Abraham Lincoln love letter to his first fiancé Mary Owen at Heritage Auctions September 17th 870 lots of objects relating to the life of President Abraham Lincoln debuts Sept. 17 in Heritage Auctions’ Lincoln and His Times, a rare joint auction presented with the publishers of The Rail Splitt
News-Antique.com - Sep 01,2016 - DALLAS — Nearly 870 lots of important and historically significant objects relating to the life of President Abraham Lincoln debuts Sept. 17 in Heritage Auctions’ Lincoln and His Times, a rare joint auction presented in cooperation with the publishers in celebrating the 20th anniversary of The Rail Splitter, a respected publication for enthusiasts of Abraham Lincoln and related memorabilia.
“In creating this auction, Heritage has made a conscious effort to include something for everyone, both in terms of subject matter and value range,” said Tom Slater, Director of Americana auctions for Heritage. “The auction includes many interesting but affordable lots with minimum opening bids of just $1 as well as numerous five and even six-figure rarities of museum quality. We’re also pleased to point out that not one of these lots from more than 75 individual consignors carries a consignor-set reserve.
“This will be a true auction in the traditional sense,” Slater said, “with prices to be determined by the bidders.”
Perhaps the most significant Lincoln item in the sale is an 1836 letter written by a 27 year old Lincoln to his first fiancé, Mary Owens ($100,000 opening bid). The letter, which reveals much of Lincoln’s character and personality, is among the earliest from the future president to have survived. “Lincoln wrote three letters to Owens, and two are forever ensconced in institutional collections,” Slater said. “One of those, now at the New York Historical Society, was offered in 2000 in the auction of the legendary Malcolm Forbes manuscript collection, where it sold for $779,000. The Mary Owens letter offered in our current auction is the last one which, at least for the moment, is available for private ownership.”
Another exciting Lincoln item is a pristine signed carte de visite photo of the 16th president, with authentication of his autograph written on verso by his personal secretary John Hay ($40,000 opening bid). “This item has drawn tremendous interest,” says Slater. “It has already received over 2,000 page views during the online auction preview, and the catalog is not even out yet! Lincoln’s signature is probably the most faked of any president, and it is impossible to overstate the importance of having such a contemporary authentication by a man who undoubtedly knew the president’s signature better than anyone.”
The sale features one of the most extensive selections of rare original Lincoln photographs, assembled over many years by specialist collector Dr. Michael Krane, ever to appear in a single auction. Civil War photographs are also in evidence, including a fine range of carte de visite images of Union and Confederate generals.
“The rise and fall of the Confederacy was profoundly interwoven with Lincoln’s last years and tragic assassination,” Slater notes, “and so the auction includes a number of important Confederate items, including War-date letters by Robert E. Lee ($6,000 opening bid) and Jefferson Davis ($3,000 opening bid) and a unique hand-made First National flag which once belong to the notorious ‘femme fatale’ and Confederate spy Belle Boyd ($50,000 opening bid). The