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    [Abraham Lincoln] A Thimble Said to Have Belonged to Nancy Hanks Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln's Mother. A somewhat crudely, and presumably hand-forged, brass thimble, .6" high, which according to an accompanying affidavit was given by President Lincoln to John W. Hutchinson, one of the famed New England singing family known for their concerts on behalf of abolition, temperance, and other reform causes. The notarized affidavit, 1 page, 5.5" x 9", Lake Geneva, Wis., 8 November 1911, is an Autograph Document Signed by Anna Belle Fellows Rich, who transfers to John E. Burton (an early competitor of the "Big Five" Lincoln collectors -- Lambert, Fish, Oakleaf, Stewart and McClellan) the thimble "which my mother gave to me, which was given to her by John Hutchinson my mother's cousin (of musical fame) who received it from Abraham Lincoln who presented it to him as a token of regard, it being he said his own mother's Nancy Hanks."

    In A History of the Adventures of John W. Hutchinson and His Family (Boston: 1864) written by himself, Hutchinson stated that they attended a White House levee where both the President and Mrs. Lincoln received them cordially. Mr. Lincoln supposedly first saw and met the Hutchinsons back in Springfield, Illinois, and they musically campaigned for him in 1860. This precious memento of Lincoln's legendary "angel mother" -- the illiterate pioneer woman who died of milksick when he was only nine years old, but whose kind hand and teachings set the fundamental course of his life -- is one of the most intriguing and by all appearances the earliest Lincoln family relic in the Lattimer collection.

    It is accompanied by a file of background material, including: a limited-edition pamphlet (100 copies) by Lincoln authority R. Gerald McMurtry, Lincoln and the Hutchinson Family Singers, mentioning and picturing this thimble (reprinted from the "Lincoln Herald" for December 1944, a copy of which is also present); eight Typed Letters Signed ("Gerald") from McMurtry, on Lincoln Memorial University letterhead, to dealer Forest H. Sweet, discussing the thimble, the Hutchinsons, and Lincoln matters (several with interesting dockets by Sweet); an 8vo sheet of Hutchinson Family business letterhead bearing a jocular Autograph Note Signed by John W. Hutchinson sending his autograph (n.d.; ca 1875), also signed by H.J. Hutchinson; a signature of John W. Hutchinson on small card, 1900, mounted to an album leaf with his clipped newspaper obituary; and an original piece of sheet music printed in Boston in 1843, "The Old Granite State...Composed, Arranged and Sung by the Hutchinson Family", 10 pages, large 4to, with quaint, naive lithograph portrait of the family on the front cover.

    Anna B.F. Rich; John E. Burton; George D. Smith, New York; Henry M. Leland, Detroit, collection sold by Chicago Book and Art Auctions, Inc., Chicago, Ill., 2 June 1932, lot 71; Forest H. Sweet; sold by order of Sweet's widow by Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, 24 September 1952, lot 145.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2008
    20th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,132

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