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Portrait of Abraham Lincoln c. 1859 by Samuel Montague Fassett

Updated on October 4, 2013
Portrait of Abraham Lincoln, Ivanhoe Cafe, Detroit
Portrait of Abraham Lincoln, Ivanhoe Cafe, Detroit | Source

Lincoln Portrait at the Ivanhoe Cafe

When having a fine fried perch lunch recently at the Ivanhoe Cafe in Detroit I noticed a striking portrait of Abraham Lincoln hanging on the wall near my table in the back room. I happened to have my camera with me and took several pictures of the portrait. Neither the photographer nor date of the photograph were identified, but the picture was captioned "Published and Copyright 1893, AW Elson & Co., Boston." A Google search revealed that AW Elson made photogravures in Boston in the late 1800s and was no longer in business.

I posed a question on HubPages asking for help identifying the photographer or artist who made the original portrait, and the best answer I received was from noted Connecticut artist Robert Dente who verified that the photogravure was made from an original 1859 photograph by Samuel Montague Fassett. I also received helpful information on the origin of the portrait from Colton Weatherston and Robert Hensleigh of the Detroit Art Institute.

The portrait hanging in the Ivanhoe was slightly stained so I took my digital image of it it to a local photo shop, Woodward Camera, and asked them to remove the stains and make me a life-size 16x20 print which appears at the bottom of the sequence of pictures below.

Lincoln Portrait, Ivanhoe Cafe, deedsphoto
Lincoln Portrait, Ivanhoe Cafe, deedsphoto
Samuel Montague Fassett photograph of Abraham Lincoln c. 1859.
Samuel Montague Fassett photograph of Abraham Lincoln c. 1859.
Lincoln Portrait by Samuel Montague Fassett c. 1859
Lincoln Portrait by Samuel Montague Fassett c. 1859 | Source

Lincoln Portrait by Samuel Montague Fassett (Historical Findings)

Title: [Abraham Lincoln, half-length portrait, facing right]
Creator(s): Fassett, S. M. (Samuel Montague), photographer
Date Created/Published: [1859 Oct. 4, printed later]
Notes:
Ostendorf, no. 16
Meserve, no. 8
Title devised by Library staff.
The Library's copy negative LC-USZ62-11492 was made from a print in the collection of Mrs. Wm. Lloyd Garrison.
'Lincoln posed for this portrait at the gallery of Cooke and Fassett in Chicago, and Cooke, who had asked for the sitting, wrote on April 25, 1865, to his partner: 'Mrs. Lincoln pronounced [it] the best likeness she had ever seen of her husband.' The negative of this rare photograph was destroyed in the Chicago fire.' (Source: Ostendorf, p. 30)
Published in: Lincoln's photographs: a complete album / by Lloyd Ostendorf. Dayton, OH: Rockywood Press, 1998, p. 30.
Subjects:
Lincoln, Abraham,--1809-1865.
--1900-1960.
Portrait photographs--1850-1860.
Bookmark /2009630657/

Ralph Deeds photo taken from AW Elson 1893 Photogravure made from Samuel Montague Fassett 1859 photograph. (16x20 inch photographic prints available for $50 including postage.)
Ralph Deeds photo taken from AW Elson 1893 Photogravure made from Samuel Montague Fassett 1859 photograph. (16x20 inch photographic prints available for $50 including postage.)

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    • Ralph Deeds profile imageAUTHOR

      Ralph Deeds 

      4 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Thanks. I had fun doing the detective work.

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 

      4 years ago from Taos, NM

      How interesting and what a beautiful photograph you made from the original one in the cafe. The history behind the photo is interesting and informative also. What a treasure to have and have taken yourself. Bravo!

    • Ralph Deeds profile imageAUTHOR

      Ralph Deeds 

      5 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Thanks for your comment. Try this one:

      https://hubpages.com/entertainment/Pit-Bull-Tatoos...

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 

      5 years ago from West Virginia

      Voted up, useful, awesome, interesting, and shared. Great article Ralph, these are stunning images. I always enjoy history and reading about it, learning every detail that I can. Well done. Shared also.

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