1860 presidential election ferrotype belt buckles make $58,750

A collection of eight ferrotype belt buckles showing the presidential and vice-presidential candidates for the 1860 US election has sold for $58,750 at Heritage Auctions.

The lot crossed the block in a February 28 sale of political memorabilia in Dallas.

1860 buckles Heritage
The buckles show each of the presidential and vice-presidential candidates

The race was the first to feature four presidential candidates, each of who was running on wildly different campaign promises. This led to an explosion in the memorabilia market, as people rushed to nail their colours to the mast.

Heritage explained prior to the sale: "What makes this set so special is the inclusion of the four Vice Presidential running mates: Hamlin, Johnson, Everett and Lane. No other examples are known for any of these four vice presidential candidates!

"It seems probable that this was a specimen set, and that the vice presidential versions were never ordered or produced 'on spec' in quantity."

The election propelled Lincoln into power, beginning one of the most fascinating periods in American history. 

A very rare 1924 Davis & Bryan jugate variety proved another highlight, with a final bid of $37,500.

The lot was again issued in small numbers and was likely a manufacturer's sample. The incumbent Coolidge & Dawes beat Davis & Bryan by a significant majority.

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