Lot #16
Abraham Lincoln and Tad Lincoln Oversized Albumen Photograph

Iconic oversized portrait of President Lincoln and son Tad
This lot has closed

Estimate: $1000+


Iconic oversized portrait of President Lincoln and son Tad

Iconic oversized 7 x 9 albumen photograph of President Abraham Lincoln and his son Tad, taken by Mathew Brady's assistant Anthony Berger on February 9, 1864. Affixed to a slightly larger mount, and double-matted and framed to an overall size of 16.25 x 20.25. In fine condition, with some small spots to the image, and toning to corners of the mount.

On February 9, 1864, portrait painter Francis B. Carpenter arranged for President Lincoln to sit for a series of photographs at Matthew Brady’s Washington D.C. gallery. Carpenter, the President, and Lincoln’s youngest son Tad walked to Brady’s studio at 3 p.m.

Since Brady’s eyesight was beginning to fail, he asked his superintendent, Anthony Berger, to photograph Lincoln. Berger took at least seven poses of the President, both alone and with ten-year-old Tad. The images taken that day have formed the basis for Lincoln’s image on the penny and both the old and new $5 bills.

In this image, Lincoln holds 'a big photograph album which the photographer, posing the father and son, had hit upon as a good device to use in this way to bring the two sitters together.' Lincoln later feared that the public would view this pose as 'a species of false pretense' because most viewers would assume the book was a large clasped Bible. When they learned that it was a photograph album, they might think Lincoln was 'making believe read the Bible to Tad.' Just as Lincoln feared, after his death some versions were carefully retouched in order to make the album appear to be a large Bible. In this example, they are clearly perusing a photo album.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autograph and Artifacts, Ft. Art and Literature
  • Dates: #610 - Ended June 16, 2021