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The Philadelphia Print Shop, Ltd.Historical Prints

Prints of Abraham Lincoln


Buttre:  Lincoln
"Abraham Lincoln." New York, 1861. 19 x 14 (sight). Steel engraving originally created by John C. Buttre, but a changed third state. Third state; re: Milton Kaplan, "Heads of State." Winterthur Portfolio 6 (1970): 136-7. Trimmed to image. Professionally conserved. Strong impression. Framed.

A 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 both 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. $850

Lincoln Caricatures
LINCOLN and HIS CONTEMPORARIES IN CARICATURE. Sixteen folio leaves titled The Funniest of Awl and the Phunnyest sort of PHUN. A newspaper printed and sold in New York by The Great American News Company at 121 Nassau Street. June, 1864. Sheets 17 x 11 with distressed edges but full margins. Expected wear. A scarce piece. Reference: See Gary L. Bunker. From Rail-Splitter to Icon. Kent: Kent State University Press, 2001.

In 1864, the nation was in the midst of civil war and in the midst of a presidential campaign. Publisher N. Jennings Demorest and Editor Frank Bellew undertook a new satirical publication which lasted for about three years. English immigrant Bellew (1828-1888) wrote the text, while he and Ohioan Frank Beard provided the illustrations.

In this inaugural issue, twenty-two (22) caricatures and extensive text illustrate social movements of the times. Some of the more important caricatures are:


Brady: Lincoln
"Abraham Lincoln. 16th. President of the United States." Credits read, "Photo by Brady" and "Engraved by A. H. Ritchie." Steel engraving. 15 1/2 x 11 1/2 (sight) in archival mat in frame 26 x 22. New York: Derby & Miller, 1864-65. Some slight spotting throughout.

A very strong, patriotic image of Abraham Lincoln emerged at the time of and with the spirit of commitment to the Emancipation Proclamation. When Francis Carpenter was creating his painting and next his engraving of "The First Reading of the Emancipation Proclamation," participants such as Matthew Brady and Alexander H. Ritchie were committed to that publication as well as this portrait of the president. Associate publishers credited on this print were J.A. Elliot in Boston and George & C.W. Sherwood in Chicago. All three were celebrating Lincoln's accomplishment, and the steel plate survived to later reflect his dignity and fame. $1,200

Sartain: Lincoln
After photograph from life. [Abraham Lincoln. Sixteenth President Of The United States.] Philadelphia: Bradley & Co., 1865. 10 1/2 x 8 7/8. Mezzotint by John Sartain. Trimmed margins. Very good condition.

A strong mezzotint by John Sartain of a bust portrait of Lincoln. John Sartain has been called the 'father of mezzotint engraving' in the U.S., and this print is an excellent example of his work. Sartain based his print on an 1864 photograph by Brady, and the quality of his work enhances this classic image. $575

Lincoln oval portrait
"A. Lincoln." Lithographed portrait surmounting a facsimile autograph in a large oval. 14 3/4 x 10 3/4 (sight) after a photograph. Oval trimmed 1/4" beyond the remaining paper. Clean, bright, strong portrait. No references found.

This portrait is based on the 1864 photograph by Anthony Berger done in Brady's studio. It is a large print and one of the most neat in the depiction of Lincoln's hair and clothing of all that we have examined. No hint of the backwoods rail-splitter is here. Rather the image is of a strong and serious man with a mature beard and more hair than any other. The print fits with the message of victory approaching for the North in the Civil War, and it would have been welcomed for those mourning after Lincoln's assassination.

Almost all oval portraits such as this would have been framed. Given the destructive materials used and climate in most homes, the fact that few of this printing are available is no surprise. $750

"Abraham Lincoln, Sixteenth President of the United States. Born February 12, 1809. Died April 15, 1865." Stone lithograph. Bust portrait in oval with signature beneath reading, "A. Lincoln." 10 3/4 x 8 1/2 (image). Full margins.

A fine, strong image; probably printed within the year 1865. $825

Currier: Death of Lincoln
"Death of President Lincoln. At Washington, D.C. April 15th. 1865. The Nation's Martyr." Currier & Ives, 1865. Small folio. 8 1/2 x 12 7/8. C:1501.

Currier & Ives had much success with issuing "rush" prints of important events of the nineteenth century, which provided one of the few sources of graphic depictions for the general public. This is a fine example of this sort of print, showing Lincoln's funeral procession through New York. $275

Currier Lincoln
"Abraham Lincoln. The Nations Martyr. Assassinated April 14th. 1865." New York: Currier & Ives, 1865. Small folio. Vignette, ca. 10 1/2 x 9. Uncolored. Paper time toned. In early frame. C:26.

Another example of a "rush" print of Lincoln after his assassination. $675

"Abraham Lincoln, Sixteenth President of the United States. Born Feby. 12th. 1809. Died April 15th. 1865." New York: Kimmel & Forster, ca. 1865. Lithograph. 12 x 8 1/2 (sheet). Excellent condition.

A stately memorial print to the assassinated President, issued shortly after his death on April 15th, 1865. Lincoln is shown in a rectangular bust portrait. He is handsome, strong and wears an elegant vest. An example of the type of print based on Francis Carpenter's original that would have hung in many homes of grieving Americans. $550

F. Schell. "Lincoln Family." Philadelphia: John Dainty, [ca. 1865 ff.]. Steel engraving by A.B. Walter. 8 1/4 x 6 (oval image) plus margins. Slight age toning. Cleaned and deacidified. In original, very well preserved oval frame.

Although not giving proper credit, this picture is inspired by Matthew Brady's famous portrait of President Lincoln reading to Tad. Added to the print is Mary Todd Lincoln and son Robert behind the president who is reading a Bible. We can assume it is a Bible because the clasps on the back cover represent a typical housing for the times. A portrait of the son, Willie, who died in the White House is on the far wall. A lovely and touching print in a contemporary frame. $425

Carpenter: First Reading of Emancipation Proclamation
Francis B. Carpenter. "The First Reading of the Emancipation Proclamation Before the Cabinet. From the original picture painted at the White House in 1864." New York: F.B. Carpenter, 1866. 25 x 35. Steel engraving by A.H. Ritchie. Rich impression. Reference: Holzer, et al., The Lincoln Image, fig. 57.

One of the most important of Lincoln prints, this large engraving after Francis B. Carpenter's painting had much to do with the impact of the Emancipation Proclamation on the minds and hearts of Americans after the Civil War. Carpenter, who believed that the Proclamation was one of the great events of the nineteenth century, petitioned Lincoln to create an image of the event and then to publish a print to disseminate knowledge of it. Lincoln, who had made the Proclamation with the intent of it having an important political impact, was enthusiastic in helping Carpenter. He not only let Carpenter use the White House state dining room as his studio for six months, but he instructed all his cabinet members to make themselves available to Carpenter for studies for the print. The resulting print was extremely successful, receiving critical acclaim and wide distribution. The portraits of each person present at the reading is true-to-life and insightful and the room and its furniture and objects are accurately portrayed. Each of the sitters for the print, from Lincoln through every cabinet member, ordered a copy of the print. Many derivative prints were issued, but this is the original image of this monumental turning point in the political and social history of the United States. $2,600

Lincoln Family
Ad. Biegemann. "Lincoln and His Family." Philadelphia: William Smith, ca. 1866. 18 x 24. Lithograph by D. Wiest. Very good condition. Holzer, et al., The Lincoln Image, Fig 87.

A very primitive rendering using the theme of Samuel Waugh's portrait of the Lincolns. The publisher wanted to take advantage of the demand for images of the President without investing in a first-hand rendering. Thus his artist based the image of Lincoln on a photograph of the President and Tad taken in 1865. The image was reversed for the print, but because Biegemann wanted to show all three of Lincoln's sons, including Willie who had died in 1862, the image of Tad from the photograph became Willie, and a figure of Tad as a younger boy was added. Robert is shown in uniform, even though he didn't join the army until after the death of his brother Willie, near whom Robert is standing. The heads and bodies of all the figures are out of scale with each other, and the setting is most awkward. That such a print could be produced and sold by a major publishing house is an interesting reflection on the print market of the time, and a strong indication of the demand for images of Lincoln. $400

T. Johnson. [Abraham Lincoln] Late 19th century engraving. 13 5/8 x 10. Very good condition.

A finely executed profile engraving of our sixteenth president by T. Johnson. $475

Lincoln Family
"Lincoln Family." Photograph: Carte de visite format. Ca. 5 x 3".

A photograph of a composite image using Brady photograph of Lincoln reading to Tad, superimposing image of Mrs. Lincoln seated next to her husband and Robert in military uniform standing behind his father's chair. Note: though Willie's death is acknowledged by his absence from the picture, Mrs. Lincoln is not shown in mourning dress. Cartes de visite, so named for their size (which resembled a small calling card), became popular in the 1850s and 1860s. Using a specially-designed camera, eight different poses could be printed on one sheet of photographic paper, then cut up and mounted on small, pocket-sized cardstock. The same photographic technology that allowed loved ones to exchange likenesses also afforded thousands of Americans the opportunity to own pocket-sized portraits of public figures, including most prominently Abraham Lincoln. $125
GoClick here for a page with cartes de visite of Lincoln and his contemporaries.

Little JokerUnhappy FamilyLove me littleIngenious ThingMelancholy AccidentLast Appearance
Six Satires depicting Abraham Lincoln. These are reproductions of satires that were drawn in 1864 by Henry Louis Stephens who moved from Philadelphia to New York in 1859. He was a brilliant satirist who even managed to lampoon the works of John James Audubon after working for that family. He drew political and social cartoons mainly for magazines such as Frank Leslie's and Harper's during the war. These images appeared in a British magazine.

The six reproductions were commissioned by Townsend and Fuller in 1930 and lithographed by the famous Hoen & Co. in Baltimore. This publisher incorrectly named the artist as "L. H. Stephens" instead of "H.L." An interesting selection that appeared in a city which retained its Southern sympathies into the Twentieth Century. Price for the six $85


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