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    Description

    Abraham Lincoln's Circular Wooden Inkstand. A substantial relic, made from a single block of wood tapered in the middle and flaring out at top and bottom to about 5.5" in diameter. Two glass inkwells, of about 1" and 1.75" diameter, are inserted in the top, which also has five small round holes drilled into it to hold pens. The lacquered body of the inkstand bears the remnants of its original gilt ornamentation, the most discernible bit of which is a spread eagle. The unvarnished bottom of the well bears a faint autograph inscription signed by William H. Crook (one of Lincoln's White House guards), which is heavily rubbed, but "used . . . Abraham Lincoln . . . President. Wm. H. Crook" can be read. The lacquer is considerably worn and chipped and there is a large crack, otherwise very good. This inkwell is shown in a line drawing in Charles Carleton Coffin, Life of Lincoln (New York: Harper & Bros., 1897), page 164, where Lincoln is said to have owned it as early as 1858. Supposedly this exact style of inkwell was used in the Illinois state house, where Lincoln had innumerable contacts and where he himself had been a legislator, so he may in fact have owned this for many years before taking it to Washington. The stand is shown in an illustration on page 8 of the printed Catalog of the Library of William Whiting (Holyoke, Mass., 1900), where it is referred to as "a great wooden ink stand . . . used constantly by President Lincoln during his residence at the White House."

    Provenance
    : Charles Hamilton galleries, New York, auction ca 1977.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2008
    20th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 4,553

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