Lock of Lincoln’s hair raises $81,250 at RR Auction

Lock of Lincoln’s hair

The lock of President Lincoln’s hair was presented in a frame along with documentation. RR Auction image

BOSTON – RR Auction sold a thick lock of Abraham Lincoln’s hair and a historically significant telegram for $81,250 on Sept. 12. View the fully illustrated catalog on LiveAuctioneers.

The 2-inch-long lock of hair was removed during the assassinated president’s postmortem examination and presented to Dr. Lyman Beecher Todd, a cousin of Mary Todd Lincoln.

The hair is mounted to an official War Department manuscript telegram sent to Dr. Todd by George H. Kinnear, his assistant in the Post Office at Lexington, Kentucky, received in Washington at 11 p.m. on April 14, 1865.

Dr. Lyman Beecher Todd’s own account of the autopsy, now preserved in an 1895 manuscript held in the Ida Tarbell collection of Lincoln papers at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pa., differs slightly from his son’s, noting that he clipped the lock himself: “When all was over, General Hardin entered, and handed me a pair of scissors, requesting me to cut a few locks of hair for Mrs. Lincoln. I carefully cut and delivered them to General Hardin, and then secured one for myself which I have preserved as a sacred relic.”

“When you are dealing with samples of Lincoln’s hair, provenance is everything—and in this case, we know that this came from a family member who was at the President’s bedside,” said Bobby Livingston, executive vice president at RR Auction.

Lock of Lincoln’s hair

Vintage 8-x-10 photo of Einstein taken by a press photographer at Cal Tech’s Mount Wilson Observatory in Pasadena in 1931, signed in fountain pen, ‘A. Einstein, 1933.’ Sold for $75,000. RR Image

“Our annual Remarkable Rarities live sale typically generates a great deal of excitement. This year was no exception and we are thrilled at the results.” said Livingston.

Highlights from the sale include:

– Albert Einstein vintage signed photograph, considered one of the most famous images of the 20th century sold for $75,000.

– Athens 1896 Olympic bronze winner’s medal sold for $65,625.

Lock of Lincoln’s hair

Medal awarded to Georgios Tsitas of Greece, who finished second in the Greco-Roman wrestling event at the 1896 Summer Olympics, the first modern Olympic games. Sold for $65,625. RR Auctiojn image

– Edgar Allan Poe signed letter from 1864 sold for $62,500.

– Paul Cézanne signed letter with original sketches, written just three days before his death, sold for $59,375.

– Martin Luther King Jr. signed photograph presented to Philadelphia’s first black deputy police commissioner sold for $11,250.

Lock of Lincoln’s hair

Martin Luther King Jr. signed photograph. Sold for $11,250. RR Auction image

– “I Am A Man” poster made famous during the Memphis sanitation strike of 1968 sold for $12,500.

– Albert Einstein handwritten mathematical manuscript and typed letter to a fan sold for $38,125.


View top auction results on LiveAuctioneers here: https://www.liveauctioneers.com/pages/recent-auction-sales/