Steven Spielberg doesn't have a monopoly on "Lincoln."
History buffs can buy the very chair that Abraham Lincoln sat in when he was nominated for the presidency, which has found a temporary home at a pop-up art gallery in Greenwich.
Crafted of bent hickory and put together with pegs and wire, the one-of-a-kind chair is part of an extensive collection of museum-quality pieces of Americana for sale by History You Can Own, a local collectibles start-up.
This relic costs quite a bit of coin -- and not the kind of coin with Lincoln's head on it.
The asking price for Lincoln's chair is $145,000.
The pop-up gallery, which specializes in oil paintings, will host a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday that is open to the general public to view the collection of antiquities, some of which rarely leave the confines of a secured vault.
"There will be a few exceptionally rare documents that won't spend the night," said Stephen Rockwell Desloge, owner of Rockwell Art Galleries, which has locations in Stamford, Westport, New Canaan, Fairfield, Ridgefield and Desloge's hometown of Wilton.
Desloge recently launched History You Can Own out of his Westport gallery with John Reznikoff of University Archives in Westport and Seth Kaller of Seth Kaller Inc. in White Plains, N.Y., who are collaborating on the Greenwich roadshow.
The piece-de-resistance of the collection is an 1864 copy of the Emancipation Proclamation, the Civil War-era document in which Lincoln declared by executive order "that all persons held as slaves" within the rebellious states "are, and henceforward shall be free."
Signed by Lincoln and sold at the Philadelphia sanitary fair to raise money for sick and wounded troops, the framed document is one of 26 still in existence, according to organizers of the collection.
The Emancipation Proclamation copy is the one item that is not for sale. It was lent by the owner, a local collector, as a favor to Seth Kaller, who helped him acquire it several years ago
Organizers of the temporary show acknowledged that they are hoping to capitalize on the popularity of Spielberg's homage to the 16th president and box office boon, "Lincoln."
"I think the timing is fantastic," said Benincasa, a Greenwich resident and longtime curator who met Desloge through the American Society for Interior Designers.
Rare copies of the Declaration of Independence from 1848 and earlier will also be for sale, with one listed for $1 million. The most valuable document that is for sale is a July 1776 broadside of the Declaration of Independence, offered for $1,250,000.
But will they move?
"We have no clue. We would hope that it creates interest," Desloge said.
During an interview Tuesday, Desloge was holding a Nov. 23, 1780, letter from George Washington to Judah Alden, a Revolutionary War major. The letter, in which Washington leaked word of an attack on Staten Island as a ruse to hide a planned assault on British-controlled New York City, is listed for $27,500.
And then there is Honest Abe's chair, which has become a focal point for visitors to Benincasa's gallery.
"They turned to me and said, `Shouldn't this be in the White House or a museum?' " Benincasa said.
Old English furniture polish is not recommended, among other things.
"Bent hickory, while it's firm, you don't want to sit in the chair," Desloge said. "When we have it here, it's on a pedestal with a ribbon across it."
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