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    Abraham Lincoln: From Life Plaster Bust by Leonard Volk. 24" hollow plaster, life-size bust of "Lincoln." This is the work of Chicago sculptor Leonard Wells Volk. His wife was a cousin to Stephen A. Douglas. Volk produced a marble bust of Douglas in 1857-1859 (which still exists, by the way). After receiving the Republican presidential nomination, Lincoln went to Volk's studio to sit for a plaster bust, as well as a life mask and hands. The plaster bust was produced in two sizes, 24" and 12". Volk presented Mrs. Lincoln with an example of the smaller bust sometime in May. Later versions of the bust (post-1865) were made showing Lincoln clothed in a toga. The bust saw numerous incarnations over the years. The mask and hands were also produced years after-the-fact, both in plaster and bronze. In fact, differentiating between these early and later castings is problematic, at best. What can be said with certainty, however, is that the "nude" bust of Lincoln, in both 24" and 12" versions, was produced in 1860. This is the 24" version with what we believe to be the original green finish. We have also seen an example with a gray finish. It is inscribed on one side "PATENT June 12 1860" and, on the other "L. W. Volk Sculptor 1860." There is some chipping to the finish, primarily on the lower front of the base and on the back of Lincoln's head. This is the same example as sold in the inaugural "Railsplitter" auction of 1996 where it realized $4,400. We are aware of only two other specimens. One sold privately for $10,000 and the other was sold by a prominent manuscripts dealer for a sum, we believe, exceeding that. This is a wonderful display piece, made during the presidential election of 1860, with a direct connection to the "Rail Splitter" himself!

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2013
    23rd-24th Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,410

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