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    Abraham Lincoln: A Massive Bronze Bust Sculpted by Thomas D. Jones in 1861, and Considered One of the Finest Sculptural Images of Lincoln. This magnificent sculpture was executed in 1861 while Lincoln still resided in Springfield, Illinois, not having yet departed for his inauguration in Washington. Signed and dated by the sculptor on reverse. Its creator arrived in Springfield on Christmas day in 1860 and met with Lincoln the following day. He had already executed well-regarded busts of Henry Clay, Zachary Taylor, and Winfield Scott, and he came with letters of commendation from two of his most recent subjects, including Salmon P. Chase, who would soon be Lincoln's treasury secretary. The president-elect agreed to pose, and within a couple of days, Jones was established in a temporary studio in the St. Nicholas Hotel. Lincoln came each morning for a number of one hour sittings. He used this time to read mail and write speeches for his journey to Washington, "using one knee as a writing table," as Jones recorded. The sculptor remained in Springfield until summer to complete his work, and thought that the emerging bust was a great achievement. He felt that photographs of Lincoln had always failed to give a true impression of the man. When he asked Lincoln for his opinion, he thought for a while and relied "I think it looks very much like the critter." Later critics have acclaimed this as one of the great Lincoln sculptures, truly lifelike, and the only one to portray him with a happy visage.

    Two examples of this sculpture in plaster, obviously inferior in both quality and value to the bronze original, have been auctioned over the past decade. One brought $5,000 in a regional auction, while the other, among the mostly disappointing remains of Ralph Newman's collection, fetched $3,680 in a largely unsuccessful auction in 1996. We do find a single bronze example that seems to have "slipped by" knowledgeable bidders, fetching $6350 in a 1997 Arcade auction. It is difficult to place a realistic estimate for the current market. Measures approximately 27" tall x 21" wide x 14" deep.


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    Auction Dates
    February, 2007
    26th-27th Monday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 668

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    We had a wonderful time in New York during the October 2013 Historical Manuscripts auction that featured my mother’s papers collected during her tenure as Martin Luther King, Jr.’s secretary. In fact, the entire experience from beginning to end has been a pleasure.
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