Abraham Lincoln, Portrait Photograph, 1860 and 1881

Abraham Lincoln, Portrait Photograph, Alexander Hesler, Photographer, 1860, platinum print by George B. Ayres, 1881
platinum print photograph
Professionally restored
Black and white platinum print, mounted on original secondary support, professionally treated for areas of minor damage to surface
7.5 × 9.36 inches
Sale Status: 

Alexander Hesler (1823 – 1895), the American photographer based in Chicago, Illinois took this photograph of Abraham Lincoln when he was a candidate for President of the United States.   Hesler had Lincoln sit for this portrait in Hesler's Chicago studio in 1860.

The contents of Hesler's studio, including the glass negative for this print were purchased in 1867 by George B. Ayres (1829-1905). On the back of this photograph, on the secondary support, is the manuscript inscription " Copyright Geo. B. Ayres Phila."  The platinum print was made by George B. Ayres and signed on the back.

The platinum print process produces an image of exceptional clarity and depth. The artifacts of the platinum print process can be seen around the outside edges of this print. The grey tones in the platinum print image give Abraham Lincoln's features and complexion a lifelike presence. The gleam of his vest contrasts with the subdued hues of his suit jacket.  This is a fine example of the Ayres print of Hesler's original negative.                       

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The Back Room