June 6, 2017 – On June 10, Blackwell Auctions will present a 120-year-old archive of items related to Abraham Lincoln. The collection has never before been offered for public sale and contains within it the research collection of New York attorney Daniel Patterson, who spent 30 years accumulating material in an attempt to prove the authenticity of a Thomas Hicks painting of Lincoln.
Several Lincoln portraits are held in the archive, the most important being an 1897 lithograph created and signed by Joseph DeCamp (American, 1858-1923). Commissioned by printer Louis Prang in 1896, DeCamp’s artwork was intended to be part of a series of portraits of famous Americans. Initially, the print run had been set at 100, however, fewer than a dozen Lincoln lithographs from that series were ever taken from the stone. Other than the one in Blackwell’s auction (numbered 5/100), only one other is known to exist; it resides in the collection of the Boston Public Library. Two supporting letters from DeCamp to Prang – one accepting the commission and the other confirming that the job had been completed – are offered as a separate auction lot.
Among other highlights in the archive are an 1892 color lithograph of Lincoln from an 1864 photograph taken by M.P. Rice; a Jan. 3, 1865 (Civil War era) letter from New York Governor Preston King to Col. Nelson W. Green in which Lincoln is mentioned; and a rare 1891 cabinet card of Lincoln made from the original 1864 negative. Thomas Hicks items include a CDV photo by Matthew Brady, an 1850s news scrapbook, and an 1852 daguerreotype with a lock of Hicks’ hair.
The many facets of America’s rich and unique history continue with a 14K gold Waltham hunter pocket watch that President Theodore Roosevelt presented in 1905 to a British ship captain who had rescued an American ship’s crew. With the U.S. Presidential Seal engraved on the front cover and an inscription on the inside back cover, the handsome timepiece is expected to make $12,000-$15,000.
An extraordinary rarity is the pairing of two Los Angeles Police Department badges worn by Hollywood Police Division Lt. H.B. “Jack” Wallace, an early motorcycle patrolman who served from 1904-1925. The auction duo consists of Wallace’s LAPD badge #7 plus his 14K gold retirement badge, which is set with two very nice diamonds, a sapphire and a ruby. Estimate: $10,000-$15,000.
Sports highlights include a rare 1956 Topps sheet of 110 uncut baseball cards including those representing more than a dozen Hall of Famers, and a Jackie Robinson single-signed baseball with JSA Letter of Authenticity.
A 1917 Westminster Kennel Club sterling silver trophy, antique/vintage firearms, a 1776 Georgia Spanish Milled dollar, fine and decorative art, and exquisite estate jewelry will also be offered. All forms of bidding will be available including absentee or live via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers.com.