A "Winfield Scott for President" daguerreotype campaign badge carries a minimum bid of $12,500 at Heritage Auctions on September 26.
Scott ran in the 1852 election on behalf of the Whigs, but was beaten by Franklin Pierce - America's 14th president and one of its least memorable.
Heritage explains: "For dazzling display appeal, rarity, and importance in the evolution of political campaign items, this Scott piece must rank among the most desirable such items in the hobby.
"We are aware of only one example, reportedly in equally fine condition, which changed hands privately many years ago for a reported $20,000, and now resides in a top collection from which it is unlikely to emerge for many years, if ever.
"One of the earliest photographic campaign items, and most probably a true once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the serious collector."
An iconic 1872 Horace Greely quill ferrotype features a minimum bid of $11,250.
Emblazoned with the slogan "The Pen is Mightier than the Sword", the badge references Greely's long editorship of the New York Tribune.
He ultimately lost out to Ulysses S Grant. Heritage sold another example of the Greely quill for $20,734 in 2000.
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