Sep 27, 2018 - Sale 2486

Sale 2486 - Lot 125

Price Realized: $ 1,375
Show Hammer Price?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 700 - $ 1,000
(PRINTS--SECOND TERM.) Middleton, Elijah C.; lithographer Two states of a popular portrait of Lincoln. Chromolithograph in "warranted oil colors," 16 3/4 x 13 1/2 inches oval, mounted on canvas and affixed to wooden stretcher as issued; minimal wear at edges, but quite fresh and clean; lithographer's stamp on verso. Not examined outside of original frame (gilt on plaster, minor wear) * Tinted lithograph, 17 x 14 inches, with gilt border; dampstaining and moderate wear including a 2-inch closed tear extending nearly into image. Cincinnati, OH, 1864

Additional Details

The original image for this portrait was a photograph by Anthony Berger in Mathew Brady's Washington studio on 9 February 1864, later used for the five-dollar bill. Middleton, Strobridge & Co. produced a preliminary uncolored lithograph with Lincoln's facsimile signature and had a copy sent to the president, who offered this critique in a 30 December 1864 letter: "Your picture . . . is, in the main, very good. From a line across immediately above the eye-brows, downward it appears to me perfect. Above such a line I think it is not so good--that is, while it gives perhaps a better fore-head, it is not quite true to the original." Lincoln also suggested that Middleton should study a photograph, apparently not realizing that this was a faithful rendition of one. Incorporating Lincoln's suggestions, the final chromolithograph was produced. Examples of both the tinted lithograph and the final framed chromolithograph are offered here together. See Holzer, Lincoln Image, pages 136-140; Meserve 87; and the Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, page VIII:191.