Abraham Lincoln stars at a unique auction ユニークなオークションで人気のアブラハム・リンカーン





Over the years, the wax figures have faced criticism because some of them lacked accuracy when compared to the real-life characters they represented.




  • likeness : [noun] 肖像、類似点。似ていること、似通った点
  • figure : [noun] 姿、人影。人の体の形
  • criticism : [noun] 批評または批判。欠点または欠陥を指摘して認めないこと
  • character : [noun] 人材。特別な素質を備えた人物
  • accuracy : [noun] 精度、正確さ。正確であること、誤りやエラーがないこと








Abraham Lincoln stars at a unique auction

January 14 will be remembered in history as the day when 44 U.S. presidents and first ladies were sold. In case this sounds obnoxious, let us clarify: it’s only their wax replicas that were sold. The gavel fell on the life-size wax figures of all past presidents at the Gettysburg Museum on Baltimore Street, with the replica of Abraham Lincoln attracting the highest price of $9,350. Clearly, the 16th president retains his popularity in the eyes of the American masses even after 152 years of his death.

After Lincoln, the next highest price of $8,800 was paid for the wax figure of Theodore Roosevelt. George Washington, the first president of the country, sold for $5,610. The figure of outgoing President Barack Obama was sold for $2,200. In fact, the average price for most presidents was about $2000.

After having more than one million visitors since its formation in 1956, The Hall of Presidents & First Ladies Museum finally closed on November 27 last year, and it was announced that the auction would be held in January. Max Felty, president of Gettysburg Tours, said in an interview to ABC 27 (quoted from The Daily Mail), 'This museum in its current state really hasn't been attracting people for some time and a business decision had to be made to utilize the building for other things.' In the first decade or so of its existence, the Museum attracted a minimum of 200,000 people each year. However, over the last decade of its existence, annual footfalls declined to only about 15,000-20,000.

This has been attributed to the changing tastes of audiences. Audio recordings with still wax figures are passe, particularly with high-tech displays that have come up elsewhere. For example, visitors prefer The Hall of Presidents located in Liberty Square at the Magic Kingdom in the Walt Disney World Resort, which has audio-animatronic figures of most presidents, including Abraham Lincoln.

Nonetheless, the Gettysburg Museum, though quaint and “yesteryear,” represents a big chunk of history. Not surprisingly, there were more than 300 bidders at the auction, and they belonged to various walks of life: private citizens, museum officials, media persons, and distant relatives of the presidents themselves.

Among the first ladies of the 1950s and later, Hillary Clinton's figurine bagged the top spot at $675, while Michelle Obama attracted a price of $577.50. She was followed by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis at $550. Abraham Lincoln’s wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, sold for $990. Martha Washington, wife of the first president, sold for $385. Unlike the presidents, the wax figurines of the first ladies were made at one-third life-size because of a lack of space in the display area. They are shown wearing replicas of their inaugural gowns.

Lancaster Online reports on the prices of some other presidents and first ladies at the auction. James Buchanan (15th president, on the eve of the American Civil War), who has been in the bad books of historians, sold for $4,400, which is far higher than the price paid for most presidents. Other price samples include 3rd president Thomas Jefferson ($2,640), 4th president James Madison ($1,430), 7th president Andrew Jackson ($5,610), 12th president Zachary Taylor ($2,200), 18th president Ulysses Grant ($6,820), 35th president John Kennedy ($3,300), 37th president Richard Nixon ($2,090), 39th president Jimmy Carter ($2,750), and 40th president Ronald Reagan ($3,300).

The prices paid for some of the other first ladies are Dolly Madison ($495), Harriet Lane ($660), Eleanor Roosevelt ($715), Lady Bird Johnson ($357.50), and Barbara Bush ($357.50).

According to Randy Dickensheets, who presented the items at the auction and is also co-owner of Pennsylvania Onsite Auction Co, the auction succeeded in garnering a six-figure sum for Gettysburg Heritage Enterprises, Inc., which owns the museum. The bidders paid a 10% fee apart from the auction price. Speaking on Lincoln’s popularity to the York Dispatch, Dickensheets said (as quoted on philly.com), "It was expected. Lincoln is popular among Democrats and Republicans."

The Museum was created at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, because it was close to the retirement home of President Eisenhower. In fact, the Eisenhowers maintained a farmhouse in Gettysburg, which has since been converted into the Eisenhower National Historic Site.

There are many artists behind the creation of the wax figures. All except the three most recent first ladies were created by Pittsburgh-based Ivo Zini, who is renowned worldwide for his work in cosmetic prosthesis.

Over the years, the wax figures have faced criticism because some of them lack accuracy when compared to the real-life characters they represent. For instance, Franklin Pierce has the wrong hair color and William Howard Taft’s figure is too thin, while it takes some imagination to identify Bill Clinton. Besides, the condition of some of the wax figures is not too good because they went through several restorations and some of the heads were redone by a different sculptor. The figure of Thomas Jefferson has a missing left hand. Despite these shortcomings, however, people were willing to pay thousands to “own” a president--and why not?




WISDOM SQUAREの人気ポッドキャストシリーズ

  • 毎日1分ビジネス英語
  • 毎日1分ビジネス英語
  • 毎日2分ビジネス英語
  • 毎日3分ビジネス英語
Business English Pro、1日10分ビジネス英語でもっと学習!

月額1,000円〜 最新のニュース記事で手軽に始めるビジネス英語学習

ポッドキャストの英文記事スクリプトは、Business English Pro1日10分ビジネス英語 で配信されています。

Business English Pro1日10分ビジネス英語なら、このポッドキャストで紹介されている記事だけでなく、週5日間、最新のニュースを使った学習記事が毎日配信されています。もちろん音声と日本語訳付きです。 (※ Business English ProはBeginning、Basicレベルのみ日本語訳付き)

  • ニュースソースは世界中の様々なニュース、メディアを元にスペシャリストにより作成されたオリジナルのニュース記事!
  • 常に新しい記事で学習ができて、同時に最新の情報もインプットできます
  • 「英語は勉強したいけど時間が…」という忙しいという方。ニュースを読む感覚で英語の学習ができます
  • スマートフォンから学習できるので、通勤時間や空き時間に手軽に学習できます
  • 1日10分ビジネス英語なら月額980円で受講できます!ビジネス英語を手軽に学習したい方に最適です

さらに Business English Proなら

  • 毎日レベル毎に難易度の異なる記事をそれぞれ配信。初級者から上級者までレベルに合わせた学習が可能です
  • 過去に配信された記事のストックから、さかのぼってお好きなだけ学習が可能です
  • 1週間の記事の復習をおこなう Weekly Reviewなど、通常の学習記事以外のコンテンツも充実しています
  • レベル修了テストで学習の成果を試すことができます。修了証の発行もおこなわれます