Lot 1470
  • 1470

ABRAHAM LINCOLN

Estimate
150,000 - 200,000 USD
Sold
187,500 USD
bidding is closed

Description

  • Frank Pierson Richards
  • Carved and painted pine standing figure

Provenance

Peter Tillou, Litchfield, Connecticut;
Sotheby's, New York, The American Folk Art Collection of Howard and Catherine Feldman, June 23, 1988, lot 135;
Christie's, New York, Fine American Furniture, Folk Art, Silver and Prints, May 23, 2006, lot 168;
Allan Katz, Woodbridge, Connecticut

Exhibited

New York, New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, The Flowering of American Folk Art, February-March, 1974, also traveled to Richmond, Virginia Museum, April-June 1974 and San Francisco, M.H. deYoung Memorial Museum, June-September, 1974

Literature

Jean Lipman and Alice Winchester, The Flowering of American Folk Art (New York: Viking Press, 1974), p. 123, fig. 164

Catalogue Note

Frank Pierson Richards (1852–1929) was an Illinois farmer, carver, and inventor. According to the Illinois State Museum, which owns an ornate decorative mantel and screen he carved for his home as well as carvings of George Washington and Ulysses S. Grant on horseback, one of his inventions was “a model aircraft powered by a rubber band, which he flew off the top of a downtown building,” allegedly before the Wright Brothers flew at Kitty Hawk. In his later years, Richards displayed the mantel, screen, and several carved patriotic figures in front of his house in Springfield every Fourth of July so that passing paraders could see them. His work also was displayed at the Illinois State Fair in 1920, where it won several blue ribbons. Another Richards carving of Grant is in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery.

This unique figure of Abraham Lincoln was inspired by Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ monumental statue Abraham Lincoln: The Man, which depicts a thoughtful Lincoln standing in front of an elaborately carved chair, about to begin a speech. The original statue was unveiled in Lincoln Park in Chicago in 1887, while later full-size replicas are displayed in Springfield, Illinois; London; and Mexico City, and smaller replicas made after Saint-Gaudens’ death are in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Yale University Art Gallery, the Harvard Art Museums, the Newark Museum, and the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in Cornish, New Hampshire.
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