The opera glasses that Abraham Lincoln was wearing on the night that he was assassinated 147 years ago are going under auction next week.
Los Angleles based auctioneer Nate D. Sanders believes that the historical artifact might bring in anywhere up to $700,000 when they go under the hammer on April 30.
Made with black enamel and gold, the magnification glasses were recovered by Captain James M McCamly, a Washington City Guard while helping transport the fatally injured president to nearby Petersen House, where he died.
The 16th President of the United States, Lincoln was assasinated at Ford's Theatre in Washington on 14th April, 1865.
He was shot while watching 'Our American Cousin' with his wife by Confederate sympathiser and noted actor of the time John Wilkes Booth.
Using a small Philadelphia Derringer pistol, Wilkes Booth fired behind Lincoln's left ear.
The opera glasses were presumably dropped onto the floor as the mortally wounded President was transported away for medical attention.
'You can imagine all the commotion,' said Laura Yntema, auction manager at Sanders.
'They probably just fell down as he was being moved across the street to the hospital. They are very well documented. We have James McCamly’s military records and a notarised letter from the McCamly’s family as well.'
Built by the German firm Gebruder Strausshof Optiker Berlin, the glasses remained in the McCamly's famiy for three generations.
'Lincoln used literature and the theatre as a means of escape from the daunting demands of the presidency,' said Nate Sanders.
'The glasses are the best and most well-documented relic existing from the first Presidential assassination.'
The glasses themselves match their carrying case which is held at the Ford's Theatre National Historic site.
Over their lifetime the glasses have been owned by Malcolm Forbes Sr. the noted magazine publisher.
When Abraham Lincoln was shot at Ford's Theatre in Washington, in 1865, he had with him two pairs of spectacles and a lens polisher, a pocketknife, a watch fob, a linen handkerchief, a brown leather wallet containing a five-dollar Confederate note and nine newspaper clippings.
Bids for the glasses can be placed online or over the telephone and the current bid is just under $20,000 according to the auction house website.