New York, East
12 May 1999
[LINCOLN, ABRAHAM]. GARDNER, ALEXANDER. Oval albumen profile portrait of Lincoln. approx. 8 x 5 in., vignetted print shaped to an oval, affixed to original card mount, mount slightly browned, minor soiling at extreme edges, letterpress imprint "A. Gardner, Photographer Washington," in lower portion, with facsimile signature and inscription "Your obedient Servt. A Lincoln" in lower margin. Hamilton/Ostendorf O-80; Meserve, pl.61. EXTREMELY RARE.
A VERY RARE PROFILE IMAGE OF LINCOLN, one of an important series of portraits taken by Gardner on Sunday November 8, 1863, 10 days before Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address. As John Hay, Lincoln's secretary, recorded in his diary: "Went...to Gardner's Gallery & were soon joined by Nico [John Nicolay] and the Presdt. We had a great many pictures taken...some of the Presdt. the best I have seen." The present left-facing profile portrait is noticeably rarer than the similar, better-known right-facing profile by Berger of Brady's Gallery (O-88, the so-called penny profile," used as the model for the relief on the Lincoln-head penny).
One copy of this very rare image was offered at Christie's (May 1983, $9,500); the present example was sold at Sotheby's (November 1985, $8250).
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