Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    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

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $300,000 (minimum $49), plus 20% of any amount between $300,000 and $3,000,000, plus 12.5% of any amount over $3,000,000 per lot.

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

    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 2021 April 17 Featuring the Michael Ward Collection Americana & Political Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    Heritage Auctions and Mr. Chad Reingold were...professional and courteous in all transactions and provided outstanding service in answering my many emails. I recommend them at the highest level.
    Killy M.,
    Melbourne Beach, FL
    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