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Fine Manuscript and Printed Americana

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Alexander Gardner
ABRAHAM LINCOLN
Imperial photo from original Alexander Gardner negative taken on August 9, 1863 and printed by  M. P. Rice, from the original plate, ca. 1901, with Rice’s copyright notice near bottom right (13 3/4 x 16 5/8 ins.; 350 x 422 mm). Some ink retouching.
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Ostendorf O-71C

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Taken when the tide was beginning to turn

On 9 August 1863, President Abraham Lincoln and his personal secretary John Hay visited the new studio of Alexander Gardner, on the corner of 7th and D Streets, over Shephard and Riley’s Bookstore. Lincoln had promised to be Gardner’s first sitter and chose Sunday to avoid curiosity seekers while on his way there. The President posed for at least six photographs, including this one, which was one of four taken simultaneously with a multi-lens camera and a single glass plate. The images captured that day included both seated and standing poses.

Hay noted in his diary that the President “was in very good spirits. He thinks that the rebel power is at last beginning to disintegrate; that they will break to pieces if we only stand firm now.”

Even printed in 1901, Lincoln photographs of this size from original negatives are very scarce in the market.

Fine Manuscript and Printed Americana

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