LINCOLN, Abraham (1809-1865), VOLK, Leonard Wells (1828-1895) – SAINT GAUDENS, Augustus (1848-1907) Plaster casting of Lincoln's face and hands, based on the original life mask made by Volk in May 1860, recast from Volk's original bronze by Gaudens in 1886 for P.J. Koonz.
Plaster with metal wire mounts embedded within. Head: 210 mm wide, 225 mm long, 145mm tall; right hand 180mm long, 110mm wide, 70mm tall; left hand, 170mm long, 130mm wide, 90 mm tall. (minor chips and abrasions, especially around the knuckles, some of which have been repaired, especially around the knuckles, some soiling).
A plaster cast of Volk's famous beardless Lincoln life mask, taken as he became the Republican nominee for President in May 1860. In his left hand, Lincoln holds a broomstick, improvised on Volk's suggestion that he hold something resembling a rolled document. In 1866, Augustus St. Gaudens, together with several partners, purchased the Volk's original plaster casts to present to the Smithsonian Institution. To fund the purchase, they took a subscription for bronze and plaster casts after Volk's originals, supervised by Saint-Gaudens. The reverse of Lincoln's head bears the following embossed caption: "COPYRIGHT 1886 BY LEONARD W VOLK THIS CAST WAS MADE FOR P. J. KOONZ - A SUBSCRIBER TO THE FUND FOR THE PURCHASE AND PRESENTATION TO THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT OF THE ORIGINAL MASK MADE IN CHICAGO APRIL 1860 BY LEONARD W VOLK FROM THE LIVING FACE OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN. THIS CAST WAS TAKEN FROM THE FIRST REPLICA OF THE ORIGINAL IN NEW YORK CITY FEBRUARY 1886."