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    Description

    [Abraham Lincoln] Syringe Set Owned by Dr. Robert K. Stone, Personal Physician to Abraham Lincoln, and Used at His Deathbed. Silver irrigating syringe and assorted needles, housed in the fitted interior of a black leather case measuring 4.75 x 2.75 inches, stamped in gilt on the cover "Robt. King Stone M.D."

    Stone (1822-1872), born in the District of Columbia, was educated at Princeton and the University of Pennsylvania and taught at the National Medical College in Washington during the 1850s. A specialist in ophthalmic and aural medicine, he became the personal physician of the Lincoln family following their arrival in Washington in 1861 and so served them throughout the war. On the night the President was shot, Dr. Stone came to his bedside as quickly as possible but, observing medical etiquette, declined taking charge in favor of the first physician on the scene, Dr. Charles A. Leale. Realizing that Lincoln's case was hopeless, Dr. Stone nevertheless remained with him through the night and until his death in the early morning of 15 April 1865.

    The case was originally accompanied by a handwritten note of Dr. King (now present only in photocopy) reading "For Thomas, this case was used for my last visit to Pres. Lincoln. Please save it. Your father Robert King Stone". Together with an 8vo handwritten note signed by Faith Waggaman, New York, 1970, stating that the case "belonged to my great uncle, Dr. Robert King Stone...", and a notarized, signed statement by Stanley Jacks, New York, 1972, attesting that he was given the case by Mrs. Waggaman. Accompanied by a substantial number of letters, photos, clippings, and photocopied materials concerning Dr. Stone and the syringe set, as well as an engraved steel printing plate portrait of Dr. Stone (the surface long ago properly coated with paraffin, for preservation, but likely still usable), and a print pulled from it (badly toned and in poor condition). There are also about a dozen family letters, ca. 1830's-80s, nearly all in poor condition, some damaged and/or partly illegible, most broken in folds, some in pieces.

    Provenance:
    Leslie Hindman auction of the King V. Hostick collection, Chicago, Ill., 20 April 1985, lot 134.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2008
    20th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 16
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,211

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