Regarded as one of the finest Presidents of United States history, Abraham Lincoln is best remembered for his leadership and inspirational speeches that managed to preserve the Union throughout the American Civil War. He is widely recognized as a visionary leader whose legacy is still felt today. Even after 147 years of his assassination, the relics associated with him still possesses both the highest historical and monetary value. Later this month, the President Lincoln’s opera glasses, which he used during the evening of his assassination at Ford’s Theater on 14 April 1865, will be auctioned, and is expected to fetch a price of $500,000 to $700,000.
Nate D. Sander, a Los Angeles based auctioneer will sell the German-manufactured black and gold opera glasses that were used by the legendary President for viewing a performance of ‘Our American Cousin’ at Ford’s theater in Washington D.C. While the President Lincoln was watching the second act of the play, a stage actor named John Wilkes Booth jumped into the President’s viewing box and shot him straight in the head with a pistol at a close range.
A Washington D.C. city guard found the opera glasses in the street, while he helped transport President Lincoln to nearby Peterson House, where the President later died. The glasses were confirmed to fit precisely into the carrying case which was held at the Ford’s theater National Historic site, and were later purchased in 1979 by Malcolm Forbes Sr., the Forbes magazine publisher.
As said by auctioneer Nate D. Sander, "Lincoln used literature and the theater as a means of escape from the daunting demands of the presidency. The glasses are the best and most well-documented relic existing from the first Presidential assassination,"
Bids for the opera glasses can be placed online or by phone at the auction to be held on 30 April.