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Abraham Lincoln Ferrotypes

Abraham Lincoln ferrotype buttons have long been considered a key “must have” in every collectors Abraham Lincoln or political campaign button collection. They have been coveted by political collectors and Abraham Lincoln enthusiasts the world over. They were produced for the 1960 campaign of Abraham Lincoln for President and Hannibal Hamlin for Vice President, as well as the 1964 campaign of Lincoln and Andrew Johnson.

Abraham Lincoln ferrotype buttons have long been considered a key “must have” in every collectors Abraham Lincoln or political campaign button collection. They have been coveted by political collectors and Abraham Lincoln enthusiasts the world over. They were produced for the 1960 campaign of Abraham Lincoln for President and Hannibal Hamlin for Vice President, as well as the 1964 campaign of Lincoln and Andrew Johnson.

Ferrotypes, also known as tintypes are produced through a photographic process that was wildy popular in the 1860’s and 1870’s.The history of ferrotypes goes back as far as 1853 when Adolphe-Alexande Marin a French inventory described the process, first called melainotype and later ferrotype and then event later on tintype. It was patented in 1856 by Hamilton Smith in the United States. The most common use was photographers who attended fairs and carnivals and sold the ferrotypes to people walking by.

Abraham Lincoln ferrotypes come in many different versions, thus keeping collectors busy trying to discover new versions or hoping to upgrade the quality of the ferrotypes that they own.

We are often asked why one particular ferrotype sells for more or less than another. Generally speaking the following are key variables that influence the value of Abe Lincoln ferrotypes:

1. Overall condition

2. Style of the button

3. Condition of the typically brass, frame

4. Whether it is a photograph of the candidate(s) on one or both sides

5. Sharpness of the photographs 6.

6. Whether there is text (i.e. it says “Abraham Lincoln” in text in the photo

7. The text/words included on the outer frame of the button

So as you see there are many factors that go into valuing an Abraham Lincoln ferrotype. In fact, collectors differ on which of these factors is most important in determining value. For instance, some collectors seek the best quality photograph and sharpness of the photo is key. Others may consider the uniqueness of the style of the button more important. (i.e., is it a stickpin design or a round button with the word Lincoln above.

Another common concern from new collectors is whether the fact that there is a hole at the top of a round shaped ferrotype diminishes the value. These holes at the top are common and intended by the manufacturer. It allowed the person to insert a ribbon, string or chain to be used as a lanyard or necklace. 

Ferrotypes are one –if not the – most popular Lincoln collectible. At Lori Ferber Collectibles, we typically have several of these scarce buttons in stock in varying condition, styles and price levels so you are bound to find one that suites your individual taste.

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  • LoriFerber.com is the first place I go to when searching for presidential memorabilia.. I can trust anything I order from LoriFerber.com
    Betsey February 26, 2015