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2024 Winter Fine Art, Antiques & Jewelry (Day 1)

Sat, Jan 27, 2024 09:00AM EST
Lot 556

Mary Todd Lincoln Dress Fragment and Hair Sample in Shadowbox

Estimate: $800 - $1,000

Bid Increments

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$0 $10
$100 $25
$500 $50
$1,000 $100
$3,000 $200
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$20,000 $2,000
$50,000 $5,000
$100,000 $10,000

Shadowboxed collection containing a dress fragment and hair samples related to President Abraham Lincoln's wife, First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln, and convicted Lincoln assassin conspirator Mary Surratt (the first woman executed by the United States government). Includes hair snippet from Mary Todd Lincoln along with a black embroidered silk fragment from the dress Mrs. Lincoln was wearing the night of her husband's assassination; a hair snipped purportedly from Mary Surratt; and photographic reprints of each woman and of the Boarding House where the 16th president's murder was plotted. Certificates of authenticity accompany Mrs. Lincoln's dress fragment (University Archives) and Mrs. Lincoln's hair (Louis Mushro). (No documentation on the Surratt hair fragment). Dress fragment 2 3/4" L (visible; partly folded over) x 13/16" W. Each hair - about 1/8" L. Frame - 18 1/4" H x 21 1/2" W. Note: documentation from University Archives accompanying the dress fragment states that "The First Lady's dress, along with other items of her fashionable wardrobe, were designed, sewn, or altered by her seamstress Elizabeth Keckley. In Keckley's 1868 biography 'Behind the Scenes or Thirty Years a Slave,' and 'Four Years in the White House', she recounts how Mary Lincoln gave away many items including her assassination dress that reminded her of her husband following his death, "In packing, Mrs. Lincoln gave away everything intimately connected with the President, as she said she could not bear to be reminded of the past. The articles were given to those who were regarded as the warmest of Lincoln's admirers. All of the presents passed through my hands" (Chapter XII). The dress that Mrs. Lincoln wore on the night of the assassination was given to Mrs. Slade, the wife of William Slade, Lincoln's black valet. We don't know what Mrs. Slade did with the dress, but remnants were purportedly incorporated into a quilt later given to Upper Arlington, Ohio matron Alameda Miller..." and acquired at a Miller family estate auction in Upper Arlington, Ohio. The documentation includes a copy of the note found with the dress remnants and a photo of a fragment of the dress in the collection of the Chicago History Museum. The Mary Todd Lincoln hair sample is accompanied by a copy of the receipt from Louis Mushro and a copy of an auction catalog listing of Lot 260 from the Sotheby Parke Bernet auction of Important Lincolniana from the Roy P. Crocker Historical Document Collection of the Lincoln Savings and Loan Assn., Nov. 28, 1979.


Dress fragment - very fine condition, fraying at ends. Paper items - light toning. Surratt photo coming loose from its mounting. Wear to frame.

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If paying with wire transfer, please use the following information:
Bank: Pinnacle Bank
150 Third Avenue South, Suite 900
Nashville, TN 37201
Phone # (865) 766-3000
Swift Code: PNFPUS44
Routing, Transit, ABA: 064008637
Beneficiary: Case Antiques, Inc.
4310 Papermill Drive
Knoxville, TN 37909
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Elizabeth Ozment for the estate of Elliott Ozment, Nashville, Tennessee. Ozment was a leading Civil Rights and Immigration attorney in Nashville and former State Legislator.