Discover the worth of an Abraham Lincoln signature and the factors that affect its value with our informative guide.
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Abraham Lincoln Signature: How Much Is It Worth?

Abraham Lincoln is one of the most well-known and revered presidents in American history, making his signature one of the most sought-after historical artifacts. It is a testament to Lincoln's influence and legacy on American society to possess a piece of his writing, whether it be a letter, a signed document, or even just an autograph. But what is an Abraham Lincoln autograph worth? We'll look at the various factors that determine a Lincoln signature's value in this piece and provide guidance for collectors who wish to add this historical item to their collections.

Who Is Abraham Lincoln?

Born in 1809 in Kentucky, Lincoln rose to prominence as a lawyer and politician in Illinois before being elected as the 16th President of the United States in 1860. He oversaw the nation during one of its most turbulent times, the Civil War while serving as president in Washington, DC. He also played a significant role in the abolition of slavery with the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. Tragically, he was murdered in 1865, at the time the war was nearing a close.

For more than 150 years, Abraham Lincoln has served as a champion of liberty, justice, and equality. His likeness and words continue to serve as an example for people all over the world. His signature serves as a physical reminder of this legacy, and the value people attach to it is a reflection of how much they appreciate his life and career.

What Was The Style Of Abraham Lincoln's Signature?

Lincoln's signature changed over the course of his life, with various modifications in style depending on the situation. However, his signature was generally defined by forceful, angular calligraphy with unique loops and letters. His signature often read "A. Lincoln" or "Abraham Lincoln," with his middle initial "H" appearing frequently.

Due to the prevalence of forgeries and phony Lincoln autographs, collectors should be aware that it is crucial to interact with trustworthy dealers who specialize in historical documents. The type of document it is signed on, the age and condition of the document, the rarity of the signature, and the item's historical significance all have an impact on the value of a Lincoln signature.

Lincoln signatures that are extremely rare or historically significant can sell for tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars, while less uncommon signatures may be worth less.

How Much Is Abraham Lincoln's Signature Worth?

It is challenging to provide an accurate assessment because a number of things affect the worth of Abraham Lincoln's signature. On the basis of the precise information contained in the signature and document, trustworthy auction houses and dealers can, nevertheless, offer an assessment. Lincoln signatures typically sell for between a few hundred dollars and well over $100,000 for rare and noteworthy objects. It is significant to keep in mind that the price of a Lincoln signature might change over time based on market conditions and collector demand.

Recent Sales of Abraham Lincoln's Signature

An original wanted poster for the assassin of President Abraham Lincoln, John Wilkes Booth, was discovered at a flea market in Pennsylvania. The poster, dated April 20, 1865, was issued by the War Department and offered a $100,000 reward for the capture of Booth. The discovery was made by a history buff who purchased the poster for $50 and later learned of its historical significance. The poster is expected to fetch up to $100,000 at auction.

Abraham Lincoln's hair, along with a bloodstained telegram about his 1865 assassination, was sold at an auction for $81,250. The hair was reportedly cut by a surgeon who attended to Lincoln after he was shot at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. The lock of hair was in a framed display with a note indicating its history, and the telegram was from a War Department official informing a general of Lincoln's death. The items were sold as part of a larger auction of historical items.

Types of Abraham Lincoln Signatures

A number of items, including letters, speeches, court records, and official government files, bear Abraham Lincoln's signature. The signatures on important historical documents like the Emancipation Proclamation, the Gettysburg Address, and the Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution are among the most prized.

Additionally, collectors need to be aware of the several Lincoln signature varieties. His early signatures from his time practicing law, serving as a state senator, and serving in Congress are typically less valuable than those from when he was president. Collectors are especially interested in his signatures from his second term when he signed documents pertaining to the Civil War and liberation.

Collectors should also consider the standard of the signature itself. A signature that is bold, distinct, and readable is more valuable than one that is blurry, smudged, or missing parts. Signature placement on a document can also influence its worth; significant signature placements, such as the bottom of a presidential proclamation or the end of a letter, are more sought-after.

How Has Abraham Lincoln's Signature Evolved Over Time?

Lincoln's signature in his early years as a lawyer and politician was very long, with a distinct swirl at the end of his last name. During the period, when people used to sign their names in a more ornate and decorative way, this type of signature was typical.

But as Lincoln gained notoriety and assumed the office of President of the United States, his signature changed into a clearer, easier-to-read design. This modification may have occurred as a result of the numerous documents that required his signature throughout his presidency.

It's interesting to note that during the Civil War, Lincoln's signature got even more condensed; his initial name was frequently shortened to simply the letter "A" and his surname name was written more angularly.

It's also important to keep in mind that Lincoln was left-handed and frequently tipped the page to the right before signing, giving his handwriting a characteristic slant.

Discover the worth of an Abraham Lincoln signature and the factors that affect its value with our informative guide.

How Can I Authenticate an Abraham Lincoln Signature?

To authenticate an Abraham Lincoln signature, collectors should:

  1. Look for accompanying documentation that verifies the signature, such as letters of provenance, certificates of authenticity, or authentication by a reputable third-party appraiser.
  2. Examine the signature closely for consistency with known examples of Lincoln's handwriting, including letter formations, stroke patterns, and overall style.
  3. Compare the signature to other signatures on the same document, as forgeries often include multiple signatures that do not match each other.
  4. Check for signs of age and wear, such as fading ink, yellowing paper, or creases and folds, which can indicate an authentic vintage document.
  5. Consider the context and history of the document, including its provenance, content, and significance, to determine whether the signature is consistent with Lincoln's known activities and interests.
  6. Consult with experts and other collectors in the field, who can provide additional insight and knowledge about Lincoln signatures and their authenticity.

What's The Most Abraham Lincoln Signature Sold For?

2019 saw a $3.7 million sale of a signed copy of the Emancipation Proclamation. The paper, one of just 27 known to exist, was signed by Abraham Lincoln and his Secretary of State, William Seward, and was regarded as one of the most significant in American history.

Where To Buy Abraham Lincoln Signatures

Research is essential if you want to get an Abraham Lincoln autograph, and you should only purchase from recognized dealers or auction houses. Several renowned auction houses, such as Christie's, Sotheby's, and Heritage Auctions, specialize in historical artifacts for sale.

Additionally, it's critical to understand the market price of Lincoln autographs and to only buy from reputable vendors. Deals that look too good to be true should be avoided, as should sellers who cannot give sufficient verification evidence. Purchasing an original Abraham Lincoln signature as a collector can be a worthwhile addition to your collection and a priceless piece of history to be cherished for years to come.


The signatures of Abraham Lincoln are rare and sought-after items of historical memorabilia. Collectors should meticulously analyze the signature, look for age and wear indications, take the document's context and history into account, and seek advice from subject-matter authorities to establish the value of a Lincoln signature.

nearly 2012, a military promotion paper bearing the signature of Abraham Lincoln brought nearly $3.4 million at auction. Collectors should only acquire from reputable dealers or auction houses, be aware of the market worth, and possess the necessary authentication papers before making an Abraham Lincoln signature purchase.

Purchasing an actual Lincoln signature may add value to any collection and provide future generations with a priceless piece of history.

Final Thoughts

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Article written by

Cynthia Post, Marketing and Branding Expert


Cynthia is a seasoned marketing professional with over ten years of management experience in the top tier global companies of the world. She’s been helping companies to thrive and grow their sales throuhgout her career after graduating from еру London School of Economics with honors. Branding, which includes both marketing and design, is her biggest passion that has been keeping her in the 5am club over the last 7 years. She is very focused on detail, new solutions and industry trends.

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