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    Description

    Rare Oval Framed Lithophane Portrait of Col. Samuel Colt
    Manufactured for Colonel Samuel Colt by KPM Royal Porcelain Works, Berlin, Prussia, Germany, in 1855. Composed of bisque porcelain, and when lit from the back has the appearance of a three-dimensional image of Colonel Colt. Documentation reveals that Colt ordered 111 of these from the Koenigliche Porzellan Manfaktur (KPM), in Berlin. The Colonel's intent was to have lithophanes in windows of his mansion, Armsmear. He may also have planned to present images of himself to friends and business associates.
    From the 111 examples, Colt received 101, which had been shipped on his behalf and to his attention, c/o J.P. Moore & Son, of New York. Of the remaining ten, one was kept by his agent in Berlin, C.F. Wappenhans. Eight were shipped to Colt's niece, Julia Leicester, and another was a gift to Dr. Stadthagen, Berlin. Five of the 101 delivered to Colt had imperfections.
    Rarely observed, the Colonel Samuel Colt lithophanes are based on the only images known to have been made of Colt in which he is holding a revolver (a Model 1851 Navy). The original photograph of that pose, taken by the professional photographer Graff, in Berlin, in c. 1854, was used by the workmen at KPM Royal Porcelain Works, for the lithophanes. A letter to Samuel Colt, from C.F. Wappenhans, dated October 21, 1855, provides details on this transaction. That letter appears among the Records of the Colt's Patent Fire Arms Mfg. Co., RG 103, Business File, Series III, Incoming Correspondence, Box 10, Connecticut State Library, Hartford.
    5 3/4- x 7- x 1/8-inches, porcelain oval; within noticeably larger varnished hardwood frame, with gilt trim. Outside measurement of varnished wood frame: 12-inches- x 11-inches.
    Literature:
    R.L. Wilson, American Arms Collectors Percussion Colts and Their Rivals The Al Cali Collection, page 48, shows the mansion, Armsmear, approximately during the Civil War period, with lithophanes hanging in some of the windows.


    Condition Report*: Excellent.
    *Heritage Auctions strongly encourages in-person inspection of items by the bidder. Statements by Heritage regarding the condition of objects are for guidance only and should not be relied upon as statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty, or assumption of liability by Heritage. All lots offered are sold "AS IS".

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2011
    18th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 9
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,539

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