John Buttre. "Abraham Lincoln."
New York, 1861. 19 x 14 (sight). Steel engraving originally created by John C. Buttre, but a changed third state. Third state; re: Milton Kaplan, "Heads of State." Winterthur Portfolio 6 (1970): 136-7. Trimmed to image. Professionally conserved. Strong impression. Framed.
A full length portrait of Abraham Lincoln in an elegant setting that suggests the White House in Washington. The president is framed by the pillar of strength and the curtain of elegance, while his table contains books, a lamp and a paper. Avery elegant chair surmounted by an eagle is behind Lincoln.
Upon closer inspection a nimbus surrounds both the president's head and the lamp from an earlier use of the steel plate. In 1859 the plate had been used to print portraits of John C. Fremont when he was running for the office of president for the second time as a Republican. On the table was a globe. When Lincoln gained the nomination in 1860 the plate was reused by burnishing out the head of Fremont and changing the globe to a reading lamp. At first, Lincoln appeared clean-shaven in the second state, and soon thereafter the third state was created when the beard was added.