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    Description

    Abraham Lincoln Clipped Signature, "A. Lincoln". 1.75" x .75", removed from a check, matted with a Brady carte de visite photograph of Lincoln together with an 1849 one dollar bill issued by the State Bank of Illinois bearing the signature of the cashier "A Lincoln" (a namesake). This group is offered together with three letters from Lincoln's son, Robert Todd Lincoln (2 A.Ls.S. and 1 L.S.). While we often encounter authenticated examples of Lincoln's signature by such legendary dealers as Charles Hamilton, Walter Benjamin, King Hostick and others, it is not often that we find an example authenticated by Lincoln's only son to survive into adulthood. In 1880, the noted collector Henry C. Hines happened upon a State Bank of Illinois bill bearing the signature "A. Lincoln". After some research, Hines contacted Robert T. Lincoln, asking him to comment on the signature. Lincoln responded that the signature was questionable and sent Hines the clipped bank check signature of Abraham Lincoln for comparison. On September 1, 1880 Lincoln responded to Hines that he did not "...remember that I ever heard that my father was at any time an officer of the old 'State Bank of Illinois..." and requested that Hines forward the bank note bearing the signature. Hines readily complied, and on the 10th of September, Lincoln commented, "...The signature in question very much resembles my father's writing; the letter 'L' seems to be characteristic. I send you a signature for comparison..." Clearly, Lincoln was no handwriting expert, but he used other means to disprove the authenticity. Writing on October 4, 1880, "I have received a letter from an old friend of my father, Major Stuart of Springfield...[who] writes to me that my father never was cashier of the State bank...the signature beyond all question is fictitious..." The signature was not an intentional forgery, but rather a case of a contemporary namesake, a common problem with such common names such as Abraham Lincoln and John Adams. Also affixed with the portrait, bill and signature is part of an 1897 newspaper clipping regarding the search for verification between Hines and Robert T. Lincoln. Provenance, Walter Benjamin, 1948. These items are offered with the June, 1948 issue of The Collector which includes Mary Benjamin's article on the Lincoln signature and related correspondence. Lincoln's signature is bold and appears to be in fine condition. The Brady cartes-de-visite does have a noticeable crease. None of the items have been examined out of the over-mat. The Robert Todd Lincoln letters are all quite clean and bright and in near fine condition. A great group and about as fine a letter of provenance ever found! Ex. Henry E. Luhrs Collection.

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    Auction Dates
    October, 2007
    25th-26th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 592

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