Freeman's
Abraham Lincoln. Original Photograph Signed, Carte-de-Visite standing portrait.

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Thomas B. McCabe IV
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Published: 19 January 2010

Autographed Photograph of Abraham Lincoln Sells for $103,000 at Freeman's

A signed photograph of Abraham Lincoln sold for $103,000 with Buyers Premium at Freeman's auctioneers in Philadelphia. The original photograph, signed Lincoln, A(braham) is particularly rare as it pictures Lincoln standing rather than seated. There are only 119 known images of Lincoln and only 24 of them show him standing. The photograph was by Thomas Le Mere at Brady's gallery, Washington, D.C., April 17, 1863, and was published by E. Anthony, 501 Broadway, N.Y. [1863].

David Bloom, book specialist at Freeman's said "I knew that there was something very special about this photograph. First it was in excellent condition with an unusual purple border. It was so fresh with a very bold signature. We had enormous interest from around the world, it was finally bought for what I believe may be a record price for a photograph of a U.S President for $103,000".

The photograph came from an album of photographs sold in the same sale for US$12,000. It contains over 60 portraits of Union political & military notables. Signed photos include Robert Anderson (comdr. of Ft. Sumter), Gen. Joseph Hooker, Gen. George B. McClellan, Gen. Fitz-John Porter, Gen. Winfield Scott (signed on verso) - not shown in uniform, Montgomery Blair (Lincoln's Postmaster General, counsel for Dred Scott), William H. Seward (Lincoln's Sec. of State), Gideon Welles (Lincoln's Sec. of Navy); also signed photos of Robert & Louis Philippe D'Orleans (French-born nobles serving under McClellan).

David Bloom continues "The history of both lots is impeccable. They have been passed down through the family of a wealthy New York political figure who came to prominence in the 19th century." Abraham Lincoln was the 16th and the most beloved of all American presidents and is now regarded along with Washington and Franklin Roosevelt, as one of the Republic's three greatest presidents. At the time he engendered intense political controversy, in both the north and south, but he is known as the champion of freedom, and hero of the American nation.

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