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Lincoln’s Eyeglasses In Auction

JUNE 17, 2013

Clear-eyed as Abraham Lincoln might have been, he still needed spectacles. The ones he carried in a 1865 portrait taken in Washington, D.C. by Alexander Gardner are currently up for sale in an online auction at Nate Sanders. Provenance comes in the form of a 1977 letter by his great grandson, Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith,, who found them in  a trunk in the attic of his grandfather, Lincoln’s son Robert Todd Lincoln. Bidding currently stands at $52,855 in the auction ending June 27, but it’s expected to go much higher.The spectacles are one of two pair that Beckwith discovered. As he describes in his letter, he donated one to the Illinois State Historical Library, now the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library. The other he gave to one Margaret Fristoe, whom he later married. Eventually Fristoe passed them along to her daughter, whose affidavit is also provided. Offering further evident is a letter from an optician, stating that the prescription of the glasses matches Lincoln’s own.

 

DID YOU KNOW?

10 Most Forged Celebrity and Historical Autographs

Collectors love autographs. And it’s not just sports. The realms of pop culture, history and politics have plenty of highly sought after signatures. Unfortunately, that Elvis Presley autograph you bought at the flea market is probably fake.

PSA/DNA has released a list of the Top 10 Most Dangerous Historical and Entertainment Autographs, highlighting some of the most forged signatures that the authentication company sees.

The names on the list include actors, singers, politicians and more. Tough to find in their own right, collectors should be extra careful when considering buying autographs from these names. That said, it’s always wise to buy from reputable dealers. Third-party authentication from the likes of PSA/DNA or JSA is also important, especially when dealing in high-end autographs where a lot of money could be lost with a careless mistake.

In its report, PSA/DNA also notes that some of the autographs they see come from secretaries and employees hired to oversee fan mail. Although not authentic, these signatures shouldn’t be seen as fraudulent either. That said, there are few assistants people would want autographs from.

Below is PSA/DNA’s complete list of most dangerous autographs — those that they see a high percentage of fakes, often 50% or more. We have also included the company’s estimated values for authentic autographs.

Most Forged Celebrity and Historical Signatures

1. Elvis Presley

Elvis Preseley Signed Check Image

More than three decades after his death, Presley is iconic as ever. After dying very young, there are actually very few Elvis Presley signatures available on the market — at least real ones. PSA/DNA notes that the problem of fake Elvis Presley autographs is a global issue with many coming from Europe, especially Germany and the Netherlands.

Value:

  • Cut Signature $1,500
  • Signed Contract or Letter $35,000+

2. The Beatles

An autograph from any one of the Fab Four is highly desirable. Getting the complete quartet on a single item is one of the collecting crown jewels of the 20th century. Unfortunately, the Beatles are also one of the most forged signatures.

Value:

  • Cut Signature $5,000
  • Signed Photo $15,000

3. Neil Armstrong

Prior to his passing in 2012, Neil Armstrong’s autograph was extremely rare. He was a reluctant signer for many years. Being the first man on the moon, there’s a lot of historical importance to his signature. Demand far outpaces supply, resulting in huge amounts for authentic Neil Armstrong autographs.

Value:

  • Cut Signature $1,500
  • Signed Photo $5,000

4. John F. Kennedy

One of the most iconic presidents of all-time, his signature covers many areas of collecting. Many alleged JFK autographs come from autopens and secretary signatures signed while he was an elected official.

Value:

  • Cut Signature $1,750
  • Presidential Letter or Document $25,000

5. Michael Jackson

When Michael Jackson passed away suddenly in 2009, demand for his autograph skyrocketed. So did the number of fakes on the market. Use extreme caution when it comes to buying signed items from the King of Pop.

Value:

  • Cut Signature $350
  • Signed Photo $1,000

6. Marilyn Monroe

Few actresses have the mystique surrounding them as Marilyn Monroe. Her marriage to Joe DiMaggio also connects her, although loosely, to the sports market. Because of her early passing, few authentic Marilyn Monroe autographs are out there.

Value:

  • Cut Signature $2,500
  • Signed Photo $15,000

7. Jim Morrison

Like many on this list, Jim Morrison died far too young. The lead singer for The Doors, Morrison was just 27 was he passed away in 1971. As a result, the supply of authentic signatures is quite low.

Value:

  • Cut Signature $1,500
  • Signed Photo $4,500

8. Jimi Hendrix

Similar to Morrison, Jimi Hendrix is another rock legend who find fame in the late-60s. The guitar master also died at the age of 27. According to PSA/DNA, Hendrix’s signature is even rarer than Morrison’s.

Value:

  • Cut Signature $2,500
  • Signed Photo $7,500

9. Walt Disney

We can thank Walt Disney for all those videos and DVDs that line the shelves of many homes. His vision of a theme park is the focal point of millions of family vacations each year. Fake Walt Disney autographs are also far too common on the secondary market. With his distinct penmanship making up the logo of one of the world’s most recognizable companies, it further adds to the intrigue of Disney’s signature.

Value:

  • Cut Signature $750
  • Signed Photo $3,500

10. Judy Garland

A big part of Hollywood’s Golden Age, Judy Garland will forever be remembered for her role as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. Be careful if you’re considering adding her signature to your collection.

Value:

  • Cut Signature $350
  • Signed Photo $2,000