search
Art and Antiques

A Watch from Abraham Lincoln’s personal collection goes on auction

Andrea Divirgilio / June 6, 2012

Morphy’s auctions this June will transport you back to an era where railroads were counted amongst the latest technological breakthroughs and Abraham Lincoln ruled over White House. From antique occupational shaving mugs to vintage Cheverolets or British biscuit tins- the lots represent all things synonymous with the word antique. The spotlight undoubtedly remains on three items, a Greek key lamp, a Guy Wiggins painting and a pocket watch from Abraham Lincoln’s personal collection. The watch has reportedly been gifted to Mary Todd by Lincoln before their marriage.

A Watch from Abraham Lincoln's personal collection goes on auction

While each and every piece in the Morphy auction forms an integral part of history, none can match up to the sheer grandeur of Abraham Lincoln’s watch. Bathed in 18 K solid gold, this exquisite pocket watch was gifted to Mary Todd by future husband Abraham Lincoln, somewhere between 1839 and 1842. The inscription on the watch’s body reading “To Miss Mary Todd – A Token of my Everlasting Devotion and Affection – Abe Lincoln”, adds to value of the piece. Frozen in time and immortalized by one man’s love for his lady, the watch is estimated to fetch $30,000-$60,000.

An inscribed private message by Abraham Lincoln on the watch's body

While Lincoln’s watch will come up in the second day, flagging off the event, there would be 136 illustrated and colorful occupational shaving mugs. The lot includes an extremely rare piece created especially for a U.S mailman. An item straight off the pages of history, it features an early railroad car bearing signs that read “Letters” and “U.S Mail”. The items are expected to fetch around $600-$900.

Guy Wiggins painting depicting a snowy New York street

On the second day, apart from watches, bidders will also be greeted to a great selection of oil paintings and prints. Of these, the Guy Wiggins painting, depicting a snow covered New York City, deserves to be mentioned at the outset. Named Broad street winter, it is expected to sell for something around $3,000-$5,000. The Tiffany studios Greek key lamp is another item to watch out for. Oozing with shades of gold and green, the lamp might sell for $20,000-$30,000.

The Tiffany studios Greek key patterned lamp

The Morphy’s auction will remained packed with a number of other historical pieces like the ones described above. A 1,136 lots event steeped in history, the Morphy’s Decorative Arts sale from 8-9 June will be open to live bidding on internet via LiveAuctioneers.com.

  • pinterest