A 1.5.-inch silvered brass perpetual calendar with ferrotype portrait
of a beardless Abraham Lincoln highlights the Feb. 27 fourth and final
sale by Heritage
Auctions of memorabilia from the Merrill C. Berman Political Collection.
Although holed below Lincoln's portrait, the political piece is
still considered to be one of the top ferrotypes issued regardless of
condition. According to the auction lot description, "it was
likely issued during the early days of the Civil War as no matching
pieces are known for his 1860 opponents."
The piece is attributed by Edmund B. Sullivan in his reference,
American Political Badges and Medalets 1789-1892, as AL 1860-79.
A patent for the perpetual calendar ferrotype was entered by an S.
Smith in 1853 in Springfield District Court in Massachusetts. The
Springfield firm of Ellis & Read distributed several of the
calendars with their name appearing on the obverse, including the
Also known as a tintype, a ferrotype is a photograph made by
creating a direct positive on a thin sheet of metal coated with a dark
lacquer or enamel and used as the support for the photographic emulsion.
The Berman Collection comprises 379 lots.
Among the other items of interest are a matched pair of ferrotype
jugates featuring President Ulysses S. Grant and his 1872 Republican
running mate, Sen. Henry Wilson from Massachusetts, and Liberal
Republican presidential candidate Horace Greeley and running mate,
Benjamin Gratz Brown; and an Abraham Lincoln/Andrew Johnson 1864
campaign ferrotype in a frame originally developed by John Gault for
On the ferrotype jugates, ferrotype portraits are set into brass
shell frames with full original silvering. A high relief portrait of
presidential candidate Grant or Greeley appears on the reverse of each
candidate's respective piece.
The Lincoln/Johnson piece has a ferrotype portrait of Lincoln on the
obverse and of Johnson on the reverse of the 25-millimeter campaign piece.