LOS ANGELES, CA.- The opera glasses that Abraham Lincoln held in his hand when he was fatally shot at Fords Theater in Washington D.C. on April 14, 1865 will be auctioned by Nate D. Sanders on April 30. They were previously in the collection of Malcolm Forbes, Sr.
Lincoln carried the German-manufactured glasses to Our American Cousin'' starring Laura Keene at Fords Theater. During the second acts third scene, John Wilkes Booth jumped into Lincolns box and shot him in the head with his pistol.
Captain James M. McCamly, a Washington city guard and formerly of the 70th New York Infantry Regiment found the black and gold glasses on the street while helping transport Lincoln from Fords Theater to the Petersen House, where the President died hours later. The glasses remained in McCamlys family for three generations.
In 1968, The Ford's Theatre National Park Collection informed McCamlys great-grandson that they housed the carrying case into which these glasses fit precisely.
Malcolm Forbes purchased the glasses in 1979. They are now estimated to sell for $500,000-$700,000.
Auction owner Nate Sanders said Lincoln used literature and the theater as a means of escape from the daunting demands of the presidency. The glasses are the best and most well documented relic existing from the first Presidential assassination.
The auction ends Monday, April 30, 2012 at 5 pm PDT. Bids can be placed online at www.NateDSanders.com or by phone at 310-440-2982 .