Abraham Lincoln autographed portrait realises $75,625 at auction

An extremely rare carte-de-visite portrait of Abraham Lincoln, autographed by the president, was the top lot at a US civil war auction on March 22.

The portrait, which shows Lincoln sitting at a table holding his glasses in one hand and a paper in the other, achieved $75,625.

Featured a bold autograph from the 16th president of the United States, the 1863 photograph was taken at Alexander Gardner's New Washington, D.C. studio. Lincoln later referred to the photographic session as "very successful".


Another highlight of the sale was a pair of Lincoln's spectacles with excellent provenance, which brought $61,174. The glasses are believed to be the ones Lincoln is holding in an early 1865 photograph taken by Gardner.

A letter from first lady Mary Todd Lincoln to a Mr Reeves, in response to hearing of the death of Reeves' wife, realised $38,767.

Within the heartbreaking letter, Mary expresses her sorrow at the news of Mrs Reeves' passing and discusses her grief at the loss of her own son, Willie, just three months earlier.

"Our Beloved Willie dearly loved your wife and I know she equally as much attached to him - And I fully know and believe they are this day together rejoicing in the presence of their Saviour," she writes.

Alexander Gardner's portrait of Abraham Lincoln
A signed portrait of Abraham Lincoln made $75,625

Other notable lots at the auction included a personal handwritten letter from Lincoln's assassin John Wilkes Booth, which achieved $37,023, and a Lincoln-autographed document relating to the drafting of Ohioans in 1863 to replenish the Union army, which sold for $11,959.

Those interested in Abraham Lincoln memorabilia may wish to take a look at these fragments of wallpaper from the bedroom of the only home Abraham Lincoln ever owned, which are currently for sale at Paul Fraser Collectibles.

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