Andrew Boyd, Abraham Lincoln: Foully Assassinated…A Poem with an Illustration from Punch, Extra Illustrated


A Fine Book, With Fine Extras

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Andrew Boyd was one of the earliest collectors of Lincolnian and produced (along with Charles Hart) the very first comprehensive bibliography of Lincolniana -M916, circa 1870.  In his introduction to the present book, Boyd writes of Lincoln, of course, but also of the numbers of various books and objects that were produced immediately after the assassination and which also encompass his own collection.

The poem in the book was written by the Poet Laureate of England, Alfred Lord Tennyson. The Punch illustration that acted as a frontispiece, is titled “Britannia Sympathises (sic) with Columbia”, laying a wreath on Lincoln’s covered body and bracketed by a mourning Columbia and a mourning, unshackled slave.

It is generally true that one cannot just create a future collectible.  Future collectors will give that answer. Extra-illustrated volumes, though, may be the exception, depending on what “extras” are added.  In this case, it seems there was success; this particular book has within a number of excellent pieces with value of their own.  The Lincoln note and the Booth photograph, of course, but a number of the illustrations are also desirable.

Ralph Randolph Adams was a fine binder at the turn of the 20th century. He probably attended Chicago’s R. R. Donnelley & Sons at their Bookbinding Training School. Although Adams was capable of extraordinarily tooled books, here he is respectful of the somber contents inside.  Finely tooled morocco with only an elegant gilt U.S. eagle on the front, the binding does not compete with the contents.   The leather binding is still in superb condition with nary a blemish, with all its gilt titling and embellishments totally intact. 

When was the book put together?  The latest dated lithograph is 1897 and the three full-color illustrations seem early 20th century.  The dentelles, as happens many times, show age as they have stained the edges of the opposite flyleaves – though actually in a decorative manner!  With all that, we would place this as early 20th century – when the “Adams Bindery” was producing many wonderful works such as this.

Profusely Extra-Illustrated with:

–Abraham Lincoln, Autograph Note, signed “Capt. Fox, please see & hear the Bearer, Mr. Sawyer. / A. Lincoln / May 21, 1864.”  3-1/4″ X 2″.  Capt. Fox, most likely, was Gustavus V. Fox, Assistant Secretary of the Navy throughout the Civil War.  On this day, Lincoln also lifted the publication  ban on two New York newspapers.

–John Wilkes Booth Oval Albumen Photograph (Gutman-26, by C. D. Fredericks of New York) in a standing, 3-4/length Napoleonic pose; approximately 9″ x 7″ with original gold-leaf border.  Excellent tonality and presence.  Extremely Scarce in this size!!;

–William Seward, Autograph Letter, signed, circa 1854;

–Small Broadside of Lincoln’s Farewell Address in Springfield, with mourning borders; circa 1865;

–25 various prints, engravings, and lithographs with some in printed or hand-coloring.  Artists and publishers include John Sartain, Kimmel & Forster,  Gilbert Stuart, Alonzo Chappell, Thomas Nast, John Chester Buttre, Francis Carpenter, and J. E. Taylor.

(Lincoln, Abraham) Boyd, Andrew.  ABRAHAM LINCOLN:  FOULLY ASSASSINATED APRIL 14, 1865, A POEM WITH AN ILLUSTRATION FROM THE LONDON PUNCH, FOR MAY 6, 1865. [M229]  Republished with an introduction, by Andrew Boyd.  Albany, NY:  Joel Munsell, Printer, 1868.  #7 of 75 Copies Printed.  1st.; xiii pages.  Bound in full Morocco with raised bands and gilt titling; gilt eagle decorations; t.e.g.; leather dentelles and British lion crest decorations at corners on inside front and rear boards, with marbled end-sheets; bound by the “Adams Bindery.” 


Daniel Weinberg talked about this very special book on
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