1860 Douglas campaign ribbon to top political memorabilia sale

An 1860 Douglas & Johnson campaign ribbon will be among the top lots of a sale of political memorabilia at Heritage Auctions in Dallas on February 27.

Stephen "Little Giant" Douglas was one of Lincoln's most memorable opponents in the 1860 election.

Douglas Brady campaign
Stephen Douglas was the Democratic candidate for the 1860 election

He was a formidable operator, having already bested Lincoln in the 1858 Great Debates to claim his seat in the senate. The debates raised Lincoln's profile, however, and ultimately led to his nomination for the presidency.

The jugate ribbon is one of a set of four showing portraits of each presidential and vice-presidential candidate, taken by Matthew Brady.

The term "jugate" refers to the practice of placing the portraits side by side.

Examples of the other three ribbons are also featured as separate lots in the sale.

Heritage comments: "Of the four 1860 Brady jugate ribbons, the Douglas & Johnson has always been of profound rarity.

"The present example, along with the accompanying three ribbons, came out of the amazing collection of a hitherto unknown California hobbyist in the mid-1970s.

"Until recent years it was considered the only known example. Two others have surfaced, both of which were discreetly sold privately to major collectors for prices reportedly approaching $20,000. This is the first appearance at auction.

"All four of the ribbons in the set offered here are in beautiful condition, but this one is the best- absolutely mint condition."

Bidding on the lot will start at $12,500.

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