[LINCOLN, William Wallace (1850-1862)]. A lock of hair, reportedly from "Willie" Lincoln, carefully tied and enclosed in a small daguerreotype case, [ca.1862].
Black gutta-percha daguerreotype case (2 1/8 x 1 7/8 in. approximately), containing a small lock of hair (ca.50 strands, each about 3 in. long), neatly tied into a circle with fine thread. The case with hinged top, the exterior embossed to an elaborate floral design, interior glass-protected compartment with gilt-metal impressed surround, the cover interior lined in dark red silk. Small crack to cover neatly mended.
A LOCK OF HAIR FROM THE HEAD OF WILLIAM WALLACE LINCOLN
A rare lock of hair from the Lincolns' beloved third son, William Wallace, who succumbed tragically to an infection labeled by his doctors as "bilious fever" in the White House on February 20, 1862. Willie's untimely death greatly affected his mother, Mary Lincoln, who had already suffered the loss of another young son, Edward Baker, in February 1850. In her protracted mourning for Willie, Mary even consulted spiritualists in an effort to contact him through the spirit world, and it is possible the present lock of hair was intended for such spiritualist purposes. Lincoln, too, fell into a severe depression after Willie's death, accompanied Mary to several seances and even visited Willie's tomb on at least one occasion.
Roy P. Crocker, Lincoln Savings and Loan Association (sale, Sotheby Parke Bernet, 28 November 1979, part lot 260), reportedly acquired from Abraham Lincoln Bookshop.