Lincoln 1860

Lincoln 1860

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Mr. Lincoln On eBay

It's time once more to stroll through the land of eBay, looking for items associated with Abraham Lincoln. It's one of my favorite pastimes (and vices) for one never knows what one will find. At any given time, there are at least 700-800 items found by searching for "Abraham Lincoln." Items ranging from priceless letters signed by Lincoln to photos to just plain weird things can be found. Without further adieu, here is a sampling of the current Lincoln items.

  • An Abe Lincoln electric guitar? Hand carved body with Abe's face, American and Rebel flags, text, etc. Unusual. I'd be tempted if I played.

  • An old Harper's Weekly issue describing Lincoln's death and funeral. It's here. Has lovely sketches of the funeral in Springfield, Illinois. Front cover shows one of the conspirators, Lewis Powell (Payne).

  • Abe and his family paper dolls. Would be interesting for children, I guess.

  • A rare complete set of the classic 10-volume biography of Lincoln written by John Hay and John Nicolay, Lincoln's private secretaries in 1890. This is a first edition set and is therefore quite expensive. These books are leather, making the set even more valuable.

  • A rare 1860 Lincoln campaign "Rail Splitter" medal. I don't know much about such medals, but they are interesting and quite desired by collectors.

  • A cool piece of sheet music from the 1860 campaign. Titled "Honest Old Abe's Quick Step" and written for piano. Quite nice.

  • Abe on a watch. A bit on the tacky side, but kind of interesting. Contains the famous "head on" photo which in my opinion is the best Lincoln photo.

  • A reprint of the supposed "last" photo of Lincoln. No, no, and NO! This is a common misconception. I'll have to address this in a detailed posting. Folks, this photo was not taken on April 10, 1865 as long believed. It was taken in February 1865 and another photo session was held in March 1865 in the White House.

  • Finally, the most expensive Lincoln item being offered at this point on eBay. This document is a signed endorsement by Lincoln, asking someone for help in finding a gentleman a job. Estimated to sell at live auction for $4000-$6000. Heritage Auction Galleries has wonderful items, but it can be frustrating to deal with the business. I bought once from there and it was a hassle with conflicting emails, etc. Still, you'd not find too many other galleries in the U.S. with nicer (and more expensive!) Lincoln items.


Jim Schmidt said...

Geoff - This is one my FAVORITE blog features! Thanks for keeping your eye out for the rare and eclectic Lincoln items. Thought you might be interested in this Lincoln item ("Lincoln Tea") that I secured a couple months ago via EBAy:

All My Best,

Jim Schmidt

barroso family said...

Hi Geoff. I am new to your blog. My husband and I are big Lincoln fans. We have an interesting portfolio of items received from an elderly friend that we are wondering the authenticity of some of the lithographs? Or, if they are lithographs? We live in California and was wondering if you have any advice where we can see a Lincoln expert? It's such an interesting collection of different pictures of Lincoln. I know that some of them are copies but a few of them look like they could be authentic. There's even a letter from 1935 from when a photo she had was authenticated from a library. I would be very interested in any advice. And, what a lovely blog :) Have a great day. Christie Barroso 925-200-9537 or

Jason M. Rubin said...

Hi Geoff. Just came upon your wonderful blog. I was born on Lincoln's birthday 45 years ago and like you have been a lifelong fan and amateur scholar. I put an outlink to your blog on mine (; mine is about my writing, but I have spoken about Lincoln and Stephen B. Oates, author of With Malice Towards None, with whom I studied at UMass. Cheers, Jason Rubin

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