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    Description

    John Wilkes Booth: Relic of His Wooden Crutch. Thin 1.25" wooden cross-section which we believe was a souvenir relic handed out after the death of the assassin, prior to his body being transported to Washington, D.C. It is part of a small collection of items that belonged to Alexander Gardner, passing to one of his offspring. The envelope it is housed in is inscribed: "A piece of the crutch made from a broom handle for J. Wilkes Booth. Sawed up and given to the persons who were present at the Post-Mortem of Booth's body on board the Monitor 'Montauk'. My father Alexander Gardner and my brother Lawrence Gardner were both on board the Monitor and saw Booth's body taken away in a small boat."

    Accompanied by two scrapbook pages. One page has a woodcut from Harper's Weekly showing Booth's autopsy. An arrow pointing to the man on the extreme right says "My father". A second sheet is also revealing. It reads: "This is a copy of a pen & ink sketch made by my father Alexander Gardner and sent to Harper's Weekly. The Govt. would not allow a photograph of this to get out, so the pen and ink sketch was made." Talk about an opportunity lost!

    This is the first example of a Booth crutch relic we have seen. We believe a 3" elongated sliver also exists with a silver plaque that reads: "Booth Crutch April 26, 1865"; however, we are unaware of its history or provenance. The provenance on this relic is strong.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2018
    25th-26th Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,371

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