Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Abraham Lincoln et al: Uncut Sheet of 1860 Campaign Ferrotypes. 3 1/4" x 4 1/4" uncut sheet of oval ferrotypes, all Brady images, for the 1860 presidential candidates. These were meant to be cut out individually and placed in oval brooches. Finding uncut sheets is most unusual and the ones located tend to be incomplete or severely damaged. In her classic reference work The Collector's Encyclopedia of Buttons, Sally Luscomb pictures three uncut ferro plates, but none of these rises to the quality or condition of the present offerings. This sheet has 12 Lincoln images, 8 Douglas images, 5 for Breckinridge and 5 for Bell. The Lincoln image is, of course, Brady's immortal Cooper Union pose, perhaps the most important and famous of all political portrait photos. This assortment is especially interesting because we have seen only one example of the Breckinridge in finished form, and do not recall ever encountering a Bell. The Lincoln image was, of course, widely used in campaign pins. Technically, this is a melainotype and the sheet is blind-stamped "Melainotype Plate for Neff's Patent 19 Feb. 59". The process was invented by Hamilton L. Smith and sold to Peter Neff and his father William Neff.

    An article in the September 1860 issue of "Humphrey's Journal" sheds additional insight: "There is no knowing who will be president until after the election... the admirers of 'Old Uncle Abe', Breckinridge, Douglas and all other candidates want pictures of their leaders and, as they want them on melainotype plates, in the shape of brooches, pins, studs, etc., an unprecedented demand has arisen for this article, and we learn that our friend Neff has all he can do to keep up with the orders."

    Some faint scratches and minor rusting at the corners, but remarkably well-preserved. We have photographed a finished Lincoln pinback brooch to demonstrate how the images were used, but it is not included as part of the lot.

    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    Calculate Standard Domestic Shipping

    Sales Tax information  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2015
    18th Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 875

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $100,000 (minimum $14), plus 20% of any amount between $100,000 and $1,000,000, plus 12% of any amount over $1,000,000 per lot.

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

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    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
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 24 days left to consign to the 2018 September 23 - 24 Luxury Accessories Signature Auction - Beverly Hills!

    Learn about consigning with us

    This was my first time dealing with an auction house, and I am 100% completely impressed with Heritage. There is not an aspect of this process that I have a critique for.
    Darryl S.,
    Stuart, FL
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2018 June 10 Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Signature Auction - Dallas
    2018 June 10 Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED SO FAR $640,615