Frederick H. Meserve, 337 Original Cartes de Visite, Lincoln, Lincoln Family, Civil War Generals and Much More



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From the Meserve Family, Arranged For His Daughter, Dorothy
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Frederick H. Meserve was considered the preeminent historian of the photographs of Lincoln and one of America’s premier Lincoln-era image collectors who began collecting before 1900.  He acquired Matthew B. Brady’s Civil War negatives, housed in 24 wooden crates, in 1902 – from which these cartes-de-visite images came.  His negative collection is now housed in the Library of Congress. 

Meserve himself put together these individual sheets, each with an inlaid carte-de-visite-sized photograph of Lincoln, his wife Mary, Civil War generals (mostly Union with some Confederate), politicians, notables, views, and more. Many have a handwritten note by Meserve noting that the image came off his own collection of negatives.

Meserve assembled this collection for his daughter, Dorothy. Dorothy Kunhardt wrote around fifty books, mostly children’s books. She is the author of the classic title, Pat the Bunny. Since releasing in 1940, Pat the Bunny has sold over six million copies. It is still in print today. Working in partnership her son, Philip B. Kunhardt, Jr., they wrote the Lincoln classic, Twenty Days: A Narrative in Text and Pictures… .

The various limited-edition books Meserve himself put together (in 1911, 1912-14, and 1915) each contained different image content, though with much overlap. The present gathering is especially rich in the military men of the Civil War.

It would be exceptionally difficult to gather these images as contemporary pieces, not to mention prohibitively expensive.

Each page is placed in its own protective sleeve and organized into binders. 

Excellent condition, each with excellent tone and clarity and equal to period cartes-de-visite.  

MESERVE, Frederick H. (1865–1962) 323 Sepia-Toned Carte-de-Visite Historical Portraits and Views.  [New York:  c1915; given to his daughter, Dorothy M. Kunhardt, circa 1856.]  The collection includes Union and Confederate Generals and some of their family members, Lincoln Cabinet Members, Presidents, Other Notables from the Era, and Outdoor Scenes. Each image 2” x 3-3/16”, inlaid onto buff paper pages of either 6-1/2” x 9-3/4” or 9-3/8” x 11-15/16”.

 Plus an Additional Separate Folder of 14 Silver-Print Cartes-de-Visite of Abraham and Mary Lincoln, Abraham’s father and step-mother, and Robert Todd Lincoln and wife Mary Harlan.  Each with accompanying notes in Meserve’s own hand.



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