A fine, original antique print of Abraham Lincoln by Elijah C. Middleton. Middleton is widely regarded as one of the pioneers of chromolithography in America. Establishing his engraving firm in Cincinnati at mid-nineteenth-century, Middleton’s business benefited from the city’s prime location along routes of westward migration. As the city grew, so did a market for printed material – including chromolithographs. Middleton and his partner, W.R. Wallace, ventured from engraving into chromolithography and produced the oldest surviving chromolithograph from Cincinnati. Their partnership became the basis for chromo-publishing giant Strobridge & Company, which competed with Ehrgott & Forbriger for prominence in the Cincinnati and Midwestern print markets.
Desiring an accurate representation of President Lincoln, Middleton actually solicited the his advice, sending a proof copy and receiving in return a letter from Lincoln with both compliment and critique. The resulting portrait is the only instance in which Lincoln is known to have advised the artist.