Sep 29, 2022 - Sale 2615

Sale 2615 - Lot 263

Price Realized: $ 3,900
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 800 - $ 1,200
(GIDEON WELLES.) Frederick Halpin, engraver; after Carpenter. Engraved portrait of Lincoln, inscribed by the artist to Gideon Welles. Engraving, 19 1/4 x 14 1/4 inches, with facsimile signature "Abraham Lincoln"; unevenly toned, 3 short tears and chips in right margin, laid down on linen in early 20th century; inscribed faintly in pencil in lower margin "Hon. Gideon Welles, with the regards of F.B. Carpenter," with name of Welles' daughter-in-law inscribed in pencil on verso. In period frame. New York: F.B. Carpenter, 1866

Additional Details

This engraving was done after an original 1864 White House life study by Francis Bicknell Carpenter (1830-1900). Mary Lincoln endorsed it as "the most perfect likeness of my beloved husband that I have ever seen," adding poignantly "The resemblance is so accurate in Mr. Halpin's engraving that it will require far more calmness than I can now command to have it placed continuously before me."

According to family lore, the frame is said to be made from wood taken from the USS Hartford, Admiral Farragut's famous Civil War flagship, although we find no additional documentation. Provenance: from the collection of Thomas Welles Brainard, the great-great-grandson of Gideon Welles.