Unique Lincoln Banner Sells for $106,250 at Heritage Auctions

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DALLAS—A rare and unusual political banner, created in 1864 to kick off Abraham Lincoln’s presidential re-election campaign, steamrolled its $40,000 opening bid to sell for $106,250 in Heritage Auctions’ Americana & Political auction May 18 in Dallas. The auction was carried to $1.1+ million on the shoulders of an important group of trade store figures, including four “cigar store Indians,” and a collection of items relating to President John F. Kennedy and his family including personally-owned objects and rare political campaign artifacts.

“This was by far one of our most diverse auctions in recent memory,” said Tom Slater, Director of Americana Auctions at Heritage. “The Lincoln banner is truly one of a kind and now holds the price record for a Lincoln portrait flag at auction.”

The previous auction record stood for eight years:  an 1860 Lincoln portrait flag sold for $83,650 in a February 2007 Heritage auction. “Portrait flag banners from 1864 are far rarer than those with just names and slogans,” Slater noted, “with perhaps only a half dozen 1864 examples known to exist.” The unique 18-1/5-inch by 9-inch flag offered by Heritage featured the bold slogan “Lincoln and Johnson Liberty and Union” beside a portrait of a bearded Lincoln.

A diverse group of tobacconist trade figures sold for a combined $161,250, led by an Indian Chief in the style of Julius Melchers which sold for $45,000. Standing 75 inches tall, the figure has been identified by many experts as being Chief Red Jacket, the legendary Seneca orator who negotiated with the United States after the Revolutionary War and signed the Treaty of Canandaigua.  An impressive Smoking Indian holding a Tomahawk sold for $42,500 and an Indian Maiden that appeared in a 1966 exhibit at the University of Pennsylvania's Museum of Cigar Store Indians hammered for $25,000.

An important painting of first U.S. President George Washington, bidding farewell to his family to assume command of the Army during a tense 1798 stand-off with France, sold for $47,500. This important painting was completed by Jeremiah Paul, an itinerate portrait and sign painter who received training from Charles Wilson Peale, Rembrandt Peale and Gilbert Stuart. The work was sent to England for engraver Edward Bell to copy, after which time it disappeared until resurfacing recently.  In 1959 the engraving was featured in a "Life" magazine story, commenting on the "lost" status of the original painting on which it was based.

Additional highlights include, but are not limited to:

bronze bust of Abraham Lincoln by Max Bachmann, copyright 1905: Realized: $25,000.

portrait of Jacqueline, Caroline and John Kennedy, Jr., by Aaron Shikler: Realized: $23,750.

President John F. Kennedy's Personal back brace: Realized: $20,000.

Remarkable Quilt Composed of Eight Silk 1884 Jugate Campaign Flags, featuring the 1884 Republican presidential candidate James G. Blaine and his vice presidential running-mate John A. Logan: Realized: $18,750.

Heritage Auctions is the largest auction house founded in the United States and the world’s third largest, with annual sales of more than $900 million, and 900,000+ online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and receive access to a complete record of prices realized, with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit HA.com.

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