“Abraham Lincoln.” New York, 1861. Engraving by John C. Buttre. Third state. 25 1/2 x 18 1/2. Smudges in margins. Repaired tear extending from bottom to near feet. Else, good condition. Strong impression. Ref: Milton Kaplan “Heads of State” Winterthur Portfolio 6 (1970).
A large and powerful, full length portrait of Abraham Lincoln in an elegant setting that suggests the White House in Washington. The president is framed by the pillar of strength and the curtain of elegance, while his table contains books, a lamp and a paper. A very elegant chair surmounted by an eagle is behind Lincoln. Upon closer inspection a nimbus surrounds the president’s head and the lamp from an earlier use of the steel plate. In 1859 the plate had been used to print portraits of John C. Fremont when he was running for the office of president for the second time as a Republican. On the table was a globe. When Lincoln gained the nomination in 1860 the plate was reused by burnishing out the head of Fremont and changing the globe to a reading lamp. At first Lincoln appeared clean shaven in the second state, and soon thereafter the third state was created when the beard was added.