November 2012 | Rebecca Rego Barry

The Lincoln Effect

Abraham Lincoln never seems to go out of fashion as a collectible. And now, with the big Lincoln film enthralling audiences everywhere, I wondered about its effect on Lincoln-related rare books, documents, and autographs.

M. Sylvia Castle at the Abraham Lincoln Book Shop in Chicago, told me interest has picked up. "We have seen an uptick in Lincoln biographies and signatures sales especially. The photographs we produce are selling very well, and we have new visitors to the shop almost daily."  

Seth Kaller of Seth Kaller, Inc., who deals in historic documents from White Plains, New York, said that while he hasn't seen an additional activity yet, he expects increased public attention. "To be prepared, we've put together a special online-only catalog, Collecting Lincoln and the Gettysburg Address," which launched on Monday. Items in the catalogue include books, letters, broadsides, and newspapers, and range in price from $250 to $250,000.

Lincoln-Kaller.jpgAn engraving by Alexander Hay Ritchie commemorates the moment Lincoln first presented the Emancipation Proclamation to his cabinet. From Seth Kaller's Lincoln catalogue, $4,500

Read more about Lincoln's story in documents and rare newspapers on Seth Kaller's blog.

Lincoln lovers may also be interested to know that a Swann Galleries sale of autographs on Nov. 29 includes two pieces related to the sixteenth president: an autograph endorsement signed A. Lincoln on the back page of an 1861 letter to Attorney General Edward Bates (est. $4,000-6,000) and another autograph endorsement signed A. Lincoln, from 1863 (est. $4,000-6,000). The sale includes quite a bit of presidential material.