Lincoln, Abraham. Albumen Photograph, O-27
From an Original Hesler Negative
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Lincoln, Abraham. Hesler, Alexander. Albumen Photograph of Abraham Lincoln, taken from an original Hesler negative (June, 1860). Philadelphia: c1880s. (O-27) “Copyright / Geo. B. Ayers / Phila” handwritten on verso; 6-3/4” x 8-1/4”.
Ayers had purchased Hesler’s studio and later sold it, taking the glass plates for this sitting with him. This image, O-27, is more difficult to find than the more sideward facing O-26.
In the 1880s, Lincoln’s secretaries, John Nicolay and John Hay, asked to use this pose for a frontispiece, and the image became instantly famous. Ayers made many copies for sale, but rarely do they come to us this finely sharp and clear. Of this Lincoln commented that “It looks better and it expresses me better than any I have seen; if it pleases the people I am satisfied.”
As nice as they come: beautiful, deep tonality; detailed and clear; emulsion edges can be seen; very sm. ch. at upper right corner. Taken as Republican nominee for the presidency.