American Art

American Art

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 41. Head of Lincoln.

Augustus Saint-Gaudens

Head of Lincoln

Auction Closed

November 22, 10:23 PM GMT


20,000 - 30,000 USD

Lot Details


Augustus Saint-Gaudens

1848 - 1907

Head of Lincoln

inscribed AUGUSTUS SAINT GAUDENS / © (along the bust) and ROMAN BRONZE WORKS N-Y- (along the base)

bronze with brown patina

height: 17 ½ inches (44.5 cm) on a 5 inch (12.7 cm) marble base

Modeled in 1887; cast circa 1923.

We are grateful to Dr. Henry Duffy for his assistance cataloguing this lot.

Nathaniel A. Elsberg, New York
Bequest to the present owner, circa 1932
American Magazine of Art, vol. 20, April 1929, p. 223
John H. Dryfhout, The Work of Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Hanover, New Hampshire, 1982, no. 124-6, p. 162 illustration of another example
"Augustus Saint-Gaudens: American Sculptor, from the Collection of the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site," Washington, DC, 1992, no. 20, n.p., illustration of another example
Thayer Tolles, Augustus Saint-Gaudens in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2009, p. 24, fig. 25, illustration of another example
Head of Lincoln was modeled in 1887—the same year that Augustus Saint Gaudens’ larger-than-life sculpture of the sixteenth President was unveiled in Chicago’s Lincoln Park. Saint-Gaudens prepared assiduously in advance of beginning to model his renderings of Lincoln, closely examining the former President’s speeches and personal writings, in addition to studying contemporary photographs of him, including several taken by Matthew Brady. The artist’s widow, Augusta, authorized the casting of Head of Lincoln following his death in 1907. Other examples of this bronze can be found in the collections of the Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, Oklahoma; the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; and the Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, Delaware. The present work was formerly in the collection of  Nathaniel Elsberg (1872-1932), a lawyer who served as a member of the New York Senate from 1899 to 1906. During his tenure, Elsberg introduced legislation for the integration of school systems in New York State.