Everyone has seen the advertisements and marketing efforts used in recent elections, tactics that range from confrontational internet messages to more traditional signs planted in countless yards.
But people have been campaigning for their favorite candidates for generations, long before a few well-aimed advertising dollars could create endless waves of pop-up ads on computer monitors. This week’s Five for Friday looks at some of the more unusual presidential campaign pieces that will be available Oct. 21 as part of the David and Janice Frent Collection in Heritage Auctions’ Americana & Political Auction in Dallas, Texas.
1. Abraham Lincoln memorabilia is prized among collectors of political memorabilia. A Lincoln & Johnson: Jugate Grand National Banner (est. $12,000+) features a hand-colored lithograph published in 1864 by Currier & Ives that is titled “Grand, National Union Banner for 1864. Liberty, Union and Victory.” The print was matted, resulting in a lighter area around the outer border, while the exposed area is lightly toned. Apart from the Grand National Banners for 1876, this sample might be the rarest of the series.
2. Another item depicting the 16th U.S. president is Abraham Lincoln: One of the Very Best 1860 Campaign Ribbons (est. $6,000+). Notable because of the absence of Lincoln’s signature beard, this large ribbon measures 3-1/8 inches wide by 8-1/2 inches high. It is in great display condition, although it has been given an almost undetectable backing by a top professional conservator in order to stabilize several partial horizontal separations.
3. A beardless image also can be found on this Lincoln & Johnson: A Fantastic Example of the Classic 1864 “Peace Commissioners” Ribbon (est. $4,000+). The term “Peace Commissioners” was, of course, a reference to Union general-in-chief George B. McClellan, whose campaign during the Civil War had brought the South to the point of near-collapse by the fall of 1864. Many ribbons like this one become available with condition issues, but this one, which measures 3-7/8 inches wide by 7-1/2 inches tall, is crisp and near-mint.
4. The president known to many as “Honest Abe” is depicted again on this Abraham Lincoln: One of the Very Best Ribbon Designs for 1860 (est. $3,000 and up). Headlined under “Wide Awake Club,” this ribbon is a favorite among collectors because of its rarity; this example is one of, at best, several known examples. The Douglas mate, that also appears in this auction, is even more rare, giving collectors the rare chance to own a matched pair.
5. Not all collectable campaign pieces, of course, deal with Lincoln. A Minty Example of an Andrew Jackson Copper Luster Pitcher (est. $2,400+) features a black and white transfer on each side of “General Jackson The Hero of New Orleans.” One of the finest known examples, this pitcher was issued in 1824 or 1828.
Written by: Steve Lansdale
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