Lot 8027: Incredible blood-stained 4.5 x 5 swatch of fabric cut by actress Laura Keene from the dress she was wearing on the night of President Abraham Lincoln's assassination at Ford's Theatre on April 14, 1865. The swatch is affixed to a 5.5 x 7.5 mount identified at the top in Keene's hand, "The Blood of President Lincoln, Assassinated April 14th 1865," and signed below, "Presented by Laura Keene." The white floral fabric features a pink-and-green flower in the center and has several dark blood stains throughout, particularly to the right edge and lower left. Double-matted and framed to an overall size of 11 x 13.25. In fine condition. Laura Keene's company was performing Our American Cousin at Ford's Theatre in Washington, DC, on April 14, 1865. While watching the show in the presidential box, President Abraham Lincoln was fatally shot by John Wilkes Booth. Amidst the ensuing confusion, Keene famously rushed up to the balcony to aid the wounded president, cradling his head in her lap as physicians attended to him. Keene kept the dress she wore that night as a keepsake from the tragedy, which was eventually cut into pieces to be given as curiosities, with most remaining within the family. Relics from the dress are exceedingly rare and owned by many institutions, with similar fragments held by the National Museum of American History, Chicago Historical Society, Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection, and New York State Military Museum—none of these, however, have the same extraordinary handwritten provenance from Keene herself.
RR Auction's Remarkable Rarities Auction 461
Monday, 28th September 2015
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