Sep 27, 2018 - Sale 2486

Sale 2486 - Lot 85

Price Realized: $ 750
Show Hammer Price?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 800 - $ 1,200
(PRINTS--1860 CAMPAIGN.) Johnston, T.M., lithographer; after German. Early campaign print with an interesting history. Lithograph on chine de collé paper, 14 x 11 inches oval, mounted on heavy wove paper as issued, 22 1/4 x 17 1/4 inches, with facsimile signature "A. Lincoln" and title "Abraham Lincoln"; light dampstaining in lower left corner, minor foxing and spoiling. Boston: C.H. Brainard, 1860

Additional Details

The artist and lithographer Thomas Murphy Johnston (1834-1869), the son of a famous caricaturist, based this very early campaign print on a September 1858 photograph by Christopher German. It was apparently done circa May 1860, just after Lincoln's nomination. It was reviewed in the Boston Transcript of 1 June 1860, which called it "a most excellent lithographic portrait."
The publisher, Charles H. Brainard of Boston, thought an even better portrait could be done from an original sketch, so the next month he then sent Johnston west to Illinois. Both artist and publisher were quite strapped for cash--Brainard put 1000 copies of his Stephen Douglas engraving in hock just to provide Johnston with a ten-dollar advance. Lincoln sat for Johnston in Springfield, and the resulting crayon portrait was then engraved in Boston by Francis D'Avignon (not offered here). It proved less successful than the original Brainard-Johnston collaboration, and only one copy is known to survive today. "One of the most fascinating case studies of all the print productions of the Lincoln era"--Lincoln Image, pages 56-61. See also Holzer, Boritt & Neely, Changing the Lincoln Image, pages 25-30, which substantially revises the earlier account. Only one other example traced at auction, and one in OCLC.
with--a short note signed "T.M. Johnston" to a Mr. Donohoe, asking to pay his mother Mrs. S.E. Johnston $100. Paris, 13 January 1869.