19th-Century Necklace with Mary Todd Lincoln Provenance
Appraised Value: $2,500 - $3,500
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (3:04)
Front Desk, Jewelry
GUEST: My Aunt Roxanna's family came from Croton Falls, New York, and was, I think, a neighbor of the Bagolie family. And the Bagolie family had a daughter that married a General Sickles, who was in the Civil War. And they were friends of the Abraham Lincolns. And when General Sickles and his wife, Theresa, had a child, Mrs. Lincoln gave them a gift and it was this necklace. This necklace came to be given by Mrs. Bagolie to my great-grandmother, and it came down the family that way and I just have had it ever since.
APPRAISER 1: Well, what's interesting about this is the back of the locket. There's engraving back there. It's "M.L. to..."
GUEST: It would be Laura Bagolie Sickles, which would be "L.B.S."
APPRAISER 1: So that's the important part. This, as a necklace, is only worth about $800, but this necklace is more significant than that.
APPRAISER 2: General Daniel Sickles was one the great generals of the Union during the Civil War. He lost a leg at Gettysburg. But the fact that he was one-legged didn't hamper his love life, apparently, because he was quite famous as a lady-killer.
APPRAISER 2: He was the lover of Queen Isabella II of Spain and was sometimes called the "un-crowned king of Spain". But ,what I found great about this is that there are so many Lincoln relics where the history is rather vague and the pieces don't quite fit together. These pieces absolutely fit together. I know the story of General Sickles very well, because he's a great favorite with all of us, because he was a rogue, as well as being a great military man. So I found it very interesting that Mrs. Lincoln obviously liked him also, and so, when he had a daughter, she presented them with this necklace. Now, I would like to know a little bit more about this daughter who received the necklace. She had an unhappy life and died early?
GUEST: Well, she had a sad life because her mother had an affair with the son of Francis Scott Key and that was not acceptable. And the mother then was, ostracized from society, but yet the father, General Sickles, had tons of affairs and that was okay, which really is irritating.
APPRAISER 2: And he got away with shooting Francis Scott Key's son.
GUEST: And...That wasn't even against the law
APPRAISER 2: No, that was quite acceptable in those days. Berj Zavian has given you an auction estimate on the necklace as a piece of jewelry, of about $800. Now, we have to take into account, on this piece, the historical significance as well. And I would say that the historical significance more than doubles the value of that. I think this is a piece worth $2,500 to $3,500, because of this very fine Lincoln provenance with it. And I congratulate on having this. It's a very attractive piece.
GUEST: Well, I'm very glad to have it. And it will stay in my family and I just like knowing about it.
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