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Mikey is feeling a little overweight so he goes to the doctor for some advice. The doctor tells him, “Mikey, the best way to lose weight quickly and keep it off is to run ten miles a day for thirty days.” So off Mikey goes and he takes the doctor’s advice with fervor.
He runs and he runs and at the end of thirty days he is amazed at how much weight he has actually lost. So he calls the doctor and the doctor asks, “Well Mikey, how did it go, did you lose some weight?” Mikey is ecstatic but a little dumbfounded as he replies, “Oh yes doctor, it worked like a charm, I lost a lot of weight and I look really good . . . but how do I get home now?”
There have been many articles written that say that President Obama is inspired by our sixteenth President, Abraham Lincoln. Many stories have also compared the two presidents; from their modest roots and their ascendency to the highest office, to their similar styles in selecting their cabinets. Last fall we wrote about presidential memorabilia as it pertained to the then U.S. historical election and how the memorabilia would appreciate in value. And if it is true that President Obama will be viewed in the light and reverence that our 16th President is seen in, then store that Obama memorabilia in the safest place possible. Lincoln memorabilia is has both the highest historical value and highest monetary value of presidential memorabilia.
Speeches written by Lincoln have sold at auction in recent years for as high as $3.4 million dollars and a letter with his signature brought in close to $4 million. In April we read about a man that planned to auction off a swath of cloth that he believed came from the coat that President Lincoln was wearing on the night he was assassinated; starting bid a cool $1 million.
In another recent story, the descendants of Gideon Wells, who was Secretary of the Navy under Lincoln, are embroiled in a court battle over a trunk full of Lincoln memorabilia that includes a decanter, a battle flag, and many many signed letters. Many think that the trunk and contents are worth in excess of $100 - $150 million. In yet another story that appeared in Forbes this week, a man laments at the fact that he was offered the trunk by an antique picker almost a quarter of a century before anyone knew it really existed and he turned down the opportunity to buy it.
Think about this; in one hundred years will someone be lamenting because they passed up the opportunity to buy a trunk full of Obama memorabilia that you left behind? Will your descendants be embroiled in a court battle because you left a plastic tote full of Obama newspapers, campaign buttons, t-shirts, posters and maybe a handwritten letter or two but no will to determine who the rightful owner should be? Or will a piece of cloth that someone thinks came from President Obama’s jacket be worth more than a million?
Due to appreciation of the almighty dollar, the Obama memorabilia will of course appreciate and be worth a lot of money; and in terms of dollars, may very well equal Lincoln memorabilia in terms of monetary worth at today’s dollar. However, historical value may be a different story and will be determined by what our 44th President does or maybe doesn’t do while serving as the leader of the free world.
On Saturday, May 16, 2009 one hundred and twenty five antiques and collectibles dealers from thirteen states will display their wares at the annual Gettysburg Outdoor Antique Show, in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Held rain or shine from 7 am to 4 pm, this antique and collectibles show radiates from the Lincoln Square to sidewalks and streets in the town made famous by the most important Civil War battle in 1863 and where President Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address.
In our previous article we wrote about what Lincoln memorabilia has been purchased for at auction and what some people think their items are worth. Due to the fact that it is the bicentennial of President Lincoln’s birth, many museums and organizations have been displaying his memorabilia for the public. The National Archives in Washington DC, is displaying the original Emancipation Proclamation signed by the President as well as having lectures, films and other memorabilia exhibited throughout 2009.
At the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History the display includes items from a collection that has taken 140 years in the making. The museum is showcasing over sixty items that include one of his famous top hats as well as a coffee cup, his gold pocket watch and posters. However, one of the most interesting things on display is the inkstand that he used while writing the Emancipation Proclamation. So even if you cannot afford a cool million for his memorabilia, you can still at least admire it close up.
One last thing about Lincoln memorabilia and this is certainly going to send some people up to their attics to search; there is a lot of Lincoln memorabilia that has never been found. The top hat that he was wearing during an assassination attempt in 1864, the quilt that he died on and the bible that was used in his second inauguration have never been found. In addition, many letters, manuscripts and speeches that he is known to have written have never surfaced.
Interesting story we read this week on Yahoo! Seems Bill Waters, who is from Tulsa, Oklahoma, was on a journey in Texas when he stopped at an antique store where he came upon a very antique ledger dating to about the late 1800’s. The ledger had some writing in it and what appeared to be some formulas. Thinking that he could sell it on eBay for a profit, Waters bought the ledger for $200 from Shamrock Antiques and took it home, where he began doing a little investigating on his find.
Once home, he started digging and found that ledger once belonged to a drug store in Waco, Texas; the W.B. Morrison & Co. Old Corner Drug Store. Further investigation revealed that the Old Corner Drug Store was the first to serve Dr. Pepper in 1885 and that the ledger in addition to containing many recipes for everything from hair restoration to cough syrup, also included the original hand written recipe, D Peppers Pepsin Bitters, for the soft drink. The ledger is expected to bring in $50,000 to $75,000, a tidy profit for Mr. Waters, when it goes on the auction block at Heritage Auction Galleries on May 13, 2009.
Most of us know that Numismatics collect currency; coins, paper money, foreign money and tokens, but unless you are really into it, the specialized field of Sripophily is lesser known. Sripophily is the hobby of collecting antique and vintage collectibles stocks and bonds. In some cases, the stock or bond may have a monetary value from a successor company that purchased the original. However in most cases the old stocks and bonds have no inherent monetary value to the collector other than the beauty of how the engraving was done or in some cases, whether the stock or bond was owned by a famous person or celebrity.
Other things to look for when you are dealing with antique stocks and bonds are the quality and condition of the paper on which they were printed; the grading system ranges from uncirculated to poor condition. How old is the stock or bond and does it have an interesting or captivating history attached to it. Who owned the stock or bond and most importantly how many are out there? Obviously, the rarer the stock or bond, the more it is worth to a collector. Prices for vintage stocks and bonds can range from a few dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars for the rarest of finds.