[Abraham Lincoln]

Abraham Lincoln Deathbed Threads from the Petersen Boarding House, Provenance: Holzer Collection

Abraham Lincoln Dies at Petersen House; Threads from Bedspread from Holzer Collection


These threads from a cotton bedspread from the bed on which Abraham Lincoln died were owned by prominent Lincolniana Collector Harold Holzer.


[ABRAHAM LINCOLN.] Threads from Bedspread on Petersen House deathbed. Several black and white cotton threads from bedspread, various lengths, c. 1865. In frame with photograph of deathbed.


Historical Background

Between 10:15 and 10:30 p.m. on Friday, April 14, 1865, actor John Wilkes Booth shot President Abraham Lincoln at Ford’s Theatre. Only five days earlier, Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his army to Union General Ulysses S. Grant, effectively ending the war that had consumed Lincoln’s Presidency. He looked forward to a more peaceful second term in office.


Soldiers carried the unconscious President across 10th Street to the Petersen Boarding House, because doctors feared he would not survive the carriage ride back to the Executive Mansion, about a mile away. In the boarding house, he was placed diagonally on a bed in a back room rented by an army clerk. Despite the attendance of the best doctors in Washington, Lincoln’s wound was mortal. He died at 7:22 a.m. on Saturday, April 15.


Ironically, John Wilkes Booth had napped on the same bed a month earlier. Actor Charles Warwick had rented the room in March 1865, and Booth visited Warwick there. During his visit, Booth fell asleep on the same bed on which Lincoln later died.


While we have encountered many Lincoln blood relics in our career, this is the first example of the Bedspread that we have encountered; it is virtually unobtainable.


Provenance: This piece is from the collection of Harold Holzer (b. 1949), a prominent Lincoln scholar and collector of Lincolniana. He is the author or editor of fifty-two books, most on Abraham Lincoln, and specializes in representations of Lincoln in visual culture. Holzer was senior vice president for public affairs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York from 1992 to 2015 and served as co-chair of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission from 2000 to 2010.





Item: 65292

Price: $5,000.00
[Abraham Lincoln][Abraham Lincoln][Abraham Lincoln]
[Abraham Lincoln]
Click above for larger image.