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1865 Abraham Lincoln Albumen Display Photograph - His Last Photograph
Starting Bid - $500.00, Sold For - $1,175.00
This original albumen display photo of Abraham Lincoln, taken on March 6, 1865, by photographer H. F. Warren of Waltham, Massachusetts, represents the last photograph ever taken of our sixteenth President. It was issued very shortly prior to Lincoln's death on April 15th. The photo (6 x 8.25) is affixed to a cardboard photographer's mount (10 x 13.5 inches) that features the printed notation "The Latest Photograph of President Lincoln - Taken On The Balcony At The White House, March 6, 1865." In the 1860s, the introduction of the mass production of photography made it possible for important images to be marketed to the public at reasonable rates. This particular image was published in three different sizes by the photographer: a carte-de-visite, a small-format mounted albumen photograph (6 x 8.5 inches), and a large-format mounted albumen photograph (11 x 14 inches). Each of the different sized photos was sold by the photographer both before and after Lincoln's death. For those issued prior to Lincoln's death, of which the offered photo is one, the caption on the mount reads "The Latest Photograph of President Lincoln." After Lincoln's assassination, the photographer changed the the caption to "Last Photograph of President Lincoln." This photograph was taken at the White House on a windy Monday afternoon. Henry F. Warren, a photographer from Waltham, Massachusetts, was in Washington to attend Lincoln’s second inauguration, which had occurred two days earlier, but before he left he hoped to capture a portrait of the President. He was turned away along with hundreds of others, mostly lobbyists, who sought an audience with Lincoln, but was told by a White House guard that “the surest way to obtain an audience with the President was through the intercession of his little son, ‘Tad.’” When Lincoln’s son appeared in the White House garden on his pony, Warren took the time to photograph "Tad” and his pony, and afterwards asked the youngster to tell his father that a man had come all the way from Boston just to photograph him. “Tad” went to see his father, and word soon came back that Mr. Lincoln would comply. In the meantime, Warren prepared an improvised photography studio upon the south balcony of the White House. When Mr. Lincoln came out, he said very few words, and took his seat as requested. After a single photograph was taken, he inquired: “Is that all sir?” Mr. Warren replied: “Yes, sir,” and the President immediately left. At the time he appeared on the balcony it was very windy, as can be seen by the state of Lincoln's hair, and sunset was rapidly approaching, both of which made focusing the picture sharply with one shot all the more difficult. Six weeks later President Lincoln was dead. This is the last photograph ever taken of Lincoln, as he interrupted his busy day (a meeting with former Congressman John T. Stuart of Illinois, a noon reception of a diplomatic corps, a conference with Marcus L. Ward, later governor of New Jersey) to comply with his son’s request to be photographed. This large-format size issued during Lincoln's life is the most desirable form of this extremely significant photograph. The photo displays a number of light scratches and while technically in Very Good condition, it projects a much stronger Excellent overall appearance. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000/$2,000. SOLD FOR $1,175.00
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