Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln: Locks of Hair and Mourning Band with Provenance. This well-documented, substantial lock of President Abraham Lincoln's hair contains over 300 strands of brown hair with perceptible streaks of grey. The hair is affixed with black thread to a 2.75" x 2" piece of cardstock bearing the printed name of "Mrs. J.P. Usher" on the verso. The card is then further housed in a small envelope measuring 3" x 2.5" with a period handwritten notation identifying the source of the contents as "President Lincoln." The lock of First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln is held in similar to fashion to her husband's, though the quantity is much less, and the envelope reads "Mrs Lincoln."

    Both small envelopes were then retained in a third envelope, measuring 4" x 2.5", bearing an ink inscription reading "President & Lady Lincoln's Hair." A faint pencil notation below incorrectly identifies the inscription as being that of Lincoln himself.

    Accompanying the hair is a 45.5" x 7" piece of black cloth, made of fine black gauze, used as a mourning band by Interior Secretary Usher at the funeral of President Lincoln. The band is housed in an envelope reading: "Mourning worn by Judge Usher at President Lincoln's funeral."

    Both locks of hair and the mourning band have been in the possession of the family of John P. Usher for 150 years. Included in this lot is a letter of provenance from a granddaughter of Usher, dated November 6, 1980, from Cleburne, Texas, reading in full: "The mourning cloth was worn by my grandfather, John P. Usher, at Abraham Lincoln's funeral. The cloth, as well as the locks of Mr. & Mrs. Abraham Lincoln's hair, have been in our family since 1865."

    Condition: All are in near fine condition.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2015
    4th-5th Wednesday-Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 9
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,661

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $100,000 (minimum $14), plus 20% of any amount between $100,000 and $1,000,000, plus 12% of any amount over $1,000,000 per lot.

    Sold on Nov 5, 2015 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2021 November 12 - 13 Space Exploration Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    You reach a customer base that is in many ways completely unknown to the major auction houses, and your marketing to this base is as professional as one could hope for. As I continue to wind down my holdings.
    Michael Z.,
    Hawthorne, NY
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search