Rare Finds

For Sale: Scrap of Wallpaper from Room Where Lincoln Died

Image courtesy of Addison & Sarova.

Image courtesy of Addison & Sarova.

Coming to auction later this week is a neat little relic of President Abraham Lincoln’s life–or more accurately, his death. The fragment of wallpaper was removed from the back bedroom of the rowhouse across the street from Ford’s Theatre where Lincoln breathed his last, and laid into a book called Words of Lincoln (1895) with the note, “Taken from the all of the room in which Lincoln died. 516 10th St. Washington D.C.”

The book’s author, Osborn H. Oldroyd (1842-1930), was a Civil War sergeant and a famous collector of Lincoln memorabilia; a biography of him published in 1927 is subtitled Founder and Collector of Lincoln Mementos. Oldroyd amassed a large collection of Lincolniana, first displayed at Lincoln’s home in Springfield, Illinois, but relocated to the Petersen House, aka the house where Lincoln died, in 1893. He and his family bunked there too.

The auctioneers, Addison & Sarova of Macon, Georgia, estimate the wallpaper snippet will sell for $2,000-3,000.

Incidentally, the University of Chicago houses a substantial Lincoln-Oldroyd collection. You can read more about Oldroyd and the Petersen House here.


Browse related collectible books:

Abraham Lincoln – Books & Ephemera

Copies of “Words of Lincoln” by Oldroyd

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  • im a bit of a doubter what actual bit of proof that this item is legit? John…..Im sorry, i am not convinced…thanks…

  • I own a piece also and it was tested and documented by a piece that they have at the museum in Washington

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