Abraham Lincoln's spectacles at $53,000 with Nate D Sanders


2015-06-26 13:19:11


Abraham Lincoln's spectacles at $53,000 with Nate D Sanders

Abraham Lincoln was photographed with the spectacles, which have provenance from his family

A pair of spectacles that were formerly owned and worn by US president Abraham Lincoln have got off to a strong start in Nate D Sanders' latest sale.

Abraham Lincoln spectaclesWith fantastic provenance, the spectacles are sure to sell wellwhen the auction closes

The glasses are currently selling for $52,855, having received just three bids after starting at $2,500. There are 10 days left before the online-only auction closes on June 27.

Lincoln was photographed holding the spectacles in the portrait taken by photographer Alexander Gardner in Washington, DC in 1865 (above).

Adding to this strong provenance is a letter from the former president's great grandson and last direct descendent, Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith, which explains the story of their discovery:

'I, Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith of Washington, D.C., certify that among the contents of a trunk located and unopened until recently, and placed in the attic of Hildene, the estate of my grandfather Robert Todd Lincoln, Manchester, Vermont, by my grandmother Mary Harlan Lincoln (Mrs. Robert Todd Lincoln)... were found two pair of eye glasses which had belonged to my great grandfather President Abraham Lincoln, and so marked by my grandmother Mary Harlan Lincoln."

The pair at auction was given to Margaret Fristoe, whom Beckwith married two years after writing the letter in 1977. After Fristoe died, they were passed to her daughter Lenora Fristoe Hoverson.

The second pair was presented to James T Hickey, curator of the Lincoln Collection of the Illinois State Historical Library, where they remain today.

Also attesting to the spectacles' authenticity is a signed letter from an optician that states the prescription as +2.12, a match to Lincoln's known prescription strength, which was in the 2.00 range.

Paul Fraser Collectibles also has a great personal item from Abraham Lincoln - fragments of the wallpaper from his bedroom.

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