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Dr. Mudd item on 'Pawn Stars'
12-28-2013, 11:53 PM
Post: #1
Dr. Mudd item on 'Pawn Stars'
A lady walked in the shop and presented a lap desk that was made by Dr. Mudd while he was imprisoned at Fort Jefferson. It was in good shape. She explained that she purchased it for $2,500 from someone whose family member had been a guard at the fort, and Mudd had made the desk for him. She presented provenance for the desk, including the name and picture of the guard, and statements from the family concerning the background of the item.

She then went on to say that they could buy the item from her for only $100,000!!!!Huh

Rick Harrison went on to explain to the lady the rarity of owning something directly linked to one of the Lincoln Conspiritors, but he also added that he wasn't about to spend that kind of money for it.

The lady left, and outside the store she stated that she might pursue several other avenues of sale.

Maybe she should talk to someone on this board???Smile
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12-30-2013, 08:30 AM
Post: #2
RE: Dr. Mudd item on 'Pawn Stars'
I remember a Dr. Mudd basket on Antique Road Show several years ago - it was one of three baskets he made at Fort Jefferson. I think it was appraised at $20,000 although the owner said it was priceless and wasn't about to get rid of it. Wink

"Right or wrong, God judge me, not man."
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12-31-2013, 11:00 PM
Post: #3
RE: Dr. Mudd item on 'Pawn Stars'
The last place you want to take a historical rarity is a pawn shop, even the Pawn Stars operation. There's plenty of auction houses that will protect your interests by establishing a minimum bid, protecting the seller's interests, and seeking out likely buyers to ensure sufficient interest to generate a good price.
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01-01-2014, 07:30 AM
Post: #4
RE: Dr. Mudd item on 'Pawn Stars'
But what a great marketing tool Pawn Stars is. You get to put your item in front of millions of people, and you have int evaluated/authenticated/appraised for free. I think in many instances, the market just isn't there, at least at the price the seller wants. Look at the reward poster. The owner, or a subsequent owner put it on ebay at $100,000. It languished. Wes is absolutely correct. It should go to an auction house.
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01-01-2014, 08:29 AM
Post: #5
RE: Dr. Mudd item on 'Pawn Stars'
I agree. I'd use Antiques Roadshow for an appraisal before I'd go to Pawn Stars.... and I'd go to Sotheby's, Christies, etc. before I'd EVER go to eBay!

"The Past is a foreign country...they do things differently there" - L. P. Hartley
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01-01-2014, 09:47 AM
Post: #6
RE: Dr. Mudd item on 'Pawn Stars'
Pawn Stars probably saw it as an interesting item to have on the show and to get people to watch=ratings!
When they turned down her $100,000 offer, she did say she would go to other outlets, hopefully meaning a truly legit historical item operation.
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01-02-2014, 07:50 AM
Post: #7
RE: Dr. Mudd item on 'Pawn Stars'
I have always been dubious of artifacts like this that were supposedly made or owned by famous people. It is kind of like owning a piece of wallpaper from the Peterson house that is the size of a nickel. How do you really know for sure?

Craig
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01-02-2014, 08:14 AM
Post: #8
RE: Dr. Mudd item on 'Pawn Stars'
Hi Craig, I am sure that there are any number of people on this board that own a sliver of hair, a brick, piece of wood or wallpaper. As long as that person believes it is genuine, I believe it serves it's purpose. it inspires us to get that much closer to history.
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01-02-2014, 08:48 AM
Post: #9
RE: Dr. Mudd item on 'Pawn Stars'
It's amazing what you can find if you're hypervigilant and constantly looking. While some things are out of most folk's reach, there's still a lot you can find for under $500. Playbills, signed CDV's, etc. A lot of homework is always a must, however.

"There are few subjects that ignite more casual, uninformed bigotry and condescension from elites in this nation more than Dixie - Jonah Goldberg"
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01-02-2014, 09:07 AM
Post: #10
RE: Dr. Mudd item on 'Pawn Stars'
Agreed, Joe!

Used to be that you could find original CDV's of JWB and the Conspirators for about $8.00 to $25.00 a pop - of course that was about 35-40 years ago. The internet has made this less prevalent, but there are still things out there!

"The Past is a foreign country...they do things differently there" - L. P. Hartley
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01-02-2014, 09:53 AM
Post: #11
RE: Dr. Mudd item on 'Pawn Stars'
(01-02-2014 07:50 AM)Craig Hipkins Wrote:  I have always been dubious of artifacts like this that were supposedly made or owned by famous people. It is kind of like owning a piece of wallpaper from the Peterson house that is the size of a nickel. How do you really know for sure?

Craig

Does anyone know whatever happened with the coverlet claimed to be on Abraham Lincoln at the time of death at the Petersen House?
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01-02-2014, 10:35 AM
Post: #12
RE: Dr. Mudd item on 'Pawn Stars'
I think that's been MIA since 1909.

"There are few subjects that ignite more casual, uninformed bigotry and condescension from elites in this nation more than Dixie - Jonah Goldberg"
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01-02-2014, 11:53 AM (This post was last modified: 01-02-2014 12:02 PM by Rsmyth.)
Post: #13
RE: Dr. Mudd item on 'Pawn Stars'
The following is from my relic notes:
William T. Clark also had the worsted coverlet but it soon disappeared, perhaps finally removed by the home’s owner. The red, white and blue Irish coverlet which covered Lincoln at the time of his death was last exhibited in Springfield, Illinois on the 50th anniversary of the President’s death. It then vanished.
In a letter, to his sister Ida, William Clark wrote; “Everybody has a great desire to obtain some memento from my room, so that whoever comes in has to be closely watched for fear they will steal something. I have a lock of Mr. Lincoln's hair, which I have had neatly framed ; also a piece of linen with a portion of his brain. The pillow and case upon which he lay when he died, and nearly all his wearing apparel, I intend to send to Robert Lincoln as soon as the funeral is over, as I consider him most justly entitled to them. The same mattress is on my bed, and the same coverlid covers me nightly that covered him while dying. Enclosed you will find a piece of lace Mrs. Lincoln wore on her head during the evening, and was dropped by her while entering my room to see her dying husband; it is worth keeping for its historical value. The cushions worked by Clara, and the cushion by you, you little dreamed would be so historically connected with such an event.”
A New York Times article dated Feb 9th 1913 references an 1881 piece written by Frank Carpenter for the American Press Association, that Fred Petersen has, in addition to two pillow cases stained with blood and clotted with brains, the bloodstained, Irish worsted coverlet. Fred was 16 at the time and said that Lincoln’s head was placed on one pillow case and then Secretary of War Edwin Stanton asked for another pillow case which Fred brought.
William Petersen, viewing the red, white and blue coverlet remembered how much his daughter, Louisa had loved it, He decided to put it away as soon as possible. William instructed his daughter “Pauline, take this comforter off the bed, and the pillowcases. People will be taking those away too.” Pauline took the items “downstairs.”
Robert Bain, the great, great, great grandson of William Petersen says the coverlet under which the President died was kept in the family and passed down until it was given to him. It is currently in Robert’s possession (2005) and his intention is to keep the relic in the family
In a May 1st 1865 letter from Elizabeth Dixon who had been summoned to the Petersen House to care for Mary Lincoln to her sister, Mrs. Dixon states “In a back room over a back building, on a common bedstead covered with an Army blanket and a colored woolen coverlet, lay stretched the murdered President,”
Two pictures of the coverlet exist in print. One can be seen on page 105 of Twenty Days by Dorothy Kunhardt and Philip Kunhardt JR and the other is featured on 34 of Lincoln’s Last Battleground by Petersen descendent Robert T. Bain. Even the casual observer can see the coverlets depicted in each picture are different. The Kunhardt’s say in Twenty Days that the coverlet was last displayed in Springfield, Illinois on the 50th anniversary (1915) of the assassination…then it disappeared. Thus far there is no explanation for the discrepancy.
There is some question as to the authenticity of the coverlet. At some point in the past Robert Bain put the item up for sale. The woman who was to purchase the relic had a financier who asked to have the coverlet authenticated. When informed it was to be authenticated, Bain backed out.

Second Lt., 5th U.S. Artillery, W. Butler Beck received hand made gifts from Mudd while stationed in the Dry Tortugas from 1867 to 1876. I wonder if he received the lap top desk?
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01-02-2014, 12:50 PM
Post: #14
RE: Dr. Mudd item on 'Pawn Stars'
Many thanks, Rich, for all that information. The one part I personally can relate to is that Robert Bain asked me to help him sell the coverlet. This was in 2006. When I told him I was neither a collector nor a broker I never heard back from him. From your post it sounds like it is still in his possession. I wondered what became of it.
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01-02-2014, 01:30 PM
Post: #15
RE: Dr. Mudd item on 'Pawn Stars'
I heard that he had a buyer who wanted it authenticated by someone at Ford's Theater but when that someone saw the pics Bain sent, they said it could not possibly be the same coverlet. The deal fell through and he (Bain) pulled it from the market.
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