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    Description

    Mary Todd Lincoln's Black Lace Veil, worn on the night of the assassination, together with an authenticating note signed by Elizabeth Keckly, her noted black dressmaker, friend and confidante. Upon leaving Washington in May 1865 Mary Lincoln distributed personal mementoes of herself and her husband to a number of friends and favored staff; she gave the earrings, bonnet and cloak that she had worn to Ford's Theatre to Mrs. Keckly, a former slave whose book Behind the Scenes (1868) furnishes an invaluable glimpse into the Lincoln White House. Mrs. Keckly kept her various Lincoln relics until 1890, when she sold them to Charles F. Gunther. Present here is the bonnet veil, measuring about 18" x 26", woven in an intricate blossom and floral motif with a perimeter of undulating interwoven lines; it is slightly frayed in a few spots along the border, resulting in some small losses and loosened thread, but is otherwise remarkably well preserved considering its delicate nature and age. The veil is accompanied by an extraordinarily rare autograph of Elizabeth Keckly, signed to a small authenticating note (the text in an unidentified hand; no place or date) which reads "This veil was worn the night of A. Lincoln assassination by Mrs. Lincoln". A superior Lincoln relic, with an impeccable and distinguished history of ownership.

    Provenance
    : Mary Lincoln; Keckly, via W.H. Lowdermilk of Washington, D.C., to Gunther; Barrett, lot 666; Townsend; Turner, lot 86.




    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2008
    20th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 9
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 3,546

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