April 2013 | Rebecca Rego Barry

Unique Lincoln Drawing and Rare Autographs at NY's PADA Show

A unique, casket-side drawing of Abraham Lincoln is bound to be the highlight of the Professional Autograph Dealers Association (PADA) show this Sunday in New York City. This last true image of the assassinated president, drawn in ink and opaque white gouache on heavy paper, was executed by a Frenchman named Pierre Morand on April 25, 1865. Morand had drawn Lincoln in life on numerous occasions. It has been suggested that Morand bribed a guard to get a few minutes of sketch time after Secretary of War Edwin Stanton disallowed visitors to Lincoln's deathbed. Morand drew a quick outline in pencil and then went back to his studio to produce a more elaborate ink version, followed by this one, which he labeled "Final Drawing." It is published for the first time in today's New York Times

MorandEntireWSigs.jpg"It is the only [face-up] picture you will ever see of Lincoln laying in his casket," said Bill Ecker of Harmonie Autographs & Music in New York City. Ecker is chairman of PADA's New York Show committee. The drawing is being sold by the Abraham Lincoln Book Shop of Chicago for $375,000.

TchaikovskySP.jpgIn a show like this, there are many items which by their very nature are unique and interesting. Ecker recalled a few: a Walt Whitman signed photograph, a Beatles-signed album, and an "elusive" letter by Frank Lloyd Wright. Schubertiade Music and Arts of Boston is bringing this rare, original 4 x 6.25 cabinet bust portrait by Muller and Pilgrim of Leipzig, signed and inscribed in the lower portion of the image in German by Peter Il'yich Tchaikovsky to friend and virtuoso organist Carl Armbrust in 1888. 

Peary original.jpgThis menu from a 1907 dinner held in honor of Robert Peary is elaborately illustrated and signed by the great explorer. The fun thing about this item, offered by Lion Heart Autographs of New York, is that the dinner was held at Manhattan's Lotos Club, one of the oldest private literary clubs in the United States (Mark Twain was a lifelong member). The Lotos Club also happens to be the venue for this year's PADA show, closer to the New York Antiquarian Book Fair traffic. 

This year's PADA show boasts 21 dealers, the largest in New York in over ten years, said Ecker. It opens on Sunday at 9 a.m. Admission is $10, and "business casual" dress is required.