Abraham Lincoln and his running mate Hannibal Hamlin 1860 campaign flag. Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions
DALLAS – Collectors of political memorabilia are excited about the forth coming Heritage Auctions’ American Political Item Collectors National Convention Auction in Denver. To be held from July 30 through Aug. 2, a major highlight of the auction is an 1860 campaign flag for Abraham Lincoln and his running mate Hannibal Hamlin. Estimated at over $20,000, this lot is already a major attraction for collectors. Bidding will be held online via HALive! and from the convention floor at the Crowne Plaza Denver International Airport Hotel & Convention Center.
But the 1860 campaign flag is not the only lot generating significant attention from collectors of political memorabilia and historians. There are many other important political memorabilia that have gotten many collectors stirred up. “This auction and convention form the perfect event not only for seasoned political item collectors, but for anyone who likes history,” said Tom Slater, Director of Americana Auctions at Heritage. According to him “The auction holds some truly great finds suitable for advanced hobbyists, but offers many colorful and evocative items for novice collectors as well.”
Making a rare appearance at the political memorabilia auction is a rare and colorful 1912 Jugate Celluloid. Estimated at more than $4,000, it highlights an extensive selection of badges. The rare Jugate – one of just a handful known to exist – features photographs of both Teddy Roosevelt and Hiram Johnson, the two running mates for the Progressive, or Bull Moose, ticket. The rare Jugate holds an amazing yet captivating political history. Slater explains: “Denied nomination for an unprecedented third term by the regular Republicans, TR bolted the party to run as an independent candidate, splitting the vote and handing the election to Democrat Woodrow Wilson.
A Liverpool Creamware Tankard celebrating George Washington leads a strong selection of rare three-dimensional objects honoring our early presidents. Estimated at more than $3,500, the piece is universally considered to be the most desirable piece of Washington transferware in the hobby. The tankard’s applied decoration clearly states “Long Live the President of the United States” and possesses terrific display appeal according to Slater. “Most folks would never imagine that it is possible to own a relic like this, dating from the lifetime of our first president,” he observes.
A rare “hopeful” pinback button designed to encourage American industrialist Henry Ford to run for president is another major highlight of this auction. The button which dates back to the 1920s is estimated at over $1,500. Explaining the historic significance of the pinback button, Slater notes that “Ford never achieved traction as a would-be candidate, and all his political items are scarce.” He adds “But the variety offered here is particularly elusive, and early presale bidding has already moved up to nearly three times the $1,500 minimum opening bid.” Also included in this section of the auction is a brightly-colored pinback from the 1936 opposition to candidate Alf Landon’s failed presidential campaign. Estimated at over $800, it states “We Can’t Eat Sunflowers,” – a clear dig at the candidate’s sunflower-themed campaign items as well as his perceived lack of creative solutions to the nation’s woes.
Franklin Roosevelt and John Nance Garner are also represented in this auction. A rare 1932 Jugate featuring crisp portraits of Franklin Roosevelt and John Nance Garner unveils the Democratic ticket’s signature slogan “For Repeal and Prosperity”. Estimated at over $1,500, the candidates with those simple words took command of the most compelling causes of the election, ending Prohibition and the economic depression, and cruised to an easy victory over unpopular incumbent Herbert Hoover.
The American Political Items Collectors (APIC), organizers of auction, is a non-profit membership organization, dedicated to promoting the collecting, preservation and study of materials relating to political campaigns and the U.S. presidency. Collectors of presidential memorabilia & collectibles will no doubt have a great time at this auction that is also filled with Political Campaign Buttons. Founded in 1945, the APIC is the heart of a growing hobby which has certainly surged in popularity the Internet Age. Membership includes collectors and enthusiasts from all walks of life and every occupation such as educators, students, archivists, historians, elected officials, political junkies, campaign staffers, journalists from print, broadcast and cable, museum curators and even a handful of past Presidents.
“Our 2014 convention should be one of the best conventions ever with record-breaking attendance,” said Ron Puechner, convention chairman. “Members from all over the globe have put together an amazing selection of events, presentations, and meetings over the four-day event,” he said.