‘PC’ takes a back seat to collectibility

This rare political ribbon from the 1868 election is highly sought after by collectors.

Sometimes, when you talk history or politics, political correctness has to take a back seat.

What was appropriate in one time period, or at least somewhat acceptable, might horrify us today. Such was the case when a very scarce Horatio Seymour and Francis Blair ribbon from the 1868 presidential race came up for auction in the recent OldPoliticals.com auction No. 15. I blogged about this ribbon and several others in the auction a week or so before closing day.

Let’s look at the pluses and minuses of this item.

The ribbon had a lot going for it. It was colorful for the era – red and blue printing on a cream colored background. It was a jugate (two photo) ribbon with their names below and offices sought above the photos. But most significant for collectors was the campaign slogan on the ribbon that said “Our Motto: This is a White Man’s Country; Let White Men Rule.” Considering that this was for the first election held after the Civil War, it was a significant addition to this ribbon.

What the ribbon had going against it was overall staining, a clipped top corner and fraying at the bottom edge. Certainly it was not in terrible shape, but it certainly wasn’t mint either.

The estimate on the ribbon was that its value was in the $8,000-$10,000 range. It was started at a very fair $4,995. Two bidders sought the ribbon, and it sold for $6,154.

While a hefty price for a single ribbon, it appeared to be held back by condition. But, as we say as in the hobby — find another.




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