We will be happy to authenticate and/or appraise your Lincoln, Civil War or Presidential pieces. The fee for these services is $300.00 per hour. Most single items will take about an hour. Off-site appraisals will include travel expenses. We will be happy to provide an estimate for more extensive appraisals. If your pieces is something that we are unsure about, we will refer you to a more appropriate expert.
Before beginning, we will need to see a clear photograph of the piece. Us the Contact Form to provide your information and send photographs. This will help determine if its in your best interest to proceed with the authentication or appraisal. In most cases, we have to see the piece itself. Please call before sending any items. We cannot be responsible for your items if we do not know they are coming, nor can we be responsible for them in transit.
We cannot comment on the authenticity, condition or value of any item, sight unseen or from digital images at other web sites. Nor do we comment on items offered by other sellers.
If you are seeking assistance or advice with a purchase, we will be happy to provide sales consultation/collection development services. Please inquire about our terms.
The Abraham Lincoln Book Shop, Inc. has acted as consultant in the assembling of some of the major collections in the United States, both public and private, representing them both privately and at auction. The firm has conducted appraisals for libraries, museums, banks, insurance companies, and private collectors, and has performed special research assignments for such institutions as The Lincoln Museum, the American Bar Foundation, Brandeis University, University of Virginia, WTTW Channel 11 in Chicago, the Chicago Historical Society, the Chicago Public Library, the Chicago Archdiocese and others.
Daniel Weinberg, the proprietor, has delivered numerous talks on the collecting and value of books and manuscripts as well as determining authenticity of historical documents. He is a member of numerous historical societies and associations, including The Lincoln Forum (a current Director), The Abraham Lincoln Association, Manuscript Society, Professional Autograph Dealer’s Association, Universal Autograph Collector’s Club (being a past regional director), Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America, American Booksellers Association, Illinois Lincoln Group (current Vice-president), and is an officer and past-President of The Civil War Round Table in Chicago.
A Word About Lincoln and Other Souvenir/Facsimile Reprint Documents
Because of Abraham Lincoln’s place in American history, documents relating to him are very important and highly sought. This interest is not a recent development. Following Lincoln’s rise to national prominence, he received many requests for copies of his speeches and even just his autograph. After President Lincoln’s death, documents associated with him have become increasingly popular. One result of this popularity was the production of souvenir copies of a number of well-known Lincoln related documents. These include the November 19, 1863 Gettysburg Address; the November 21, 1864 letter from Lincoln to the widow Bixby; and, the April 15, 1865 edition of the New York Herald announcing Lincoln’s assassination. The New York Herald is especially troublesome. It has been estimated that this broadsheet has been reproduced over 61,000 times since 1890.
Many such souvenir copies of these documents are “discovered” on a regular basis, with their finders often believing they have in fact found the original document. The information at the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency should provide some help in determining the true history of some of these documents. Lincoln-related or not, if your document is printed on parchment-like paper, you most likely have a souvenir copy. Also bear in mind that this parchment-like paper is highly acidic. The older it gets the more browned and fragile it becomes. Hence, the color ranges from light yellow to very dark brown.
Other documents produced for souvenirs include the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution, Bill of Rights, recruiting posters from many wars, WANTED posters and various forms of currency. Many of these items have been available for well over 100 years and are widely available, today at National Park sites and other retail outlets. Should you be seeking these reprints, The gift shop at the Liberty Bell Museum is a good source.
Remember that even though something is old it is not necessarily valuable. Rarity and desirability are equally important forces in value.