$100,000 quartet of Lincoln covers stars at Robert A Siegel's 1,000th stamps auction

Tomorrow, Robert A Siegel Auctions will be holding its 1,000th major auction of stamps, which sets it far apart from philatelic auction houses around the world: few have come close to that number.

It is not realistic to attempt to adequately cover the remarkable range of material which is on offer. It is worth noting that highlights from the Peter G. DuPuy Collection of High-Value 1857-60 Issues, The "Southern" Collection of Gem-Quality United States Stamps and a 1c Pan-American Invert Block acquired by the consignor in their 500th sale will all feature.

However, the lot which we've chosen to focus on is a famous 'Quartet' of Lincoln Covers, perhaps the finest in existence, with the four covers representing different aspects of the martyred president's role in American history.

First, there is the 1860 campaign, represented by a cover with the famous "split rail fence" design and portrait of a beardless Lincoln, used from Chicago and stamped with 3c postage and the extremely rare Floyd's Penny Post 1c Brown (68L2).

Second, there is the familiar portrait of a bearded Lincoln as president, represented by the only known engraved printing on an envelope, of which this one example is recorded.

Classic Abraham Lincoln Cover
Classic Abraham Lincoln Cover

Third, from the other side of the war we have the famous Confederate "Hanging Lincoln" cartoon, showing the president hanging upside down from a tree limb, with his symbolic axe and fence rail tied around his neck, of which twelve examples are recorded.

Fourth, there is the envelope distributed in the days immediately following Lincoln's assassination, which shows a portrait of John Wilkes Booth with a caption that begins "Hunt the villain down" — the only envelope design depicting the assassin Booth, of which just two examples are recorded.

The set stands on its own as the most outstanding group of its kind ever assembled. It could provide the keystone to an expanded collection of Lincoln-related covers, which will undoubtedly have special relevance as America commemorates the 150th anniversary of its Civil War in 2011.

The set is expected to sell for $75,000-100,000 in Siegel's sale which takes place in New York.


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