DescriptionLincoln & Hamlin: An Astonishing 1860 Jugate Campaign Item That We Have Never Seen Before. Conjoined portraits of the 1860 Republican running mates under glass in a brass foil frame. There are two holes in the frame at the top for suspension, and so presumably this was a badge for wearing. However, we have never seen this item in over three decades in the political hobby, and one might be tempted to dismiss this item as something assembled by a hobbyist. It is possible to disassemble this piece for closer examination, and we have done so. Such an examination quickly eradicates any suspicion. The oval soiling line which conforms to the opening in the gilt brass matte took decades to form, and the cardboard back is also appropriately soiled and aged in the central area not protected by the foil flaps on the back. Even the glass shows an oval outline from long time contact with the photo surface. Another authenticating characteristic is the unusual, intermediate size of the foil frame which is not of standard dimensions and may well have been made specifically for this item.
But the most compelling argument for authenticity is the simple question: where would one procure this photographic image to create such a fantasy piece? We have not encountered this image previously, and it is clearly "period". The small size of the photo itself is highly unusual and would not have been made for any purpose other than use in a badge such as this. Accordingly, we are 100% convinced that this item is "correct" and consider it the finest jugate political item for 1860 as well as one of the very best Lincoln campaign items. From the legendary collection of the pioneer New York hobbyist Stanley King. Photo condition is excellent. There is a dark "cloudiness" above the portraits; however, it is unclear whether this is some sort of moisture stain or if it is "as made." The brass foil frame is separating slightly as is often the case with these delicate pieces. Overall measurements: 1.6" x 1.75".
We have encountered some speculation as to the authenticity of this item, despite its distinguished provenance. This is perhaps not surprising, given its unique, never-before-seen nature. Accordingly, we submitted it to the editors of The Railsplitter, a recognized authority on Lincoln items, for study. Their conclusion is that the piece is absolutely correct. The image is in fact a salt print, which was made by forming a maquette of separate images of Lincoln and Hamlin, and then re-photographing the two conjoined portraits.
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