Spectacular Campaign Poster Leads Heritage Auctions' Lincoln Specialty Sale Above $1.8 Million

Lincoln And Johnson 1864 Jugate Campaign Poster Sells For $250,000

December 6, 2019

A massive jugate poster from Abraham Lincoln’s 1864 presidential campaign set a record for the most ever paid for a political poster when it sold for $250,000 to push the final total for Heritage Auctions’ “Lincoln and His Times” Americana and Political Auction to $1,853,301 on Nov. 2.
The Lincoln and Johnson 1864 jugate campaign poster, which also established a new standard for any Lincoln campaign item, is massive; it measures 41 inches wide by 54 inches high. One of just three known examples of what is considered the finest campaign display item for the 16th president, it features 12-inch portraits of both Lincoln and Andrew Johnson, his vice presidential candidate and eventual successor as president. The demand for the poster allowed it to race far beyond its pre-auction estimate of $100,000+.
“This poster is simply stunning and an unquestioned rarity that commanded the attention of serious collectors of American Political and Abraham Lincoln memorabilia,” stated Heritage Auctions Americana Director Tom Slater. “There are only two others known to exist, and one is in the New York Historical Society. This poster is the ultimate Lincoln display item, a lot that immediately becomes the centerpiece of an elite Lincoln or political collection.”
Multiple bids also poured in for the Abraham Lincoln seminal 1858 political letter, ex. Malcolm Forbes Jr. collection, until it realized $225,000. The letter was sent by Lincoln when he was a U.S. senator from Illinois to Henry Asbury of Springfield, Ill. A virtual unknown outside of Sangamon County, Lincoln was campaigning to unseat Stephen A. Douglas in 1858 and was urged by Asbury to pin down Douglas on the issue of the extension of slavery in the territories. Lincoln’s political savvy in trying to frame the issues of the campaign was nothing short of brilliant. Douglas’ response, known as the Freeport Doctrine, claimed to take “no moral position” on slavery while admitting of the necessity of local police authority to enforce the practice, positions which managed to alienate anti-slavery voters and slavery advocates at the same time. While Douglas won re-election to the Senate, the Freeport Doctrine undermined his chances in the 1860 presidential election, which Lincoln handily won.
The sword widely considered the finest Texas general's grade Houston-made Confederate sword finished at $93,750. This custom weapon has a blade styled after the famous 18th-century Turkish blades, making it unique among Confederate swords. Patterned after a “kilij,” the blade is fashioned in a manner designed to significantly increase the sword’s cutting power. Signed on the ricasso by Confederate sword maker “J.C. Wilson, Houston,” this is one of only three known maker-marked Wilson swords known to exist.
A United States Sanitary Commission autograph album, which sold at New York Metropolitan Fair in 1864 to benefit wounded soldiers, signed by Abraham Lincoln, topped its pre-auction estimate when it closed at $68,750. This extensive scrapbook from the 1864 Metropolitan Fair in New York City, which was a public event organized by the United States Sanitary Commission to raise funds to treat wounded and disabled Union soldiers, had 150 autographs. The album also includes quotations, notes and drawings by politicians, generals, artists and writers, primarily from the Civil War era (most written between 1861 and 1864). Also included are two small fragments from the Confederate flag that flew over Georgia’s Fort Pulaski which was torn down by Union soldiers under the command of Gen. Egbert Ludovicus Viele.
A signed Abraham Lincoln carte-de-visite photo, thrice authenticated, brought $62,500. This “inkwell pose” was taken by famed Lincoln photographer Mathew Brady shortly after Lincoln assumed the presidency. With a certification on the reverse by John Hay, Lincoln’s personal secretary, the lot was sold along with a letter of authentication by autograph expert Charles Hamilton.
Other top lots included the Burnside carbine presented to Kentucky Sen. John J. Crittenden, selling for $50,000; the Charleston Mercury “Union is Dissolved” broadside, which announced the onset of the Civil War, $40,000; and a U.S. House of Representatives ca. 1857 desk and chair bringing $32,500.
For more information, visit www.HA.com.


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