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    Description

    Abraham Lincoln: An Important Section of Blood-Stained Towel from Peterson House, Used to Bind the President's Wound on the Night of the Assassination. A wide variety of artifacts from that tragic night have been preserved, but none are more prized by Lincolniana collectors than those bearing the slain President's blood. Here we have a substantial portion of the makeshift bandage used to staunch the bleeding from his head wound as he lay dying in the rear bedroom of the Peterson House, across the street from Ford's Theater.

    This specimen, measuring approximately 3.25" x 4.25" (folded over) has five distinct spots of blood as well as light browning. The distinctive weave of the cloth matches perfectly a specimen in the collection of the Lincoln Financial Foundation, now at the Indiana State Museum. That example, mounted with period attribution, is pictured for purposes of comparison along with our website presentation of this lot. The blood-stained sheets from the bed have long since been cut up into small pieces (indeed we offer one of those later in this auction, Lot 43213). But a large blood relic such as this section of bandage is a true rarity.

    The provenance is outstanding: The bandage was formerly in the substantial Lincoln collection of the late Dr. Robert Gerald McMurtry, a respected lifelong Lincoln scholar who published various works on both Honest Abe and Mary Todd Lincoln. McMurtry travelled abroad on behalf of the United States State Department lecturing on Lincoln and the Preservation of the Union. He was a member of the Civil War Round Table and authored The Insanity Files documenting Mary Todd Lincoln's descent into dementia.

    Portions of Dr. McMurtry's Lincolniana collection were placed with the Lincoln Life Insurance Company's Collection, presently at Indiana State Museum, and the Museum of Lincoln Memorial University in Harrowgate, Tennessee, where Dr. McMurtry taught history. The section of bandage offered here was secured in a half plate embossed leather daguerreotype case by Dr. McMurtry. It was sold along with other significant Lincoln artifacts from his collection in an October 26, 2002 Skinner Books and Manuscripts auction (lot 48, pictured).

    The bandage was featured in the 2011 National Geographic special "Lincoln's Secret Killers." a DVD of which is included with the lot. In the course of filming the stains on the bandage were lab-tested and confirmed to be human blood.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2016
    17th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,052

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