LINCOLN, Abraham. BRADY, Matthew, publisher. Oval portrait photograph of Lincoln and his son ''Tad,'' taken by Anthony Berger in Brady's Washington D.C. studio on 9 February 1864. Philadelphia: Charles Desilver Publisher, n.d. . Hamilton & Ostendorf, Lincoln in Photographs, O-93, pp. 182-183.
LINCOLN, Abraham. BRADY, Matthew, publisher. Oval portrait photograph of Lincoln and his son "Tad," taken by Anthony Berger in Brady's Washington D.C. studio on 9 February 1864. Philadelphia: Charles Desilver Publisher, n.d. . Hamilton & Ostendorf, Lincoln in Photographs, O-93, pp. 182-183.
Oval albumen photograph (8 x 6 1/8 in.), on original mount (10 x 7¾ in.), with printed imprint and partial caption "Abraham Lincoln - father"; light spotting, the mount trimmed by an early owner affecting part of caption, to fit an oval gutta-percha frame (present).
"A. LINCOLN & SON": BRADY'S POIGNANT IMAGE OF THE PRESIDENT AND HIS TEN-YEAR-OLD SON "TAD"
An unusual and enduringly popular image of Lincoln and his youngest son, Thomas or "Tad," who was 10 years old at the time. Brady's informal joint portrait was frequently reproduced in various sizes both by Brady other photographers. For the sitting at Brady's Washington studio, Lincoln seated himself in an armchair and placed a large album of carte-de-visites on his lap; Tad--dressed for the occasion in his best clothes, including watch fob and chain--stood on his father's left while they studied the album. In unretouched examples, the album's brass clasps and the cartes, mounted four to the page, may be clearly discerned. Afterwards, Lincoln expressed concern that the album might be mistaken for a lectern-size Bible, and told Noah Brooks that the picture might be considered "a species of false pretence," even though "it was a big photograph album which the photographer, posing the father and son, had hit upon as a good device...to bring the two sitters together." Just as Lincoln feared, after his death some versions were carefully retouched in order to make the album appear to be a large Bible. As one of the best-known "domestic" images of Lincoln it was reproduced by Harper's Weekly and copied by many artists and lithographers (see Holzer, Boritt and Neely, The Lincoln Image, pp.174-175, figs.82-86).
Examples of this famous image in the larger formats are quite scarce. Lincoln is known to have signed four copies of the Brady-printed oval photograph (a fine example from the Forbes Collection was sold here, 27 March 2002, lot 95, $358,000).