Lock of Abe Lincoln's hair sells for $25,000 at Dallas auction

Sat Jan 24, 2015 6:54pm EST
 
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By Marice Richter

DALLAS (Reuters) - A lock of slain U.S. President Abraham Lincoln's hair and items connected to his assassin were top sellers on Saturday at an auction that fetched $803,889 in the sale of a top private collection of Lincoln memorabilia.

Fetching $25,000 was the lock of hair removed by Surgeon General Joseph Barnes shortly after Lincoln was shot by actor and Confederacy supporter John Wilkes Booth on April 14, 1865. He died the next day.

The lock of hair was among about 300 items that belonged to Fort Worth, Texas history buff Donald Dow and is considered one of the best private Lincoln memorabilia collections known to exist, according to Heritage Auction officials.

The identities of buyers were not available.

Dow, a late Fort Worth art gallery owner, built the collection over five decades, beginning in 1963 with the purchase of a box of books, according to his son Greg Dow, who is selling the collection. The elder Dow died in 2009.

"He started collecting because of his interest in the Civil War and military history," Greg Dow said before the auction. "But then he became interested in Lincoln and the assassination."

Items auctioned on Saturday included a letter to a friend written and signed by Booth in 1861, which went for $30,000. Two separate eyewitness accounts of the assassination sold for $27,500 and $14,375.

The military arrest warrant for Booth sold for $21,250 while a framed compilation of autographs by Lincoln, Booth and Boston Corbett, the Union officer credited with fatally shooting Booth, fetched $30,000.   Continued...

 
A frame with six windows that contain Carte-de-Visites and autographs of Abraham Lincoln, John Wilkes Booth and Boston Corbett, part of the Dow Collection of Abraham Lincoln, is pictured in this undated handout photo provided by Heritage Auctions. REUTERS/Heritage Auctions/Handout via Reuters