Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    William H. Seward (1801-72) Photographic Negative. At the time of the Lincoln assassination, Secretary of State Seward was the second most important official of the United States and had narrowly lost the Republication nomination for president five years earlier. On the night of April 14, 1865, he lay in his bed badly injured from a terrible carriage accident that had left him with a broken right arm and a fractured jaw. His arm had been set and his lower jaw and neck had been encased in an elastic wire bandage. While Seward slept he became the target of a vicious attack by Lewis Paine, one of John Wilkes Booth's conspirators. Paine slashed Seward's face with a knife, but because of the bandage the assassination attempt was unsuccessful. In his few remaining years of life Seward would not allow the right side of his face with its ugly knife scar to be photographed.

    This Brady negative shows the undamaged left side of Seward's face and presents the secretary of state as an old and infirm man, the result of that horrible 1865 assassination attempt. [Dorothy Meserve Kunhardt and Philip B. Kunhardt, Jr., Twenty Days, pages 50-53].

    Wet-plate glass negative - double lens exposure. Size, 8" x 4.5". A few scratches to the emulsion. Taken in Brady's Washington, D.C. Gallery, circa mid 1860s. Negative secured between protective glass covers and held in an archival frame, 14" x 12".


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2008
    29th-30th Sunday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,098

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    VIEW BENEFITS
    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
      winnings 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2020 September 14 - 15 Americana & Political.

    Learn about consigning with us

    I don’t often do testimonials but in this case I felt truly obligated to thank Heritage Auctions for the extremely professional job your organization did for me.
    Charlie K.,
    Pittsburgh, PA
    View More Testimonials

    HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2019 November 14-16 Space Exploration Auction Featuring The Armstrong Family Collection Part IV - Dallas
    2019 November 14-16 Space Exploration Auction Featuring The Armstrong Family Collection Part IV - Dallas
    REALIZED SO FAR $2,566,976