RARE ITEMS FOR ALL CANDIDATES IN HISTORIC PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
FOUR SILK RIBBONS from the 1860 presidential election are featured in the last of four auctions of the Merrill C. Berman political memorabilia collection.
“These auctions have set record after record, but we have saved some of the best for last, including an iconic Cox-Roosevelt jugate button and superb ribbons from the 1860 election,” says Tom Slater, director of Americana auctions at Heritage.
The election that year saw the political parties fragmented over the issue of slavery, and there were four separate tickets for the nation’s highest offices. “The winners were, of course, Abraham Lincoln and Hannibal Hamlin,” Slater says, “and their principal opponents were Lincoln’s old Illinois nemesis, the ‘Little Giant’ Stephen Douglas, and his running mate Herschel Johnson.”
All four ribbons feature photographic images taken by renowned photographer Mathew Brady (1822-1896), best known for his scenes of the Civil War. “Photographic images were just coming into wide use in the 1860 campaign, and Brady photographed most leading political figures and statesmen of the day, including all eight White House aspirants,” Slater says. “No doubt, this election ranks among the most important elections in the nation’s history.”
Although the Lincoln-Hamlin has always been a collector favorite, the Douglas-Johnson is the real prize. “It’s one of only three-known examples and to our knowledge the first ever to appear at auction,” Slater says. Offered individually, the four ribbons are expected to realize at least $30,000 total.