"View of the Catafalque in Front of City Hall".

Sub-collection: Lincoln

"View of the Catafalque in Front of City Hall" Print, Obsequies of Abraham Lincoln, NYC.
This Print was originally on page 144 of the Obsequies of Abraham Lincoln, in the City of New York published in 1866 by the Common Council of the City of New York. It is an accurate depiction of the grand catafalque bearing the coffin of slain President Abraham Lincoln's in New York City just prior to the funeral procession.

This was rumored to be the same catafalque that bore the body of Lincoln's dear friend and New Yorker, Colonel Elmer E. Ellsworth, in 1861. Friend and aide to Lincoln, Ellsworth had accompanied the President-elect on the train trip to the first inaugural. Lincoln had wept at news of Ellsworth's death in 1861 and ordered that his body lie in state at the White House and then be sent to New York City to lie in state at City Hall.

This magnificent catafalque may have been the same, which bore Col. Ellsworth, but its appearance was quite different. New York undertaker Peter Relyea, who worked on it for three days at the junction of East Broadway and Grand Street, redecorated this funeral carriage. Here he lived with it and slept with it all in front of marveling crowds as he decorated it with flags, plumes, tassels and mourning crepe.

Lincoln's catafalque was massive: Fourteen feet long and almost seven feet wide. There was an impressive canopy, upon which there was a gold and white temple of Liberty topped with a small, half-staffed US flag flying from its dome. The catafalque bore twelve large United States flags; creped national flags that rose in clumps of three from each corner column.
The Obsequies of Lincoln, in the City of New York, the volume from which this print derives, was a printed record of the city's Lincoln funeral services and eulogies published in bound volumes for distribution by the Common Council of New York to libraries, schools and other institutions. The volume's release was opposed and vetoed by the Democratic Mayor of New York City, C. Godfry Gunther, who, in turn, was overridden by the New York Board of Aldermen and Councilmen.

Provenance: Acquired at auction 1996.

ZFC Important Flag


Valentine, David T., Obsequies of Abraham Lincoln, in the City of New York, New York Edmund Jones & Co., 1866.

Kunhardt, Dorothy, & Philip B. Kunhardt Jr., Twenty Days, Castle Books, Secaucus, 1977

Lincoln's Funeral in New York, The Abraham Lincoln Blog, 13 December 2011, from: http://abrahamlincolnblog.blogspot.com/2010/04/lincolns-funeral-in-new-york.html

The Funeral Train, Mr. Lincoln and New York, 13 December 2011, from:

Chapter Six, Mayor Gunther Presided at Lincoln Obsequies but Vetoed Their Publication, Correction History, 13 December 2011, from: http://www.correctionhistory.org/html/chronicl/gunther/gunther06.html

Image Credits:
Zaricor Flag Collection

Hoist & Fly

Width of Hoist 6.5
Length of Fly 8.5


Is it framed? no


Are there stars on obverse? no
Are there stars on reverse? no


Has a Blood Stripe? no


All original documents and drawings are held in the Zaricor Flag Collection Archives.
All original documents and drawings are held in the Zaricor Flag Collection Archives.


Condition Good
Damage Flag is used, fixed.
Displayable yes


Date 1865