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Lot 0173


Lincoln Abraham

Abraham Lincoln: Exceptional Example of Ayres Reprint

Sought after George Ayres (1829-1905) albumen photograph, printed in the late 19th century by George B. Ayres from the original negative taken by Alexander Hesler in Springfield, Illinois, in 1860. Without the typical reverse copyright annotation which most likely places it as an earlier photograph. 6.75" x 8.5". Hinged on verso at top edge to a mat, and presented matted with an archival acid free mat to a completed size of 8" x 10". In exceptional condition with toning only to the corners, and withOUT the common foxing. Instead this piece is in fine condition with a lovely warm tone and true presence.

Considered one of the most elegant portraits of Abraham Lincoln in near profile; printed from the original negative. (Ostendorf #26) Chicago photographer Alexander Hesler was invited to photograph Lincoln in Springfield in June 1860 soon after his nomination for President at the Republican National Convention. During the sitting in the Old State House Hesler took three portraits. Lincoln remarked upon seeing the proofs, "That looks better and expresses me better than I have ever seen; if it pleases the people I am satisfied." This photograph is considered one of the finest ever taken of Lincoln. His law partner William Herndon noted of it, "There is the peculiar curve of the lower lip, the lone mole on the right cheek, and a pose of the head so essentially Lincolnian; no other artist has ever caught it." Artist George B. Ayres acquired two of Hesler's original negatives following the close of the Civil War and made a living selling prints of them from the 1880s through the turn of the century. Ayres' original interpositive for this image was broken in transit in the 1930s.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


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Abraham Lincoln: Exceptional Example of Ayres Photo

Estimate $1,200 - $1,400Jan 16, 2020
Starting Price $400
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Ships fromWestport , CT, US
Westport , CT, USA
Auction Curated By:
John Reznikoff