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    Abraham Lincoln's "Petite Point" Suspenders. Intricately decorated with diamond-shaped arrangements of tiny brass balls and petite point flowers, housed in a small velvet and leather case which is clearly of the period, and probably original. Purportedly from Lincoln's law partner William H. Herndon by former financier J.P. Morgan in 1889.
    A variety of persuasive items to support the provenance are included:
    (1) A clearly period note which states "Bought of Wm. H. Herndon 1-16/89."
    (2) An account of the provenance which, while undated, appears to date from around 1930-1940. It states that the suspenders were bought from Herndon by Morgan in 1889, and presented to his corporate lawyer Fred W. Stevens in 1910. Stevens then gave them to "his favorite cousin" Elizabeth Roy in 1912. They were then bequeathed to her daughter, Edna Roy Tenney.
    (3) A lengthy hand-written letter dated 1962 from a clearly elderly Edna Tenney to Fred Walker of Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Including original Transmittal envelope), offering to sell a number of antiques and keepsakes to Walker among them: The suspenders (Which she describes as "a pair of Abraham Lincoln's suspenders in petite point which I should send to Pres. Kennedy.")
    (4) A notation in Dr. Lattimer's hand stating that they were sold to Walker in 1962, and purchased by him from Walker on March 15, 1966.
    (5) A page from a retained draft of a letter (ever sent?) in Edna Tenney's hand, declaring that she is "in the 80's and has no one to leave the suspenders to," and offering them as "my contribution to Lincoln's room."
    (6) Several paper items demonstrating the family connection to Fred W. Stevens, including an 1886- dated poem in his hand, an early twentieth century newspaper article confirming his connection to J.P Morgan, and several other pieces.
    Lincoln was often caricatured in long underwear and suspenders, and this charming pair evokes the days before he moved to Washington and began to dress more formally as the Chief Executive. Their fancy style might suggest that they were worn in the courtroom rather than while chopping wood, a surmise supported by the fact that they were kept by Henderson.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2008
    20th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 42
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,640

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