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    Abraham Lincoln: A Stunning, Unique Flag Banner from the 1864 Election. No category of political campaign memorabilia is more highly prized than the 1860 and 1864 flags supporting Lincoln's candidacy. Particularly sought-after are portrait varieties. Collins did not picture a single 1864 example in Threads of History, and our best estimate would be that perhaps 20-30 portrait flags are known. As with the name flags, examples from 1864 are far rarer than those of 1860. We have seen perhaps a half dozen over the years-all, interestingly, of different designs. While such judgements are subjective, we cannot help feeling that, with its distinctive format, great slogans, vibrant color, and outstanding condition, the flag offered here is the most desirable known 1864 example.
    This beautiful banner comes with great provenance as well. Uncovered in the mid-1970s, it was first purchased by Stanley King, who amassed a legendary collection of early political textiles. Another legendary hobbyist, Merrill Berman, purchased that collection in the 1980s and this flag was published for the first time on the cover of "Packaging the Presidents," the catalog for the 2008 exhibition of highlights from his collection at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield, Illinois. Berman's textiles were sold together in a private transaction several years ago, and that purchaser has now decided to offer this magnificent Lincoln flag through Heritage.
    Such a unique artifact is very difficult to value. Other varieties of Lincoln portrait flags have been traded, publicly and privately, mostly for prices ranging from $50,000 to nearly $200,000 over the past decade. Heritage has handled but two examples, both from 1860. One-which suffered from some not-insignificant condition issues-sold for $33,460 in May, 2010. The other, a large example, brought $83,650 in February 2007, establishing what is still believed to be the price record for a Lincoln portrait flag at auction.
    At 18.5 inches by 9 inches, this 1864 specimen has considerable display presence, and as for condition, it is an excellent example of the old adage that "a picture is worth a thousand words!" The flag has been tastefully custom-framed to a size of 27" x 16".
    It would be impossible to establish a rational basis for an auction estimate for such a unique offering, but we feel we have set a conservative minimum opening bid, and-as always-the bidders will establish its fair market value. A very special opportunity to possess one of the finest political display items ever offered by Heritage Auctions.

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2015
    18th Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 6,603

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    We had a wonderful time in New York during the October 2013 Historical Manuscripts auction that featured my mother’s papers collected during her tenure as Martin Luther King, Jr.’s secretary. In fact, the entire experience from beginning to end has been a pleasure.
    Howard Ballou,
    Brandon, MS
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