Abraham Lincoln collectibles


2015-06-26 11:12:19

Abraham Lincoln collectibles

Abraham Lincoln was President of the United States from 1861 until his assassination in 1865 by John Wilkes Booth at Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C., United States.

He was the sixteenth president of the United States.


Lincoln was born February 12, 1809, near Hodgenville, Kentucky, United States.

Prior to his presidency, Lincoln was a country lawyer. He also served in the Illinois General Assembly for eight years and in the U.S. House of Representatives for one term (1847-49) before his election as the nation's first Republican president in 1861.

Five months before receiving his party's nomination for President, Lincoln sketched his life:

"I was born Feb. 12, 1809, in Hardin County, Kentucky. My parents were both born in Virginia, of undistinguished families—second families, perhaps I should say. My mother, who died in my tenth year, was of a family of the name of Hanks…. My father … removed from Kentucky to … Indiana, in my eighth year…. It was a wild region, with many bears and other wild animals still in the woods. There I grew up…. Of course when I came of age I did not know much. Still somehow, I could read, write, and cipher … but that was all."

He married Mary Anne Todd in 1842.


Today, President Lincoln is best remembered for leading the Union through the Civil War and freeing Confederate slaves with the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation; and for delivering the Gettysburg Address, the most famous oration in American history, on 19 November 1863.

He considered his 1863 Emancipation Proclamation the most historic act of his presidency, but many critics interpret the order freeing Southern slaves during the Civil War as a military measure, not a humanitarian one.

Lincoln’s likeness is on the U.S. penny and the five dollar bill.

Notable collectibles

Opera glasses

In June 2011 Sotheby's announced that Lincoln's personal set of opera glasses, used during the evening of his assasination at Ford's Theatre, would be sold at their forthcoming sale of American Civil War artefacts in New York on June 17. The glasses had been recovered from the site by an army officer, who discovered them after Lincoln was carried from the theatre. They remained in his family's possession until 1979 when they were sold at auction for $22,000. In 2002 they were sold once more, this time for $424,000, and are valued in the upcoming sale at a price of $700,000.

Signed documents

A Printed broadside document confirming the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation (21 3/4 x 17 3/8 in.; 552 x 442 mm) signed by President Lincoln was auctioned by Sotheby’s in New York on December 2010. The document brought $3,778,500.

A signed letter by Abraham Lincoln was sold for $748,000 in 1991 at a Christie’s New York auction.

Its text includes:

'That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever, free'

Marble bust

A bust of Abraham Lincoln by Gutzon Borglum (1867-1941) – “bronze, reddish patina, on a black marble base” – was sold by Sotheby’s for $28,125 on 3rd March, 2010. It is inscribed BORGLUM Sc ©, on the side and numbered 6 on the back.


There are today only 119 known photographs of Abraham Lincoln in existence, only 24 of these feature Lincoln standing up.

In September 2009 a photograph of Lincoln, without his beard, sold for £104,794 at Profiles in History.

In January 2010, a photograph of Abraham Lincoln, standing, sold for $103,500 at a Freeman's auction in USA. The pre-sale estimate was just $8,000-12,000.

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