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    Henry Clay: A Very Rare Lithophane Porcelain Portrait. These elegant porcelain portraits have long been among the most prized political display items of the mid-19th century. Viewed without proper lighting, it appears rather like a shallow mold. But back-lit, the portrait really comes to life, with an almost three-dimensional appearance.

    Only a handful of these fragile artifacts have survived, most depicting Zachary Taylor or Winfield Scott (although a rare image of Samuel Colt is known, as well as a Lincoln memorial version). Heritage has offered two examples of the Taylor, sold in 2012 and 2014 for prices averaging $4,450. The only other Clay of which we are aware is a fragmentary example consisting only of the center oval portion. The remainder was undoubtedly sawed away because of perimeter damage.

    The present example has been a "signature" item in the consignor's collection for decades, and is perhaps his most-loved piece. It is in beautiful condition, housed in an ingenious, electrified wooden display box which facilitates safe display and effective back-lighting. Perfect condition, the plaque itself measuring 6.5" x 7.75".
    From the collection of Robert and Julie Sterling.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2019
    4th-5th Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,002

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