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Finely engraved portrait of Abraham Lincoln, published shortly after his death in 1866.

The engraving is based upon a painting by artist William E. Marshall. Marshall’s portrait of Lincoln brought him great acclaim among mid-19th century artists. After Lincoln’s assassination, Marshall painted the portrait from other prints and photographs. Lincoln never sat for Marshall. The work elicited immediate admiration as the finest portrait of Lincoln. The Boston firm of Ticknor & Fields announced an agreement to have Marshall engrave his painting on copper, which it was published in 1866.  

On July 25, 1866, Marshall wrote to the Atlantic Monthly describing the print as follows

I send you with this a proof of my engraved portrait of President Lincoln, Upon which I have been engaged so long, engraved as you are aware after my own painting. As a work of art, I submit it to yourselves and to the public on its merits. That it is a truthful portrait or Mr. Lincoln, as he appeared in his calm and thoughtful moments, I have the assurance of many who were Ultimately connected with him during hid whole official career, as well as the testimony of others who enjoyed his acquaintance for many years. On this point I would ask your attention to the opinions of Mr. Sumner, Mr. Stanton, Mr. Trumbull, and Mr. Colfajx, contained in the letters which I enclose.

The execution of this portrait has been a pleasant labor to me during the many months I have been engaged upon it; and in executing it, I have endeavored not merely to gratify a professional ambition in producing a work of art, but 1 have sought, so far as could be done in one picture, to represent Mr. Lincoln as he was, and as he will be known in the pages of history and biography.

Similar advertisements were published in magazines and newspapers throughout the United States. Sold by subscription, the engraving was offered on various papers. Some advertisements consisted of two full pages to include endorsements from Lincoln family members and colleagues.  

The print was available as follows:

  • Artist's Proof (limited to 300) . . . $20.00
  • India Proof . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10.00
  • Plain Proof . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5.00
Condition Description
Trimmed to neatlines and laid on a larger sheet of contemporary paper. The print itself is in exceptionally fine condition.