal secretaries (“A. P. S.” or assistant personal secretary). It was a particularly fine example with bold signature, untrimmed. Designated O-51b, it exceeded expectations, crossing the block for a record $181,250.