A signed letter from Abraham Lincoln is currently selling for $5,250 in an online sale, with seven days still remaining to place bids.
The price achieved so far is low compared to those realised in recent auctions, though the letter could rise to a significant sum by the time bidding closes on July 28. While its value is diminished due to the letter being written by his secretary John Hay and simply signed by Lincoln, it is also desirable to collectors as a previously unrecorded example.
The brief note is Lincoln's response to a poem sent to him by author and journalist Thomas Gregg in 1864. The inspiring poem was written at the height of the American civil war and provided some comforting words to Lincoln in one of the darkest stretches of his presidency - for which he thanked Gregg warmly.
Handwritten letters from the president, especially those important to his career or personal life, can sell for huge amounts at auction. A similar thank you note from Lincoln, to the man who gave two white rabbits to his son following a bout of illness, sold for $57,000 in 2011. Another brief handwritten letter is expected to bring $25,000+ when it sells in California in October.
It is not just handwritten letters that command excellent prices like those above. The most notable Lincoln sale of recent times occurred on June 26, when a signed copy of his Emancipation Proclamation sold for $2.1m to New York investor David Rubenstein. This sale has boosted the market for Lincoln memorabilia considerably, making now a great time to invest in his legacy.
Unique items from the president are also highly sought after by collectors and often see sharp increases when they appear at auction. The opera glasses he used on the night of his assassination sold for $22,000 in 1979, leaping to $424,000 in 2002.
Paul Fraser Collectibles is currently offering this fantastic collectible, which originates from Abraham Lincoln's only owned home and comes from the famous Dorothy Kunhardt collection.