Item #8060 Abraham Lincoln.

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Abraham Lincoln.

New York: Fishel, Adler & Schwartz, 373 Fifth Ave., [Ca. 1865–70]. Engraving, 19.75” x 27.5” plus margins. CONDITION: Very good, slight dampstain at lower margin, no affect to text or image.

A stately engraving of Lincoln in which his head has been substituted for that of John C. Calhoun, the original subject of this engraving.

Likely printed after his assassination, this portrait is a composite piece, with Lincoln’s head superimposed by New York printmaker William Pate “on the figure and background of an earlier print by A. H. Ritchie showing John C. Calhoun, 1852” (LOC). The Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection offers a description of the portrait: “The print shows President Lincoln wearing a black frock coat, waist coat, and bow tie with a shawl wrapped over his right shoulder and around his back to be held at his waist in front with his right hand. His left hand rests on one of the documents on the table to his left. In the Calhoun image, the papers on the table say ‘Strict Constitution,’ ‘Free Trade,’ and ‘the Sovereignty of the States.’ In this Lincoln image, these words have been changed to read, ‘Constitution,’ ‘Union,’ and ‘Proclamation of Freedom.’ The title is printed in the bottom margin.”

In the aftermath of General Lee’s surrender at Appomattox and Lincoln’s assassination, the nation’s printmakers experienced a great demand for images of the President. During this period, Lincoln’s head was substituted not only for John C. Calhoun’s, but also for those of Frank P. Blair, John C. Fremont, and Martin Van Buren by re-engraving earlier plates. 

REFERENCES: “Abraham Lincoln,” #2003654314 at the Library of Congress online; “Abraham Lincoln,” #71.2009.081.1468, at The Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection online; Holzer, Harold. “Lincolniana: Lincoln and the Printmakers,” Journal of the Illinois Historical Society, Vol. 68, No. 1 (1975): p. 84.

Item #8060

Price: $1,250.00

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