DescriptionAbraham 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.
Fees, Shipping, and Handling Description: Framed - with Glass, Small (view shipping information)
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