Abe collects attention at SC antiques show





With Feb. 12 marking the bicentennial anniversary of the birth of America's 16th president, an exhibit focusing on Abraham Lincoln collectibles was well-attended Sunday at the Spring Fox Valley Antiques Show.

The two-day event began Saturday and drew more than 1,000 visitors, said Virginia Larsen, chair of the Chicago Suburban Antique Dealers Association show.

Presenting rare finds -- ranging from an original bust of Lincoln, dated in 1865, to a steel engraved Lincoln portrait and a vintage beaver-felt top hat similar to those worn by the president -- Ray McCaskey presented "Collecting Lincoln" and explained the types of items that typically comprise a collection.

"Sometimes, collectors actually set out to acquire particular items, and other times, collections just happen," said McCaskey, a member of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Museum Foundation board in Springfield. "The prime types of collectibles are things the person handwrote or actually used, while other items in a collection might be things that represent what a person might have used."

He discussed books and newspaper articles about Lincoln, as well as commemorative items such as a campaign fob about the size of a nickel, with Lincoln's portrait on one side and vice presidential running mate Andrew Johnson's on the other, and a campaign booklet introducing Lincoln as a presidential candidate.

Original documents bearing the president's signature also are coveted items for the collection, he said. One exhibit included an original pass issued to a soldier for a temporary leave, along with one of President Lincoln's hand-signed calling cards given to the soldier during a chance meeting with Lincoln. Plaster casts of Lincoln's hands, possibly created from the original set of molds, were also part of the collection. McCaskey also had a few novelty items on hand, pointing out a plastic aftershave bottle shaped like Lincoln, and a Lincoln-themed plastic candy dispenser.

At the show, 55 vendors displayed antiques from the 17th, 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. The Garfield Farm Museum in LaFox sponsored the event.




comments powered by Disqus

Subscribe to our mailing list